Two Silkie Hatchmates Struck with Different Neurological Diseases??!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by abanjaf, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. abanjaf

    abanjaf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two Silkie hatchmates, approx 5 months old now. The first a pullet, became quite lethargic and simply just stopping walking/moving/eating/doing anything. Two days later, the cockerel (I think) came down with wry neck/limber neck. His neck was tucked tightly between his legs and when he would try to walk he would simply just somersault. Both of them were brought into the house. Initially, thought that the pullet had sour crop, got that resolved. But she appears to be in an almost CATATONIC STATE!!!

    SHE JUST STANDS THERE. DOES NOT EAT, DRINK, WALK, PREEN HERSELF, MAKE ANY NOISES WHATSOEVER! I've trimmed her crest around her eyes, she does not act like she can see, although nothing appears wrong with her eyes. They appear healthy and normal (I'm an RN and would recognize if there was something wrong with them, good pupillary response, no dryness). Does not respond to food or treats placed in front of her:( She will spit out food placed in her mouth, unless placed in the back and then she will eat it.

    Her hatchmate has responded well to B-complex vitamins, Vitamin E, and Prednisone. He is now able to lift up his head and walk. His neck is still severely bent like a swans and has almost seizure-like spasms, but he is able to feed himself and drink and should be able to go back out to the coop soon. Today, decided to treat my little pullet with the same vitamin and prednisone treatment since these seem to both be neurological problems, but really, what the heck???

    DOES ANYONE AT ALL KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?! I HAVE A FLOCK OF 30 OF VARIOUS BREEDS. NEVER HAVE SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE:( HAVEN'T HAD ANY PROBLEMS, HAVE HAD CHICKENS FOR THE LAST 9 YEARS! THESE TWO I HATCHED FROM SOME SHIPPED EGGS I RECEIVED FROM A BREEDER. I'M AT A TOTAL LOSS HERE:( HAVE SCOURED THE INTERNET SEARCHING FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT HELP ME. SO ANY HELP YOU CALL COULD GIVE ME WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If I were you I would research Marek's disease. Also, keep in mind that Silkies have a skull defect (the cause of that bump on their head) and can develop problems related to this. I don't know much about either, just trying to give you a jumping off place. Good luck.
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Marek's may be a good guess.

    I wish I knew what to tell you, but I'd just be guessing as well. I know one morning , with a batch of 8 week old healthy chicks, one just suddenly got wry neck! I don't know why.

    Could the pullet have gone blind?

    It might be a good idea to send them to an animal disease lab. There's one in Kissimmee, and they only charge $30. And at least you would know for sure.
     
  4. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    From what you have described, it sounds like your pullet may have Mareks......there is no treatment or cure. Unfortunately, Mareks is contagious. If your pullet dies, I strongly suggest that you take her to your state lab to have a necropsy done, so you'll have a definitive cause of death.

    Your cockerel sounds like he has wry neck.....sounds like you're treating it appropriately. Unfortunately, in my experience, if a Silkie has wry neck once, they usually will have it again. There are those breeders---including me---who feel that wry neck has a genetic component. So Silkies who develop wry neck are culled.

    Good luck
     
  5. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just had a Turken pullet die from almost the same symptoms as your silkie. I sent her for necropsy...on examination, it appeared that what she died from was Marek's. However, there was no nerve involvement. She was full of tumors. Finally, after waiting almost 3 weeks, I received my final report. They can't really tell what it is, so they are going with Lymphoid Leukosis. That is a disease that is transmitted through the egg to the chick. They are hatched with it. It resembles Marek's very closely. Since you have had no other problems and you say that these were eggs that were purchased and hatched, my mind instantly thought that this could be your problem. I, too, am having some pretty strange things happening here. I have lost a polish with wry neck. I put him down thinking that what I had was Marek's and it was another case. I have several others showing strange symptoms. I've looked at every known chicken disease. None of them really fit the symptoms that I am seeing. I could find out definitively but that would cost $300.

    Upon further research I also found a mosquitto transmitted disease that also mimicks Marek's and Lymphoid Leukosis. We have been living in a virtual rainforest the past couple months...this one, make sense to me. Check out Reticuloendotheliosis...

    When you have something like this hit your flock it is so heartbreaking. I was told that I did nothing wrong...and the only things that you can do are keep the chickens stress free and feed them a high quality diet with no diet changes to add stress to their systems. And disinfect, disinfect, disinfect!!!

    Good luck with your babies, I am still reeling from all the news...
     
  6. abanjaf

    abanjaf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I so appreciate everyone's input, thank you. I don't know what to think about my little pullet. Since I've pretty much been force feeding her, she has perked up some. Where as before she would just lay down, at least she stands now. I have not observed her walking, but I will mark where I put her and notice her to be in a different location the next feeding time. Her wings work just fine judging by the flapping that goes on when I pick her up. Her behavior is just listless, depressed, I don't know what:( This has been ongoing now for two weeks. If it was Marek's, how soon before it takes her? It's just heartbreaking, I can't give up on her. I've seen some small improvements. Until I see a definite turn for the worse, I just can not put her down, but I also know that I can not keep up this force feeding ritual. Something has to change. She just has to get better!
     
  7. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since the other had wry neck, why not try the vitamin regimen my vet gave me for my silkie...it certainly can't hurt and just might help. She said to give 400iu's of vitamin E twice daily on a small piece of bread and .5 ml of poly vi sol once per day.

    Good luck with your baby. Like you, if I see some improvement, I just won't give up!!!
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Quote:If it's Marek's it can go on for days , weeks, or months. Usually they just die of starvation.
     

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