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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25127
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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4-5 year old hen. suddenly blind. lethargic and will take

Customer Question

4-5 year old hen. suddenly blind. lethargic and will take food if put under her beak and touching it. Vent area dirty with feces. pupils black and non reactive to light.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Hazel
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Hazel?
Customer: not that I can think of
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Karen, while blindness is not a common finding in flocks, when one hen is percutely (suddenly) blind either herpesvirus (Marek's disease) or systemic fungal (Aspergillus) infection should be considered. Unfortunately, neither is practical to treat and these hens are invariably culled. Please take a look here: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/#!mareks-disease/c1qzk and let me know if you're seeing any other symptoms of Marek's disease. Diarrhea is such a symptom but not specific for Marek's disease which is more common in the first year of life but can arise at any age.

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