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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28939
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Chicks whose bottoms are wet, not poopy. It extends from

Customer Question

Chicks whose bottoms are wet, not poopy. It extends from their anus to their navels or farther. It comes out of the chicks almost clear with very, very little particulate matter in it. They become listless. Eat and drink some but not enough. Any ideas and how to treat it? The down feathers mat to the stomach, the vent is not pasted.
I also need to know...I have a Marek's vaccinated flock. If I buy a chicken that has not been vaccinated, will a vaccination before it enters the new flock help in any way and how much should it get?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need 5 min brb
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am back
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian-oriented vets on the site. The vaccination question is easiest and so I'll start with it. Yes, you can vaccinate an adult chicken and it's given the same dose that a 1 day old chick receives. Just as in people, dogs, and cats, we don't adjust the dose by weight or age when it comes to vaccines. It's important to understand, however, that adult chickens have already been exposed to the herpesvirus of Marek's disease and so the value of vaccinating these birds must be circumspect. The best I can say is that vaccine isn't expected to be harmful.

The presentation of the chicks, however, is more problematic. You appear to be describing the urine portion of the droppings which is more apparent because these chicks aren't eating enough to form feces. At this age, only feces, urates, and urine should be coming from the cloaca (vent). Unfortunately, the chicks' symptoms are important but not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. If you're losing chicks and have a substantial operation, it's very important that a newly dead chick (or a very ill chick which has been sacrificed) be refrigerated (not frozen) until it can be brought to your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory for necropsy. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the birds' financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects a few chicks.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Symptoms of what?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Listlessness, inappetence, weight loss, death...nonspecific symptoms needing an etiology which is determined by necropsy