Update: Marek's Disease; Original: Very Sad Need Help PLease!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aso26, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. aso26

    aso26 New Egg

    Jul 10, 2011
    I'm updating a previous post found here:√https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=539424&p=1

    The chicken died a few days after the post. I just got the necropsy back from the Washington State Avian lab. here is the report:

    GROSS REPORT 07/22/11 WADDL #2011-A3175
    Report authorized by: Rocio Crespo Received: 07/21/11
    The carcass of 14-week-old male Auracana chicken was submitted frozen for laboratory evaluation.
    The bird is emaciated and has severe depletion of the breast muscle.
    The thymus is not visible and the bursa of Fabricius is atrophied.
    The gizzard has thinner wall than expected.
    1. Emaciation
    2. Atrophy of lymphoid organs (thymus and bursa of Fabricius)
    COMMENTS: The emaciation of the bird is indicative of a chronic condition. Additionally, lymphoid
    organs appear grossly atrophied (normal regression of these organs occurs closer to 5 months of age).
    These changes are suggestive of Marek’s disease. Marek’s disease is caused by a herpesvirus, the disease
    is often characterized by progressive paralysis (usually of the leg or wing, a typical leg-paralysis victim
    will have one leg extended forward and one leg extended back) due to abnormal cell growth in the nervous
    system (nerves, spinal cord or brain). Other clinical signs may be weight loss, labored breathing, diarrhea,
    starvation and death due to an inability to reach feed and water and to trampling by pen mates. Marek’s
    disease is also associated with immunosuppression. Generally, chickens under 16 weeks of age are most
    often affected.
    Histology may help to confirm the disease by visualizing the neoplastic cells under the microscope (this
    test is $18.00). No parasites are seen. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call.

    I was very surprised to hear this, because as you can see, I didn't even suspect Marek's. I have another that is sick and I'm hoping that it ends there. All the other chicken's in the flock seem to be growing normally. Thanks for you help.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hopefully the birds have been vaccinated for Mareks, this was really not Mareks, or the others have a resistance to the disease. Good luck with the rest of your flock.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I'm sorry. A few of us are going thru this and have a long thread going, it might help.
    You will probably lose more of the cockerel's siblings. I lost 7/10 so far, about 1 a week. Your older chickens may have some immunity, but still be able to pass it on. I didn't know my flock was exposed-as adults, until I was losing these chicks-from someone else. My chicks that hatch from my birds seem to be fine.

    Vaccinated or not, if any of your chickens have been exposed to a Marek's shedder that's been vaccinated or not, they may be shedders, but not get the disease if older chickens. The young ones will get it.

    There are a whole lot of symptoms with Marek's . That necropsy you have there sounds like a real good thorough one.

    You can't do anything about it at this point. If you get new chicks, they must be vaccinated and quarantined, or if you hatch, they need a vaccine and be quarantined.

    You should also try and track a history. If your chicks were 14 weeks, it's most likely that they got it from your flock, or new chicken.

    It's a horrible thing to lose chicks. [​IMG]

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