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Thought Mereks....got necropsy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CariLynn, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. CariLynn

    CariLynn Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    State of confusion
    The results of the necropsy I had done almost 3 and a half weeks ago for my one hen that was so bad, that my large animal vet and I thought could be Merek's Disease, turned out to be a form of cancer. Below is the cut and pasted results:

    Animal Information:

    Chicken ; Galliform / poultry - Chicken


    Chicken, female. 3 years of age, plus of chronic weight loss.
    Left leg significant neurologic loss
    Right leg less significant neurologic loss

    Necropsy Results:
    Crop dilated- Lymphosarcoma possible
    Abdomen contained 500 cc reddish brown fluid
    Small Intestine cordid and thickened

    Lab Findings:

    Specimen Test Name
    Chicken - Avian - Galliform / poultry - Chicken
    Tissue, fixed - 1 Pathology (Microscopic Exam - Biopsy) - 11/2/2011 4:27 PM

    General Results:

    Intestine: Mural and mesenteric melanoma. In a second section of intestine, there are aggregates of dark brown to black pigmentcontaining
    cells in the mesentery, suggestive of melanoma.

    Liver: Capsular melanoma. There are similar pigment containing cells in the sinusoids and forming small aggregates throughout the
    liver, suggestive of melanoma. Hepatitis, periportal and random, heterophilic and histiocytic, multifocal, mild with multifocal
    necrosis, multifocal bile stasis, and multifocal bile duct proliferation.

    Comment: Although melanosis is common in breeds such as Silkies, the pigmented cells in this bird form nodular masses,
    supporting the diagnosis of melanoma cancer. Melanomas are not common in chickens but have been reported. Interestingly, in one study,
    malignant melanin-containing neoplasms originated from the ovary and metastasized throughout the coelom.
    In addition to the neoplastic process in the liver, there is also an inflammatory process for which I am unable to provide an etiologic
    diagnosis, as no etiologic agent is observed.

  2. Bianca67

    Bianca67 Chirping

    Jul 3, 2011
    Cedar Springs, MI
    Wow, so sorry for your loss.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Thank you for posting. I think it's a great thing to get a necropsy rather than guess. Was it done at a private lab or a state lab?
    What was the cost? Thanks again.
  4. CariLynn

    CariLynn Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    State of confusion
    It was done at a private lab and it was about $35 for me to ask to have it done. Our large animal vet did say to me he wishes more people would help chicken's by taking them to the vet so they could be better treated. I personally am so very glad I did instead of assuming or guessing, knowing how my poor hen had something that was not "easily fixed" is a weight off my shoulders as I had her put to sleep in the office. It is also a lot easier that I have a vet office who doesn't laugh or make me feel silly for treating my chickens like I do my horses or dogs, they were so very nice when I walked out of his office in tears, trying hard not to break down right there.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good chicken vets are hard to find - even among avian vets. IMO because parrots cost hundreds or thousands and 80% of chickens are in the $10 range.

    I know someone who was convinced cocciodosis killed her flock but a necropsy showed it to be botulism. Other people suspect Mareks when they don't know.
    Not knowing doesn't help a person or their flocks.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Thankyou for posting your story and the lab results. I wish everyone would do it, we would learn so much from them. Thankyou. Your vet may have been right about Marek's cancer. But if it were Marek's I would have expected to see more than one death. I'm glad it's a one-chicken cancer, and not Marek's. (Well, glad but not, know what I mean?)
  7. Fenika

    Fenika Songster

    Sep 25, 2010
    That is a really detailed path report. It was nice of the pathologist to put so much under comments as they don't have to. He took time to look up a study even. You got a good deal. Request that specific pathologist (if possible) if you have the misfortune of losing any more birds.

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