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Stroke???

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by DaveyShaver, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. DaveyShaver

    DaveyShaver Just Hatched

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    One of my guinea hens approximately 8 mos old sometimes cannot move in a straight line but sways/lists to the right. She has fallen off her roosting perch at night onto her right side and struggles to get up but eventually does and is able to get back onto the perch after she recovers from the incident.

    Yesterday the male guinea ran towards her and she fell on her right side and spun around in circles on the ground - her left leg pushing her around, I'm assuming trying to get herself up. This scared the male away. When she finally did get up she recovered within a few minutes and joined the rest.

    She always is lower to the ground than the others - you can barely see her little feet - she's like a helmet gliding across the dirt. I'm thinking because of her balance problem. She eats well, drinks well, poop is normal, stays close to the older hen and is the most vocal of all of them. Unless you saw one of her episodes you wouldn't know she had a problem.

    About a six-weeks ago she was all fluffed up and off her feed. But she recovered within a week and acted normal until this began a couple of weeks ago.

    Anyone know what's wrong with her or have you experienced this before?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Might be one of the problems listed in the link above.

    Could be dietary, could be viral, could be genetic, could be caused by injury or illness...

    Sometimes, on an otherwise perfectly adequate diet, an individual will still suffer malnutrition due to a whole myriad of potential causes.

    She could have ingested lead from numerous sources as well, that's one very common cause of such symptoms. Guineas don't get Marek's as far as I know, but it's not 100% sure so who knows.

    Sounds to me like, without a doubt about it, she has very damaged neurological function throughout the body I think, not just the brain. It's possible that when she was doing circles on her side, she thought she was running instead; it's fairly common. The low stance sounds like nerve atrophy, like she struggles to hold herself correctly.

    Best wishes with her. I think at the very least you should not breed from her, possibly should not even eat her eggs, and possibly may want to consider sending her for an autopsy/necropsy or doing one yourself.

    Here's some info on potential lead sources and symptoms of toxicity:
    Quote:
     
  3. DaveyShaver

    DaveyShaver Just Hatched

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    Thank you so much for your reply and the plethora of information!! This is so appreciated!! She had an uneventful weekend with no episodes that we witnessed. She acts perfectly normal until she doesn't! Weird thing!

    Thanks again!! I'm going to get busy and read over this information!
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're most welcome, I hope you find what's wrong and how to fix it. So many problems have the very same symptoms.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. ColesCreek

    ColesCreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will be Marek's, as guineas do get Marek's as the experienced breeders do see from time to time.

    Try the Marek's diet and good luck
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a few questions...

    What's the 'Marek's diet'?

    Has anybody you know actually had a vet confirm that their Guineafowl had Marek's?

    I heard it can be 'experimentally induced' under laboratory conditions, but it's extremely rare for it to happen outside those conditions, hence no Marek's vaccine being developed for Guineas.

    The symptoms described are common for a huge amount of neurological diseases, but not necessarily Marek's. Heavy metal poisoning is far, far more common. But, who knows? If a vet trip can be afforded it may be a good bet, may even be necessary to save the animal. Once symptoms become so severe, the damage is very advanced.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  7. DaveyShaver

    DaveyShaver Just Hatched

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    UPDATE: The Guinea Hen is completely healed! Symptoms lasted for approximately 14 days and she has been completely normal for 7 days now. She has absolutely no balance issues. I'm leaning more toward trauma-related than a disease process as she never was off her feed and had no other symptoms other than her inability to move in a straight line and swerving to the right. While she had the symptoms, she kept herself low to the ground. Now she stands up like the others. Fortunately, none of my other guinea fowl or chickens have developed any symptoms, another reason to lean towards trauma-related. Although my chickens have been vaccinated for Marek's. The guineas have not been.

    Thank you all for your input! I so appreciate your feedback - I'm new at this and learning!!
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the update, good to hear. :) It does sound like you're right, that'd have to be trauma related most likely. A good whack to the head, probably.

    There is no Marek's vaccine for Guineas from what I've heard simply because Marek's is so rare in them. But, there's always new strains developing, I suspect maybe ColesCreek's area is incubating a new strain that can more easily infect guineas, well, if the vet can confirm it's Marek's not just other issues which can have the same symptoms, anyway...

    Best wishes.
     
  9. BarbaraNH

    BarbaraNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other possibility to consider might be an inner ear infection. If that was the case, and since she has recovered on her own, it could have been brought on by a virus. I understand that inner ear balance problems aren't as rare as once thought. Such a health condition would cause dizziness, which would lead to problems with walking, eating, and perching. Of course, it might have been caused by a head injury. You'll probably never know, but I'm so glad she's recovered. It's always nice to hear happy ending stories!
     
  10. ColesCreek

    ColesCreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is super news Davey the Mareks can heal itsself, good old mother nature hey. Just watch the others don't show signs down the track

    All the best
     

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