What is Merks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Must Be Losing It, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Must Be Losing It

    Must Be Losing It Lost It

    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?
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    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,

  3. Must Be Losing It

    Must Be Losing It Lost It

    Mar 3, 2008
    Uxbridge MA
    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.

  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    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.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    here is a link to a pic of "leg irons":


    you can give Poly-vi-sol baby vitamins (Emfamil)..2 drops on beak for a week, then taper off.

    continue with chick vitamins in drinking water for all the chicks.

    hope the chick gets better.

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