Silkie and Marek's

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Leeloo11400, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Hi all,

    Two days ago I noticed one of our little Silkies suddenly (on Thursday) acting unwell. We had, had several beautiful weather days and then on Thursday (today is Saturday) it was rainy and cold, so at first I thought this had something to do with it. She was staying puffed up, separating herself from the flock, moving slowly, she wasn't scratching around, she would get under things, and couldn't seem to outstretch her neck.

    That afternoon we brought her in to see if she would perk up and to feed her. She didn't eat, drink, or poop for hours and her neck seemingly became too weak to even keep off of the ground. She would curve it around and rest it on her back.

    I started treating her for Wry Neck (after reading on here) and trying to force-feed her crumbles and water.

    By morning she was on her side, her legs looking funny, a wing spread across the ground and one of her eyes could not open. It even seemed to have a small lump near it. She also seemed to have labored breathing and she was shaking, but that could have been fear.

    She continued to get worse and worse all day.

    After looking at pictures and reading a lot about Marek's, I feel like this is what she had, and I felt the most humane action was to dispatch her.

    My question: Should I expect my others to get this too?!? I'm so worried about that. All, except four, of my flock are from the same hatchery and are the same age (20 weeks). I have two others that are 32 weeks and two still that are 24 weeks, acquired from a different source. I have two Silkies left and a Crested Polish (I have read they are particularly susceptible to Marek's as well as Wry).

    I am honestly not sure about vaccinations and didn't even know to think about this until reading the last two days. My hatchery does not talk about vaccinations at all on their site. Though, I'm not sure that I want to vaccinate since we try to be organic, nor do I know that it can even be done now.

    I have more babies coming, from this same hatchery, and while I know they will not be put with my older flock for some time, should I vaccinate them?

    Any advice would be GREAT!! Thank you all!

    Leah
     
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silkies are known to get Marek's more often than any other breed of chicken. (I know this as I had to put down one of my silkies because she had it spread to my other hen who in fact was my best bird) it does spread and once you get it you would have to cull the entire flock to get rid of it since they can survive it but become carriers.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Did you see any bloody poo at the time?

    I am sorry for your loss.
     
  4. keightyj

    keightyj Just Hatched

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    Jan 24, 2015
    3 months ago, I could have written the same post. My white silkie hen just suddenly was weak and stopped eating, just like you. She did pass away. I preserved her and sent her for necropsy. After reading about her symptoms, i too was convinced it was Marek's. I couldn't explain it otherwise, and in fact I had lost 2 other hens similarly in previous months. So bothered by this potential disease, I sent her for necropsy. You will truly never know unless you have her tested, I'm glad I did. My fears were laid to rest, when in fact her cause of death was due to a fungus that she likely ingested in our free range area and her system couldn't fight it off. I'm disappointed she died and got sick, and still have a concern as to what exactly she would have ingested to cause this (Doctor said the type of fungus was very common in wet damp areas), but my relief that it wasn't a contagious disease was significant. We had the rainiest Summer in my lifetime, the yard and area was often under water and the dx made sense. If you're concerned about the rest of your flock, do sent her off for necropsy, you'll learn so much. So sorry for your loss.

    Kate
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Thank you all for replying!


    ChickensAreSweet
    No, there wasn't any bloody stool. Honestly, she only defecated once the entire time she was inside the house, but it looked normal.


    keightyj
    It HAS been so wet and nasty this winter season. We free-range in our backyard and when it rains, there is sometimes standing water. Now that makes me wonder. Thank you for the information!
     
  6. keightyj

    keightyj Just Hatched

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    Jan 24, 2015
    just one addition to my last comment, I too suspected cocci or worms at first. I even started treating her before she had died. I had no reason to suspect cocci or worms, but treated anyway. Her stool when I had her protected in her own cage was clear, no blood. The doctor from Purdue called me with preliminary findings within a few days and he confirmed worms AND cocci. I was disheartened as I believe I keep a very clean coop and feed my chickens all the preventatives. The doctor said to treat my entire flock immediately (safeguard and corid), and that his primary finding of her cause of death wasn't the cocci and worms, but the aspergillosis (fungus). But that the cocci and worms would have weakened her system, making is easier for the fungus overcome her more easily. Truly, the necropsy opened my eyes in so many ways. From now on, I will routinely treat my flock with Safeguard and Corid.
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Mine was acting like that and I have Marek's in my flock, naturally I thought it was. She was sent to a lab and they found capillaria, cocci, e. coli. The capillaria appear to be a worm that needs either 5 days of safeguard or 2 doses of valbazen. Much more than the usual worming I did. Since you have nothing to lose, I would put her on 7 days of sulfadimethoxine and Tylan in the water. She could use a round of safeguard for goats, I put 1/2 ml on a piece of bread and feed it, or just 1/2 ml orally for 5 days after that . Valbazen is easier, only 1 dose and another 10 days later, so you could do one dose before the antibiotics, and another dose at the end.

    [​IMG]

    Keightyj, I had one with aspergillosis as well. It was in her heart and lungs when she was necropsied.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Great suggestions! So far everyone else in my flock is acting normally, but I don't intend to risk it. Thank you all!

    [​IMG]
     

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