Symptoms like Marek's but....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pbirdhaven, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. pbirdhaven

    pbirdhaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Vernon IN
    In the last month I have had 3 birds with symptoms that resemble Marek's but shouldn't be. One is a 7-month old Polish pullet who was vaccinated against Marek's as a chick, one was a 10-week old chick who was never out of the brooder room, and now a silkie roo who was grown already when I got him in February and so should be past the susceptible age. All started stumbling and weaving and eventually just lay on their sides but will eat and drink. The chick was the first to show symptoms, and none of the others in the brooder room have shown any signs of illness.
    I'm not familiar with anything else that might cause those symptoms and am concerned about infecting others in my flock, although the sick birds were isolated as soon as I observed anything wrong. I'm running out of quarantine spaces--already using rooms in my basement--as I have also quarantined any birds that were housed near the ones who are sick.
    Any ideas or suggestions are much appreciated!
     
  2. runswithroos

    runswithroos Out Of The Brooder

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    Im not sure [​IMG] im not very educated on merek's. Just lost my favorite RIR last night to it. I put the sick one in the basement by her self or in your case move the healthy ones and keep the sick ones a little scattered about cause if only ONE has mereks and the other don't and have something like it (cause alot of people get fooled with merek's) there might be the possibility of them getting merek's
     
  3. Alas

    Alas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Call your state vet. They will swab the well chickens and take the dead for necropsy. What do you use to deworm them? My chickens were doing the same stuff. Unsteady, eating while laying down instead of standing. After a few days they just quit trying to eat and they died. Pick them up. Do they feel boney? Mine turned out to be worms. The vet told me that the Wazine and DE were really not effective. If they ARE skinny, dose them with Ivermectin or Safeguard. Either way, call the state vet to make plans with them. You can find out who yours is by looking on the Dept of Agriculture page for your area.
     
  4. bensteph821

    bensteph821 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am on here today looking for reasons why my chickens are dying off...and I saw your post. My chickens doing the same thing. We are now down 5. All did the weaving, and then eventually falling over. Got these chickens from cacklehatchery and thought I ordered the mereks disease vaccine, will have to double check and look into the state vet too....
     
  5. eggdd

    eggdd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you should definitely have your state vet look at them just to be sure what is going on. no one on here can tell you for certain.

    it's unlikely to be mareks. it's rare amongst backyard flocks. other common issues with the same symptoms you listed: botulism and/or vitamin deficiencies.

    what is their diet?
     
  6. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

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    Try some vitamin E. I had a load of birds different ages that would stumble and fall and act drunk. Then they would fall over and stay on their side. Not able to stand. They were alert and fat birds. I put so many down thinking mereks-I finally brought 2 for necropsys. It ended up that they were not absorbing the E. I put it in the water but it seemed to work slow but I still put a vitamin pack in the water once a month. The birds that had fallen over after I went to the vet, I did a no no with im sure and took a vitamin e gel tab and opened it and put it in there mouth but it still didnt work so after a week of bird on side I injected a very little amount of the warm e into the neck (i dont recomend)and within 4 hours 4 birds were up and walking. Since I have been putting e in the water and after that last 4 I injected I have not had one issue and its been 2 months. I felt I had no choice on the 4 so I gave it a try before putting them down. Again, I know this is not what others would do but I felt it was what I needed to do before I put them down. I hope its an easy fix. Try some in the water! Good luck!
    Quote:
     
  7. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my favorite hens died like this over the summer. My 7 year old had thrown some bad sandwich meat into a burn pile instead of the burn barrel and she got into it I think. When I found her I was a bit concerned, but didn't think to much of it until she got worse. I had isolated her and was in the process of diagnosing the problem, but it was to late. Once I started tracking where I had seen her over the course of the last few days I found the package torn into. We had a Sebright die the same way last year. I realized to late that the store bought corn was moldy. My seven year old generally fed them it. I usually buy all feed from a grainery, but had picked up at the farm store to save the trip. Anytime there is mold or especially spoiled meat chickens can get botulism. An Epsom salts flush will work if caught in time. Mine were both just to late. I hope you have better luck! For me it taught me to always keep a supply of certain medications on hand. Epsom salts is one of many. Good luck with your flock.
     
  8. eggdd

    eggdd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    yea, mareks is not a common issue. i know, i know. you come to the internet and the few people who have experienced it are very vocal and scary. it's like diagnosing yourself using webmd or a web-forum. but the fact is it's rare for backyard flocks. you get a lot of people who don't know what they're talking about guessing about mareks. anyway.....

    here's a link to avia charge 2000, it has "...70+ naturally chelated minerals, 23 vitamins & antioxidants, 22 essential amino acids, enzymes, and body & blood building nutrients":

    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/avian_charge_2000.html
     
  9. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    It's not "rare", I got it from an extremely reputable source and since very many others have contacted me. It's a "dirty little secret" no one wants to admit having.

    With that said, mine had the classic "split" legs on 2 of the first 3 affected. Feel their bodies, mine were very skinny. As far as I know there is no "swab" test. I had a necropsy done and the tissues microscopically analyzed. I would treat for any possible deficiencies and parasites before jumping to Mareks, unless one starts to do the split which is more a classic indicator of the disease. Have you checked their poop? Another member swears her mareks birds have bright green poop [​IMG] and you can check for worms. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  10. pbirdhaven

    pbirdhaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Vernon IN
    Thanks to everyone for your input--gives me a lot to think about. [​IMG]
    I've seen Marek's before, and this doesn't quite fit the pattern, other than the lack of coordination. Also the fact that none of these birds were in contact with one another and others that were don't seem affected. I'll contact my state vet Monday and in the meantime I have Epsom salts, vitamin E, and Ivermectin on hand. Don't intend to try them all at once, though!
     

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