Weird lamesness/neurological illness ??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JediJinx, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am getting very depressed about the state of my birds. Just when I thought the illnesses had passed, I have now lost a young pullet and about to lose a second.

    These four girls are about 12 weeks old, but they look more like 8 wks due to cocci off and on throughout their growing. I have had them on medicated feed for the last 2 weeks or so. I went out the other morning to find one girl limping around like one leg was paralyzed. I moved her and another one into the garage. Within 24 hours the limping one was dead. Now the second one is lame, barely able to walk. She is weak but still eats and drinks. There are no respiratory symptoms, but the vent feathers seem wet, although I watched them poop and it seemed normal, ??

    She (and the one that died) seem pale in the face (and has looked like that since about 3 weeks old) I thought it was because she has white skin whereas the 4th chick has more yellow skin, but maybe it is part of the illness since the 4th girl is much stronger looking.

    I looked up info on Newcastle and other diseases and watched some videos. To me, it doesn't look like typical Newcastle - there is no twisting neck or head. No stargazing. Her face seems normal, other than closing her eyes and sleeping a lot. Yesterday she was standing up most of the day, now she's laying down on her feet.

    Does anyone have ideas? They were not vaccinated for anything. Arent they too old for Mareks to show up?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sorry for your loss. Newcastles is a disease that is not seen in the US normally. No they are not too old for this to be Mareks--actually it is a common age. Mareks can reduce the white blood cell count that normally would help fight off common infections such as coccidiosis. Have your chickens been on any vitamins? If not I would try some until you know for sure what is going on. In this first of 3 links, there is a section on diseases that can look like Mareks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hi. I would get them un medicated feed, and treat them for cocci IF they are sick. Then start vitamins especially a multi B vitamin. That could be a cause brought on by medicated feed.

    If they limp then die in a short time, I would also be looking into something bad or toxic or moldy that they could have eaten, like Botulism. If they limp and/or have paralysis and still look happy, I would suspect Marek's. 12 weeks is not too late. They can get it at any age, just that the older the chickens are, the less likely it is for them to become symptomatic. My last 2 were 8 months old and got paralysis.
     
  4. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, after reading some, I am thinking it is probably Mareks.

    The one pullet is still hanging on, but I don't expect her to make it. The other two outside are still ok as far as I can tell.

    I am about to give up on chickens and just eat them all. Apparently, it is not my destiny to breed them.
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    IF it's Marek's. You can only know that with a pathologist necropsy. It's a sad sad day when one of us discovers Marek's in the flock. So much death and not being able to help the ones you have. After adjusting to something that you can't change, you make a plan. Mine was to hatch eggs and vaccinate them myself, but I ended up with 7 pet roosters. So at some point when I have less chickens, I will happily get them from a hatchery already vaccinated and no roosters.

    Hang in there and don't let this suck the joy away that owning chickens gives you.
     
  6. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would be shocked if it weren't Mareks based on behavior - the right leg stiffened out, weak, and diarrhea. Almost all of my flock is not vaccinated. It is not going to be a good winter for us.

    In the future we will definitely vaccinate all chicks and keep them inside for 4 weeks.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It would be wise to get a necropsy done just to make sure of the diagnosis. I think it is $80 for a necropsy in Ohio, but not positive. You can ask the state vet's office the details. It would save money to drive the chicken there, and many state vets will euthanize as well. If she dies, refrigerate not freeze the body, and the earlier they receive it the better. Sorry that you are dealing with this.
     
  8. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I will call the vet tomorrow and take the body (if she dies) to be tested. I think they will do it for free but you pay for shipping and cold packs.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  10. CedarCrestFarm

    CedarCrestFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feel awful for you ! As a breeder of heritage poultry, I tell everyone the same message: even if you do not buy from me, please never, ever buy a chick that has not been given the Marek's vaccine. Marek's is everywhere and it is not a question of if they will get it but when. It absolutely sounds like Marek's and especially so if your other birds are dying of the same symptoms. You should keep one of the dead birds bodies to get a necropsy done ASAP. If it does turn out to be Marek's, I am afraid you will need to completely eradicate the disease as best you can prior to bringing home any new chicks.
    Marek's disease can live in the soil, coops, barns, grass.

    Again, I am sorry you had to experience such a sad series of events.
     

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