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#85666 - 04/13/05 04:27 PM Cyst and trouble walking
Cinjohn Offline
Feather

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Ohio
I have a black astrolorp hen that will be a year on the 17th of April. About a week ago I noticed a cyst on the side of her head above her ear that is slightly smaller in diameter than a dime - raised, seems to be incapsulated (I can move it around) and it has the appearance of an underripe strawberry - dimpled (maybe where feathers were?). It is not tender to the touch and she actually will close her eyes if you rub her head. In the last few days, we have noticed that she will walk a little, then sit down to eat. Her gait is stiff. I checked her vent to see if an egg was stuck - looks healthy. I am not sure if she has been laying since I am not home during the day to see the activity and we have 17 other hens. She also tucks her tail down when walking and sitting/laying. She seems to be sitting down more right in the middle of the other's activities. I am beginning to become concerned. We lost 3 girls over the winter to internal laying.
Any suggestions/ideas. Thank you!
cindy

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#85667 - 04/13/05 06:07 PM Re: Cyst and trouble walking
Tucson Chickens Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 320
Loc: Arizona
Is it a hard mass? If it is somewhat soft, it may be an infection, i.e. abscess, and you need antibiotics. If it is hard I would suspect a tumor or growth and then it is up to more of a chicken expert.

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#85668 - 04/13/05 08:58 PM Re: Cyst and trouble walking
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Tumors can be a form of Marek's Disease. I lost two unvaccinated hens to tumors that began on their faces. Paralysis often is the main symptom, limping and then going down, unable to walk. Before I started vaccination of chicks, this was a dreaded symptom--sure to lose the bird. So I think first of the worst case scenario. But it can be something else?? CJR

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#85669 - 04/14/05 04:21 PM Re: Cyst and trouble walking
Cinjohn Offline
Feather

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Ohio
Seems to be more of a tumor - hard but moveable. I thought all my hens were vaccinated for Marek's prior to shipping - got them thru McMurray's. If they were vaccinated and maybe they missed one, and she has it, are the others at risk?
They sure brighten my day when I get home - they make any day a fun day!
C

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#85670 - 04/14/05 04:53 PM Re: Cyst and trouble walking
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
The vaccine does not cover all types of Marek's, the paralysis form primarily. The tumor form and the feather follicle forms are far less common. If she has it--all have long ago been exposed, as it is slow to show any symptoms--and sudden death is the only symptom of some forms. Only a necropsy will verify the organ/nerve affected form, nothing you can see from the outside. Your other birds are probably not particularly at risk--only the most virulent forms take much toll in a flock and the tumor form is not considered one of those.
And it may be something else? Pretty hard to react to much when the brief written word is all there is to guess by. Good luck, CJR

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#85671 - 04/15/05 06:11 AM Re: Cyst and trouble walking
Cinjohn Offline
Feather

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for the info - will watch, wait and hope.
We don't have a vet in the area that has much knowledge or experience with chickens.
Cindy

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