Update- thought leg injury- possible paralysis- Marek's???

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

  1. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted about 10 days ago about a pullet with a possible leg injury here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=540066
    Well, she is still with us, but not better, in fact she's worse. Now I'm thinking it's more like paralysis, as her other leg doesn't seem to be working well either and she not longer gets up at all. She is living in my garage in a box with one other bird, a young roo who had been getting picked on and had quite a bit of bleeding, so I pulled him from the flock to heal. They have been cuddling and "talking" and now when I take the roo out for a little exercise he calls out for her. It's very cute. Sorry- I'm rambling off subject here [​IMG] . So, she will still eat and can move herself around the floor of the box to get between the food and water- but she is losing weight (maybe muscle mass since she's not mobile) and she just isn't doing well anymore. I've come to terms with the fact that we will need to "put her down" soon. However- I just read a long thread last night about Marek's and I am concerned. She did do the "splits" when she was still getting up- one leg would slide in one direction, leaving her lying down in the splits. She has been very calm the whole time and doesn't seem sick otherwise and I don't see any other symptoms, besides the paralysis getting worse. It's been 10 days since I noticed her "slipping" and no other birds of my 14 have shown any signs or symptoms. And the poor roo has been locked up in the hospital ward with her- I really hope it's not something contagious! He has no signs or symptoms either, I've actually been wanting to try and re-integrate him, but I haven't wanted her to be alone once he's out. Part of me is thinking that if no other birds have shown signs it most likely is NOT Marek's... ??? But, I know I can't really assume anything. I've also read that all birds exposed (even with no symptoms) will be carriers and shed/spread the virus for life. So, this is very serious, of course, if this is the case, even though none of my other chickens are sick.
    I am trying to look into someplace I can have a necropsy done (for not too much money- my husband will kill me!) near San Diego, CA- so if you know of anywhere, let me know. I'm also wondering what the best way to put her down humanely would be if you intend to have a necropsy performed... are there certain methods you can not use (that would affect the necropsy)? I believe a friend of ours was going to shoot her, as he's done with his chickens for years now (I know it sounds awful and I don't even like typing it, he says it is a humane, quick way to "take care" of them).
    If anyone has any thoughts or opinions on this situation please let me know. The thing is, had I not read the recent large post about Marek's, I would never have thought of this- so I don't know if it's just my mind running away with the idea or not- I'm in a little bit of a panic.
    Thank you so much!

    ETA: The pullet in question is 11 weeks old now. The rest of my flock ranges from 8 1/2 to 11 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    There has been so much talk on these forums lately about Marek's disease and it sounds like your girl has a case of it. I have never had to deal with it, however there are treatments for it. Read this post. I saw it yesterday and was impressed how much this person learned about this condition and it seems like she may have cured her bird. If you have any questions, you could PM her for more info.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=544736

    Also, take a look at this chart of common poultry diseases. It talks about Merak's about half way down the page.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    You can also do some research here thru the forums and read what others have experienced with Marek's. I am not saying that this is what your girl has, but there aren't too many other diseases with paralysis as the one of the symptoms. Look over that chart and see what else could possibly be ailing your pullet.

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  3. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern California
    Thank you for your reply and the links! I appreciate it.

    Still no other birds with symptoms, and it seems like if it were Marek's there would be others sick. But, I am still trying to prepare for the worst and find a place that will perform a necropsy in the event we need to put her down, so that I will know for sure. Especially since I don't think I want to keep the roo and he has been exposed to her the longest- I would need to know for sure that it was NOT Marek's with her before I could re-home him. I absolutely feel for all of you dealing with Marek's in larger and more expensive flocks- I can only imagine how difficult it is. I only have 14 inexpensive birds and this is awful! Right now I just wish I knew for sure what is wrong with her so I could move on with a plan.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Do a search for botulism, or moldy feed. It can also cause paralysis and is not contagious. It only takes the tiniest bit of moldy food. I had a roo that I had put down after discovering the cause and after 2 weeks of treatment, he never got any better.
    A friend had several hens get it- only thing she found was a tiny bit of mold under the feeder. She treated with Vit. E, selenium, charcoal tablets - but they still never truly recovered. Improved, but the neurological damage was pretty much permanent.

    Hope you can resolve the situation. [​IMG]
     
  5. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
    Southern California
    Hmmm... thank you for the other suggestions. It is reassuring to read about other possibilities it could be that would not affect the rest of my flock. I did read about a molasses flush for treating both mold and botulism, but I'm thinking it's too late for that with my pullet. Since I didn't catch it sooner, I doubt there is anything left to flush from her system. I would think the damage is done...? I can't do any sort of treatment for a few days anyway right now, because I am on bed rest after an IVF procedure (I am a surrogate hoping to carry a baby for a couple) so my husband is caring for the animals and kids right now. She's already pretty far gone, so I think we're going to have to cull her and have a necropsy done to know for sure that it is not Marek's- then I can move on, I hope! If only I was having better luck finding somewhere that will perform a necropsy...
     

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