Very sick Chick - sneezes, paralysis...edit*looks like Marek's*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Catsie22, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Catsie22

    Catsie22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Hi-
    I've got an Americana ~ 7week old pullet/chick that has the following symptoms:
    - sneezing (last 3 days) and coughing, w/ clear nasal discharge on day 1 which has since disappeared
    - paralysis....started out as a limp yesterday A.M. and I though she had hurt her foot or leg. Couldn't find any sign of injury whatsoever, but she was otherwise quite perky, eating and foraging with the other chicks in my back yard (they're RIRs and Buff Orpingtons and no one else has shown any signs of problems) However, by yesterday evening she was having difficulty walking at all and this morning, if she tips over she can't right herself.
    - gaping....she's not gasping for breath, but stretches her head forward and up with her beak slightly open - that also started yesterday evening
    - large, full and hard crop
    - has been eating her feed and grass quite well but won't drink on her own. I've been giving her water with tetracycline via dropper since yesterday afternoon. She seems too perk up after water and wants to eat even more. Her poop is firm and normal I think....dark brown with a bit of white and the occasional piece of identifiable grass, and fairly firm.

    She's been bedded on hay and cedar chips in a wire cage outside, brought inside when temp gets low. Getting chick starter (non-medicated) with chick grit mixed in and a bit of crushed corn for scratching...a bowl of mixed sand for dusting and extra grit and access to lots of grass and yard. I'm worried the hay has clogged her crop and that she's getting dehydrated....I've just tried "crop massage" this morning but don't know if I'm doing it right! I don't know if the crop issue is related to the sneezing/paralysis....I've tried to do some research on diseases and am frankly overwhelmed by the number of diseases she might have. So I'm trying to cover my bases by the water with tetracycline and also giving her some infant vitamin drops for supportive care (poly-vis-sol). Doing my best to try to make her comfortable and calm (not too hot, not too cold, etc) but separated from the other chicks if it's something contagious (doesn't seem to mind at all). I've read a bit about giving aspirin in water (maybe help with paralysis if due to inflammation?) and also feeding egg yolk and/or oil for nutritional supplement. Would oil help pass things in the overly full crop? I'm leery of feeding anything more if she's having digestion issues, but also don't want to stress her nutritionally if she's fighting off a disease.....please help!!!
    -Cat
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. Catsie22

    Catsie22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Sorry, I forgot to mention I have no idea if any of the birds were vaccinated for Mareks or anything else....boy, I thought I had done my research before getting these guys, but clearly not [​IMG]
     
  3. kisat

    kisat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, I'm not an expert on diseases, I just had two die on me in the past couple days so I can't help you with that, but I did want give you this link since you mentioned the cedar chips https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=614387#p614387
    I
    had two chicks die and I think it had to do with them being housed at the feed store on the cedar chips before I got them home. If there is one thing I can say it's that no small animal should be around cedar chips.

    Hope someone can help you more though [​IMG]
     
  4. Catsie22

    Catsie22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow...I had no idea cedar chips could be so dangerous....and I'm pretty sure my guys were munching on them and the hay when they were housed in the box in the house....the americana is most definitely the most vigorous forager of the group. I guess supportive care might be all I can do [​IMG] Doesn't explain the paralysis though.....and she's just drank 6ccs of water! I never mind giving animals extra care, but not knowing what's going on is so frustrating.....and fear that I'm prolonging suffering.
    thanks so much for the info,
    -Cat
     
  5. kisat

    kisat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Washington State
    It's understandable. I know I've read info on Mareks about paralysis, but I'm NOT an expert on this. So hopefully someone else can help you out on that, but I just wanted let you know about the cedar. That's why I posted that info last night. I couldn't ever find info on why cedar was bad and the signs and symptoms of the cedar oil poisoning so I figured that it would help anybody else that has questions.

    But I know what you mean. Until I looked up the cedar, and remembered that mine had access when they were babies, it didn't even register and it was frustrating that I couldn't figure out what was giong on. I'm with you. I don't mind the extra care as long as I know what is going on.

    Hmm, looking up info for your crop stuff. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=23087
    And
    another
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=49263

    The woman [Diana] dlhunicorn (on the thread) is great at answering questions so you can try pming her too if you need explanations on how to do things.
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Here's some info on Mareks...

    The nerve version is known by some Fanciers as 'down in the leg', and symptoms range from slight to severe paralysis in the wings, legs, or neck, and usually results in death from trampling by other chickens, and/or the inability to get to food and water. There can be 'transient' paralysis that disappears after a few days, such as a dropped wing that suddenly corrects itself. In the eye version, you'll detect an irregularly shaped pupil, cloudy eye ('gray eye'), or sensitivity to light. It can result in blindness. The visceral version should be considered when a bird is just generally 'wasting'.

    Mareks is extremely contagious but does not spread vertically (to the egg). Youngsters should develop a natural immunity (called 'age resistance'), by the time they're five months old. This is one of the reasons it is important to raise your youngsters separately from your oldsters. The older birds that have encountered Mareks and have managed to survive are carriers. New birds coming in from other flocks are always potential carriers.

    Mareks usually hits between 5 and 25 weeks of age, but can appear even later if the bird had 'latent' MD and is substantially stressed. However, if the bird is a few years old, I would suspect a similar disease called Lymphoid Leukosis (which does pass to the egg). Both diseases will produce internal lesions (or tumors), detectable upon post mortem examination, but LL does not produce paralysis.

    Since it is so difficult to control your birds' exposure to Mareks, (showing, bringing in new birds, airborne spread from other farms), the best course is prevention. That starts with completely sanitizing your brooders. Then consider the Mareks vaccine,
    Overall, the easiest way by keep Mareks out of your flock (but not the most effective), is to promote 'age resistance' by keeping your youngsters separate from the adults and away from the poultry shows until they're over 5 months old.


    I lost a 2 1/2 year old Silkie/Cochin mix to an unconfirmed case of Mareks...She went from limping to being able to move only one wing and her head within a week and a day...One of the only times I can be thankful for a hawk...she didn't linger and get worse.
     
  7. Catsie22

    Catsie22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks guys for the information....I'm planning on calling a vet tomorrow, but seeing as it's Sunday....I can't stand sitting on my hands! Good news on the crop front though - after a few hours of no food and lots of water, her crop has gotten smaller. It's still very hard compared to the others though. I offered her some chick food soaked with water and veggie oil just in case, and offered more water with the dropper too. She's not exactly better, but no worse either so maybe she'll pull through the night.
    Thanks again,
    Cat
     
  8. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    If I were you I would get her off the cedar chips if you haven't already!
     
  9. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    I would get rid of the ceder chips ASAP! That could be your problem. Try that first [​IMG] Good luck! Hope she feels better soon...poor thing!
     
  10. Catsie22

    Catsie22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Oh yeah, she's in a comfy towel now....everybody is off the cedar chips and on just grass or horse hay (so no mold!) Her poops have gotten watery, but I wonder if that's b/c she drank so much water but didn't have food. Her crop is definitely getting back to normal! Thanks for the good wishes,
    -Cat
     

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