Sick Chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tlmancuso, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. tlmancuso

    tlmancuso Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 12 week old pullet who has had trouble walking since mid July. At first she got around okay with everyone, but two weeks ago I isolated her and am giving her vitamins. She's happy and eating and drinking, but will not stand or walk. When she walks she's weak and wobbly and off balance. Her poop is normal. I'm not sure what to do with her at this point. I'm worried about Mericks disease. How long do they typically survive once the symptoms of Mericks set in?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Have you given some poultry vitamins including riboflavin in her water. This would help if it is caused by a deficiency. Does she sit on her hocks or elbows, or have any curling under of her toes? Can she move her toes when you touch them. Injuries and vitamin deficiencies are very common, so I would try vitamins for a couple of weeks, and make sure that your chick feed is fresh dated. Try searching at the top of this page for "The great big giant Mareks Faq" which is very informative. Hopefully, it is not Mareks, but keep us updated on how she gets along.
     
  3. tlmancuso

    tlmancuso Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been giving her a multivitamin in her water that I got from the feed store. I have also been giving her vitamin B12 with a dropper for a little over a week. I made the mistake of having her out with the rest of my flock and switched her to layer feed at 6 weeks. I'm realizing now that was not a good idea. Mid July she was gone for a day. I thought she had been taken by a hawk. It was over 100 degrees that day and when she returned she was very weak and dehydrated and her feet were curled. She seemed to recover, but relapsed a few weeks later. She does sit on her hocks or just lays down. She can only eat and drink if it's elevated to head level. My friend has been caring for her for a few days and she said that today she accidental left the cage open and the chick had flown out and spent the day exploring the house! That does sound like an improvement to me. I'll check her toes when I get back home to her. They seem to be weak, but she does move them. Is there a form of riboflavin that I can get in liquid and is that like the b12 where it cannot be overdosed? I'll get her new food as well just to be sure it's fresh. Thank you!
     
  4. tlmancuso

    tlmancuso Out Of The Brooder

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    Just an update on my chick. She's 16 weeks now and still having trouble walking. She stumbles and fights for her balance, but seems to have gained more control going forward. She has to concentrate very hard to get moving forward. She's eating and drinking well. She can get her head to the ground sometimes and can also keep her tail up when her friend is around. I'm giving her baby vitamins and have her isolated at night. I'm not sure what to think. I've contacted a veterinarian who sees chickens, but it is very expensive and he's quite a way out. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Could this possibly be an ear infection? It's been going on for such a long time. Or could it be damage from heat stroke?
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess would be Marek's. It's extremely common and very easily contracted. I've had some deteriorate quickly with it, some get completely better after a couple of days and some take months and never come right, but improve enough to re-join the flock after a lot of TLC and even lay eggs. I've just lost one to it last week that I had to euthanize after two weeks of supportive care and I currently have one that I found floundering a couple of days ago, that is getting isolated on an evening as she is no longer roosting and fed separately but allowed to free range with the flock during the day and she is doing OK so far. There is such a variation of symptoms and severity with Marek's. Many people think it kills quite quickly but I've had birds survive a year after their first attack. Keeping them stress free and well fed is important and companionship of other chickens helps to keep their spirits up and keeps them fighting. It's also important to consider quality of life and be prepared to end it for them if things get bad.

    Good luck with your girl.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  6. tlmancuso

    tlmancuso Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I'm thinking it is too [​IMG] For now she's really happy and eating and drinking well. I'll continue to monitor her and let her spend time with her sister. I will be deciding in the next few weeks if her life is quality enough to continue. She's a sweet little girl. And there's nothing I can do at this point regarding exposing the others correct? My other hens are 6 months and older.
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had it in my flock now for 2 years now and I take the view that the others have already been exposed so I only isolate a bird with Marek's for it's own safety and benefit as I am doing now with this one to ensure it is safe overnight and gets well fed. I've hatched 50 chicks this year and this is only my second Marek's sufferer, so far.... fingers crossed it stays that way. I only had one last year and about 6 the year before when it first struck, so I'm hoping that the chicks that I'm breeding are mostly developing resistance.
    Hoping your girl is able to improve and live a sustainable life.

    Good luck

    Barbara
     

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