Which is kinder? (Mareks)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chloe, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Chloe

    Chloe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2010
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    Hi everyone,

    Im new here, as Ive said on the welcome board I found the site through looking for a cure for Mareks. Well basically I have a blue silkie bantam and she has been down since Saturday, shes paralysed down one side and seems to have a twisted neck. She cant do anything for herself and I have been feeding her food and water since saturday, I have been trying the hypericum (which I only started yesterday) I havnt seen any improvement at all and now Im asking myself would it be kinder to just put her out of her misery, or cling on to the hope that she might pull through? I dont know what to do obviously I am attached to her, and I couldnt do the deed myself, I just cant help thinkin I am being more cruel than kind. Any suggestions please?
     
  2. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old is your Silkie? The reason I ask is because there is a vitamin deficiency that often causes paralysis and wry (contorted) neck in young birds. That is sometimes fixable. Mareks is not fixable. In spite of what you may have read from others about a bird paralyzed with Mareks recovering, it just doesn't happen. Not saying these people don't believe that's the case, just saying that it was either a miracle or another disease misdiagnosed as Mareks. Mareks has been likened to "chicken cancer" - among other things, it causes lesions on the brain causing irreversible paralysis and other neurological issues. It also causes visceral tumors that interfere with normal organ function or attack the organs directly. Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to diagnose Mareks Disease short of a postmortem exam. You can make presumptions based upon the symptoms, but even those can be confused with diseases like Newcastle, Lymphoid Leukosis, and others. If you want to put the effort into hand-feeding, watering, and cleaning the poo off her behind multiple times per day for a week or so, you could try vitamin therapy. You need to know, however, that even if she improves with vitamin therapy, some neurological damage can remain, presenting the prospect of a chicken that may continue to have problems intermittently. Personally, I would cull. As much as I love my birds, I have neither the time nor the energy to provide intensive care for a single bird.
     
  3. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i personally would hope she pulls through [​IMG] . that's coming from someone who can't stand seeing someone else kill a bug, so.....
     
  4. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it all depends on what you're comfortable with ... if you have the time to care for it until the end - if the bird is not in pain or chronic discomfort - and that is what you wan to do , go for it. Bt if it seems as though the bird has a slim chance of recovery - culling is probably the most "humane" option. I hate to see animals suffering -
     
  5. NWChicks

    NWChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new this year to chickens but have already experienced the death of five birds. I was given four of these birds and they came to me ill (though neither I nor the giver knew it at the time). The first one I poured everything I had into her and she died in my hands. The second one I tried very hard to save but her head was twisted back into her body, she couldn't eat or drink, stand up, walk, squawk or roost. I could have continued feeding her by hand but she was in such bad shape that I just couldn't let her suffer anymore. In the meantime my friend who gave them to me found out she had birds from the same source that had Marek's disease. This matched up with what I was suspecting so when I had two more birds begin exhibiting symptoms we put them down fairly quickly.

    I could have nursed them long term but what quality of life would they have had? It was far worse emotionally for me and my kids to watch them suffer even though making the choice to cull was very tough too. Marek's isn't something they can recover from (unless the herbal remedy actually works) so to let them continue to degrade just seemed unnecessarily cruel. Whatever you decide you're comfortable with please know that my last statement was not directed at you, it was my own personal feeling on the matter. Making that decision is hard enough without some person you don't know making you feel worse! [​IMG]

    I appreciated these boards because I posted with a similar question and got similar answers. I think I just needed to know that I was making the correct decision and it was ok.
     
  6. Chloe

    Chloe Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all your replies I do appreciate them. Well she died last night and to be honest Im kind of glad she did, it was an awful thing to watch and i would have culled her if I could have but I just couldnt. I think this is the third bird I've lost. I lost my very favourite hen a few weeks ago and it was devestating. I just dont know what to do I dont want to bring more birds in if this is what is going to happen to them. BTW the silkie was around 2 years old.
     
  7. countrychix

    countrychix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  8. NWChicks

    NWChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] So sorry! On future birds, if you get chicks make sure they're vaccinated at the hatchery and keep them completely away from any area where you had birds with Marek's for at least 10 days. This gives the vaccine a chance to take effect. If you get adult hens at they aren't vaccinated you will probably want to do that and then again, you'll need to keep them quarantined away from your existing flock so the vaccine can kick in. You should keep them quarantined for 30 days anyway so you don't introduce new stuff to your girls. It's a bummer to lose a bird and an even bigger bummer when it's to something that stays on your property like Marek's does. Hope the rest of your birds are ok.
     
  9. Chloe

    Chloe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2010
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    Thank you for the advice. The birds I bought I was told they were vaccinated although I am aware that they may not have been, I have ordered the vaccine and am waiting for it to arrive so I can be sure that Im giving them all the best chance. Can you vaccinate older birds I thought it was only effective on chicks?
     
  10. silkieowner

    silkieowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2010
    could of been possible that your silkie had wry neck a vitamin defiency.
     

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