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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25135
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She can't walk and this has been going on a month. At first

Customer Question

She can't walk and this has been going on for almost a month. At first it seemed like she was having seizures. But she is doing a lot better now.....still can't walk. Now she looks like she has a blood blister at the base of her tail feathers and is really sore.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: She`s about a year and a half.....not laying eggs. Appetite comes and goes, but she is doing better. Comb seems a little pale today. Her eyes are very clear.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Can you tell me, please, if her legs are paretic (weak, but she can move them) or, instead, paralyzed (she can't move them)? The uropygial gland is found at the base of her tail feathers. It's an unusual gland to become problematic in chickens unless another chicken pecked her in that area or her immobility has caused a "bed sore" there.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She can move both of her legs now.....as a matter of fact she is pretty strong. She wants to hold her right foot up when I try to stand her and when she puts it down it wants to go inward towards the other foot. She can't stand on her own at all. I did research and some of it sounds like Marek`s disease. She does have a nodule on her back at the base of her tail feathers and what looks like a blood blister.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have had her seperated from the others since day one.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Just thought you should know that she was having problems with not using the bathroom and was really red and distended on her underside but I gave her several warm baths with epsom salt and she hasn't had any problems in the past 5 days.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Yes, Marek's is my most important differential diagnosis and it sounds as if she's one of the few that can recover from it. It's going to depend upon the extend of her nerve damage. That nodule is the uropygial gland. Do your best to keep it clean and uninfected. Chlorhexidine (over the counter Hebiclens in your local pharmacy) is a good choice for lavaging that area twice daily.

Be patient with her. Her prognosis is necessarily very guarded. There's no treatment for this virus. Therapy is supportive only and it sounds as if you've done quite a good job managing her. Quarantining her isn't essential but does protect her from bullies. Unfortunately, all of your birds have been exposed to Marek's at this time. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have Terramycin that I put on another chicken that got attacked by a raccoon. Is that okay?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Teramycin ophthalmic ointment? It's OK as is a triple antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin or Neosporin.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I had to put her down.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I understand. I had hoped she would be one of the few who could recover. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

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