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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28934
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Sick 8 month old rooster.

Customer Question

Sick 8 month old rooster.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Been sick 3 days. Seems disoriented and confused. Sleeping during day...stumbing. having trouble getting around. Not eating or drinking. Not engaged with other two hens like normal. Alone...laying down...not walking around.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Disorientation, confusion, and ataxia ("drunken sailor") aren't symptoms pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder but does suggest encephalopathy (brain disorder) in chickens. We mainly see infectious causes such as Marek's disease (herpesvirus), paromyxovirus, West Nile virus, equine encephalitis and many different bacteria, as well as toxicities including mycotoxins (toxins present in grain molds) and insecticides. Clarifying the etiology of this behavior can be a challenge involving expensive testing with always a very guarded prognosis for functional recovery. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of his 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 rooster. 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 10 months ago.

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