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Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:58 pm
by estepeste
Hi all
I have lost 2 chicks approx 12 weeks of age in last couple of weeks.
Third one going downhill fast.
Symptoms included phlegm, struggle to breathe, off balance. This 3rd Barred Rock chick is keen to eat but has now gotten to the point where she has trouble getting up once fallen over. Once she is up she can walk ok (with sort of a limp).
What is the time frame for Mareks? Does it go quick or like week?

Is there any way to vaccinate any chicks or only the shavers that come from hatcheries?

Are my older chooks likely to get it?

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:53 pm
by wolga
Sorry to hear about your birds. There have been several post regarding Marek's
But this link is quite informative too. ... isease-faq

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:56 pm
by Marina
These symptoms don't sound like Mareks at all. I've never had a case of Mareks with a discharge or difficulty breathing. This sounds like a respiratory infection. There is something going round - don't know what it is - but it is treatable with antibiotics.

Most respiratory diseases are viral (like infectious bronchitis which usually goes away by itself within 6 to 8 weeks) but there currently is an epidemic of this bacterial infection. If you have already lost 2 chicks with the same symptoms I'd try to source some antibiotics. I'm not usually in favour of consulting a vet but I think it could be worth it in your case. You might know someone near by who's got antibiotics at hand but most people don't. Or, if you have purchased them recently - why not ask the seller - he/she may be able to help.

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:35 am
by estepeste
Thanks Marina. Chick is still alive. This 3rd one has no respiratory discharge. Getting lamer and lamer. Can't stand up now. Still eating well. Have had her at vet, who indicated viral (lack of fever = not bacterial?).
Does this bacterial thing going around come with fever?

I think this poor pullet might have to be culled. I just hope the rest of the flock doesn't follow suit. So far only the young ones have succumbed....

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:32 am
by Marina
Eating well and lameness that sounds like Mareks - unfortunately.

I find that very confusing what the vet said. Viral because no fever? Of course you can have fever with viral infections. Influenza is a viral disease and it comes with high fever in severe cases, mild fever in mild cases.

That bacterial thing that's going around comes with snotty noses and pussed eyes. I haven't had a case so haven't seen it personally. I don't know whether it comes with fever or not.

Sorry to hear that you've got such problems with your young ones. Older birds often are immune to common things that go around.

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:49 pm
by estepeste
Hi thanks for your reply. I don't think the vet meant that viral infections don't have fever, just that most bacterial infections would be accompanied by fever.

There is no fever though and by the look of her now I'd say Mareks. Does it progress relatively slowly? Think she was ok about a week or so ago. Totally lame now.

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:52 pm
by estepeste
It is encouraging that the rest of the flock is looking ok (touch wood).
In fact the 14 week old North Holland Blue cockerel is doing his business with the hens!
He hasn't even crowed yet!

Re: Marek's - progression?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:50 pm
by Marina
The paralysis form of Mareks can be sudden or gradual (over a few days). Mareks is a cancer caused by a virus. Ok, that wasn't clear with the fever then.

It's good to hear that your other chicks are ok. Mareks hits earlier in life than it used to. Once upon a time it was transient and hit between 16 and 20 weeks. These days (with the modified viruses in the Mareks vaccine) chicks as young as 6 weeks can show symptoms. Once they are past the 5 month mark they are usually safe.