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#87225 - 05/14/07 06:05 AM Limping Chicken
Anonymous
Unregistered


Desperate for help with our prized year old Silky cock. He is more than just a chicken to us and my wife is very upset.

About 5 days ago he started with a slight limp in the left leg. It got worse within a day so we had a look. Nothing to notice, no injury, no swelling, not warm to the touch, not apparently tender. Day 3 Started antibiotics to imperically treat an infection. examination: feels a bit warm but nothing to note as before.
He now doesn't use the leg at all and hops arround with a useless limb. Further examination revealed muscle wasting and a decrease in tone in the muscle of that leg. Otherwise he seems well in himself. Still eating, drinking, crowing and desperate to join his harem.
No sign's of Garek's disease. Eye neck and wing all good.

Please help we are so afraid we will loose him.

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#87226 - 05/14/07 08:33 AM Re: Limping Chicken
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
It is the first symptom of Marek's Disease. Usually the disease progresses faster after first symptoms appear, so it may not be Marek's.
Usually, the bird's other leg weakens very soon and the bird is down, but will eat and drink, if food and water is right in front of the bird. and appear optimistic until the end, while struggling to get around at times. There is no pain, so no reaction to probing the leg. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, and can stress the immune system, if no bacterial infection is present. Marek's has symptoms that can be sneaky and do not always follow the exact pattern, although most do. I have never had the eye coloration--the virus mutates, does not always cause same symptoms in every bird. Some are tumors, large exterior, or small and interior, not seen without necropsy. Other forms are bumps in the feather folicles--an insidious virus. Since there is no treatment--keep the bird comfortable and fed and watered. Wish it were possible to give better information--and hope for treatment or recovery--very sorry that I cannot.

CJR

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#87227 - 05/14/07 08:51 AM Re: Limping Chicken
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thankyou CJR,
From what I have read it seems you are right.
What can I do about the other hens, and the two 4 week old chicks?

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#87228 - 05/14/07 10:34 AM Re: Limping Chicken
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
All your birds have been exposed, if it is Marek's. The incubation period is at least 2 weeks. Were your birds vaccinated for Marek's at hatch?. If not, it does not mean that any or all will ever show symptoms. Some strains of Marek's are highly infectuous, and most of a flock will be lost, but other strains are not and it may be a year or more before you see symptoms again. Some birds may have some natural immunity to Marek's (not mine, so I vaccinate every chick that hatches).

It just means that you must watch for symptoms--usually the limping is the first sign. You may or may not ever have another case. That is our worry, once it has appeared--and it is a long lived virus, really impossible to sterilize or remove from premises. And your chicks are unlikely to show symptoms (if they have contracted the virus) until they are a little older. (cockerels 12-16 weeks, pullets at just about time for first eggs). I have not had a case in my birds here at home, in the 6+ years I have been vaccinating, but it is not 100% effective. I lost some of my finest birds now and then, until I knew more about the virus! Good luck, CJR

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#87229 - 05/14/07 10:43 AM Re: Limping Chicken
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks very much for your comments and time CJR

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