What is Merks?

Must Be Losing It

Lost It
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Uxbridge MA
My chick w/ the splayed legs is not doing so well. Its been a couple days and his leg irons came off on their own today and he's the same as we was. When he had his leg irons I noticed part of one of his feet just did not react to anything and even with the leg irons today he still had that leg going off to the side - worse than yesterday.

I read a post somewhere that mentions Merk. What is that?
Marek's is a viral disease that causes tumors of the central nervous system. I have no idea whether this is what your chick has - I thought they usually had to be older before showing symptoms?? -- but if you search or google with the correct spelling you can find lots of info about it, good luck to you and your chick,

Thanks I just did and you're right, they have to be older not knew hatches. I actually do think he is partially paralyzed in his one leg though.

Mareks is a disease caused by a herpes virus. There is more than one type, but the most common strain is the one that used to be called Range Paralysis. It most commonly starts on the left side in the leg. It can start other places too. The usual "mareks pose" for an effected bird is with their leg sticking straight out the back or side. If it progresses it will effect the other leg and then the wings and then the neck. The birds usually die because they are unable to reach food and water. The mortality rate is high. I have a Mareks survivor. They can sometimes be saved with intensive care, but often they can't.

Keep in mind, that it could very well be something else. I think vitamin deficiencies can cause similar trouble in a young chick. I don't know a lot about that. Hopefully, others can advise you on that. If the baby does have Mareks, I will go into the details of how we saved mine and 2 neighbor birds. But for now I would focus on the other possibilities.
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