Urgent! Does this sound like Mereks disease?? Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Picklestix7866, May 18, 2011.

  1. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my five year old Silkie roosters (Homer) seems to have a paralyzed leg. He can hop around but he can't seem to move his left leg on his own. He holds it out straight behind him when he hops. His eyes are bright and he's eating/drinking. I haven't gotten any new birds for a year so I haven't introduced it into my flock.
    I might also be paranoid but one of my other 5 year old Silkie hens seems to be limping, like her leg might start to become useless like my rooster Homer [​IMG]

    Is there a way to test for Mereks? Like if I brought him to the vet could they do something like a blood test?

    Please tell me I'm being paranoid. I love my little flock. I've had them forever [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Have you checked them for lice? That would be my first look as it can bring them down fast and tis the season
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Birds with mareks will also be lethargic, so they aren't likely to be hopping across the yard to get their food and water. Lice or mites are things to check for, as well as injuries.

    There are no lab tests for mareks, only necropsy.
     
  4. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I wasn't imagining it. One of my other Silkies, this time a hen, is now limping. She can still walk on her leg but it looks to be getting worse.

    IF it is Mereks, am I screwed? Will all my birds end up getting it? I have about 8 five year old Silkies, 3 one year old Wyandottes, and a couple brown hens and ugly Polish mixes from different places. As far as I know none were vaccinated for Mereks (I know... stupid). I've had them all for at least a year so none were newly introduced.
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Are any of them gasping?
     
  6. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I don't think so. The only thing that really fits the Mereks diagnosis is the limping/paralyzed legs. Otherwise they seem healthy enough. That's why I'm confused... [​IMG]
     
  7. Noncentzter

    Noncentzter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they have mareks they don't move, they don't eat unless it's right in front of them...if he's hopping around, it isn't mareks.
     
  8. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He used to be hopping around but these last two days he hasn't moved from his spot unless I make him. [​IMG] He'll eat if I put water and food in front of him but he used to hop around a little. He hasn't lately though.
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I don't know if it's Marek's, if you don't have any new birds.

    My first instinct would be to toss the feed, or maybe they've eaten something moldy.

    I just had 2 six week old chicks (out of 10) lose the use of their legs-like overnight. They were still eating and drinking. And they were doing this gasping thing like every 5 seconds. The gasping got worse, so I euthanized them.

    2 years ago I had a silkie roo that started limping and then his legs got paralized, and it worked it's way up, then his neck couldn't aim his head for the food. All the while he was happy and alert. Broke my heart. The vet said "EEE", which could be, but I thought Marek's was a possibility too. He was 2 years old. The only one out of 20 chickens that it happened to.

    I think alot of chicken illness is never figured out.
     

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