How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
55012488
Type Your Bird Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My name is ***** *****, I have an old Silkie Rooster that

Customer Question

Hi, my name is ***** *****, I have an old Silkie Rooster that suddenly went Blind, I can't find any tra tram anywhere, he is still in a good mood, and his eyes are clear, he just can't see
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He is about 7 to 9 years old, I cannot remember bow old he is. Biscuit has had many different diseases, The right side of his face has been slightly swollen, but he has been eating good and running around. Now Ive noticed he has lost some weight and he cannot see. He spent almost a year in th house due to injury a year ago, so I bring him in often. He cannot see his favorite treats, he cannot see my husband, he cannot see me, he is trying to look, but he canoot see us
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Bird Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Please take a look at this site: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps031

We can rule out ammonia toxicity, avian pox, developmental disorders, and avian encephalomyelitis out of hand. A nutritional deficiency is unlikely if he's made it to 7-9 years of age. This leaves age-related changes such as cataracts in an elderly rooster, bacterial and fungal infections that have not only involved the right side of his face but also his eyes, neoplasia (cancer) that has not only involved the right side of his face but also his eyes, and the elephant in the room - Marek's disease. In fact, blindness should be assumed to be caused by Marek's unless proven otherwise. The kicker here is that Marek's - while it can affect any age chicken - is far more commonly seen in immature birds. Nevertheless, I've seen variants of this herpesvirus in older birds.

Pragmatically speaking, Biscuit isn't likely to be diagnosed accurately without the aid of an avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) who is also adept at using an ophthalmoscope to examine a chicken's eyes. I admit that that's not commonly done but should be. In fact, the etiology of his blindness might not be determined pre-mortem. There's no treatment for Marek's. If the swelling indicates neoplasia Biscuit gets to be spoiled inside the house until his quality of life isn't acceptable. His weight loss might indicate neoplasia but his inability to find food might well be the culprit too.

Please take a look at the eyes of many Marek's patients here and tell me if you see changes such as these: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/#!mareks-disease/c1qzk I'm going to run Biscuit by a friend of mine who's a specialist veterinary pathologist with an interest in birds.

My friend said the following: "He's an old guy and some old age disease, like cataracts (although they say it was sudden onset) or neoplasia (such as leukosis or Marek's with the weight loss) is my suspicion."

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin

Related Bird Veterinary Questions