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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28993
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My Barred Rock is listing and has balance issues X3 days....

Customer Question

Hi Pearl,My Barred Rock is listing and has balance issues X3 days.... She has been losing feathers for a couple weeks now... Not sure what's going on
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the bird?
Customer: She is wobbly on her feet and seems to have balance issues.... For about 2 or 3 days. She has been losing feathers for a week or more
JA: What is the bird's name?
Customer: Zombie 😁
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Zombie?
Customer: No, she's about 2, I have a flock of 5, 2 barred rocks, 2 reds and one Americauna who just got over being broody
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Zombie (!). Her ataxia ("drunken sailor") can result from not only overall weakness due to any number of disorders but also from encephalopathies (brain disorders) of an infectious or toxic nature. Central nervous system infections are relatively common in poultry and can be due to bacterial (Mycoplasma, E. coli, Chlamydophila, e.g.), viral (equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, Marek's disease/herpesvirus, and paromyxovirus, e.g.), and fungal infections as well as environmental toxins.

Most important, while the etiology of her disorder can be determined, it would entail having an avian vet (please see here: perform quite costly diagnostics and in many cases only necropsy will reveal the cause. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Zombie's 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 one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?