Silkie illness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bonnieks68, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. bonnieks68

    bonnieks68 New Egg

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    Hi! I sure need some help. I've had several chickens for a few years but just got some 4-H exotics @ the fair last month. 2 days ago I noticed my little white Silkie Juliet was acting weird. Since she was new, I was way too slow in figuring out she was sick. I got some advice yesterday but she died anyway during the night. I was told she had what, in the pigeon world, is referred to as "going light." He picked her up & purged fluid from her little body. He said she was all bones. I've read that Asthenia (going light) can be infectious but usually is more of a symptom of something else - but of what?!? I separated her as soon as I figured out she was sick but I'm worried about my other chickens now. Juliet was not eating, would only drink if the water was flowing out of the hose, had diarrahae, was making almost no peeps, walking like a woman with a bad belly ache, sitting by herself & very weak. I gave her wheat germ oil twice yesterday - and she did a good job drinking it but was too weak to open her mouth for her evening dose. I prayed to save her but she was in such bad shape, she passed during the night - she won't suffer now but she will be missed. I noticed my huge Barred Rock had diarrahae today but I don't know if it's related. Any ideas on how to protect the rest of the flock would be greatly appreciated. Is there any healthy suggestions for preventative medicine - i.e. wheat germ oil in the water...? Ever hear of aspirin in their water to cure what ails them? Thanks very much. Bonnie
     
  2. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern KY
    "Going Light" is generally caused by one of two things:

    Marek's Disease

    or

    Worms

    Chances are better that it's Marek's Disease. Have your birds been vaccinated for it? I am sure there are lots of arguments here pro and con, but in my experience vaccinating prevents about 99% of the cases (there will always be one or two birds that catch it.)

    It's very sad, as there is nothing you can do for a bird that has Marek's. And Marek's is everywhere. You can pick it up on your shoes at the feed store, your bird can get it from a show, I suppose even wild birds may carry it. It's pretty much everywhere there are chickens.

    You can either vaccinate, or breed for resistance, but if you decide to breed for resistance, expect to have a number of birds die in the process.

    I am very sorry your bird died.
     
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or coccidiosis. Has the weather been warm and humid where you are? If it's been really cold, than never mind.

    Marek's Disease is found in the soil everywhere. It's safe to assume that every bird in your flock has it, but only a few will succumb to the symtoms. Hypericum can be used to treat most cases, however wasting away is usually caused by tumors and that particular form is not treatable.
     
  4. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Winfield
    Marek's causes paralysis. I have never heard of one going light. Try putting some apple cider vinegar in the water to help keep parasites at bay. Good luck!
     
  5. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Emaciation and death is all I ever get with Marek's. Depends on the stain I guess.
     
  6. bonnieks68

    bonnieks68 New Egg

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    I really appreciate all your advice. I'm knew to sick chickens so I can use all the help I can get.

    I like the apple cider vinegar suggestion & have some good organic vinegar that I will use. I've also read that chewin' tobacco keeps parasites at bay.

    The Marek's disease symptoms listed in my chicken book mention tumors and paralysis - which I had no evidence of these problems.

    I don't know what is considered "warm weather" but it's just getting into the 80's this week & was in the mid 70's last week. That's comfortable temps to me. Do you think I should give them the hypericum to prevent further loss of life? What's the dosage & how is it given?

    I'll check into the vaccinations as well. I have to take my dog to the vet tomorrow & plan to ask him some questions. Thanks for the condolences & the help.

    Bonnie
     
  7. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    I have had individual silkies go light before, and have never noticed it to be anything that spreads. Its usually only a single individual.

    Was she heavily crested? Could she see well enough to get to her food and water?
    Sometimes these things can play a part in that with silkies. You really have to watch them to be sure they are eating well.

    What other kind of birds was she in with? All silkies? Other breeds? Sometimes other breeds are too agressive, not that you would always see it, but if she was too timid, they could keep her from the food and water most of the time. By the time you noticed that she was sick, It could have been going on a while and it was too late. These are just suggestions. [​IMG]

    I do not necessarily thing that Coccidiosis can just be in warm weather. I just had a goat die that was riddled with it and that was February and its not warm here. She had a lot of it according to the vet, but it was secondary to another thing, which is probably what weakened her immune system to make her susceptible to cocci.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  8. bonnieks68

    bonnieks68 New Egg

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    She was in with her Silkie mate & a Polish she was raised with, a RIR Bantam & a large barred rock that earns the name of "chicken" so I'm not sure if she was being bullied but she might not have been able to see well. She was very timid and so cute. I wish I would have known that she was ill but now I know what to watch for. Thanks for the help.
     
  9. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The symptoms can be very diverse. The most common symptom is paralysis, which can be treated. Sometimes birds just drop dead with no symptoms. Othertimes, weight loss and depression are all you'll see. When tumors are the problem, they form internally on the vital organs (sometimes on the feather follicles and the eye, but these are rare) and cause the bird to lose weight. Often times they grow rapidly on the liver or kidneys, causing the bird's droppings to become a mucousy, sickly, white paste with very little feces (high in uric acid). Basically, everything stops working properly, so even if the bird is eating well it will continue to lose weight. You'll feel lumps in the body. The kidneys will eventually fail.

    Yes, the apple cider vinegar is a great idea. Add some cinnamon too, and offer plenty of fresh greens. That alone might get her back on her feet!
     
  10. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, cocci can occur at any time, but it's most likey to occur during warm humid months. The cocci just love that weather and decide to take it out on the poor animals.
     

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