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I lost a rooster this evening in a similar way I have

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I lost a rooster...

I lost a rooster this evening in a similar way I have 2-3other young hens. They are fine until one day they become lethargic, weak, cannot standup and then by the next day they just die. I do not see it happen to several of them, just one at a time and it can be months apart. This rooster I lost today was born early May, very healthy and energetic until 2 days ago. Two other hens who experience exactly the same s/s and came from the same farm died ~2mos ago. I have lost a total of 4 hens with this same s/s prior to the rooster...the other 2 came from a hatchery and were about 7 mos old....what could this be?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?

The rooster's name was Aston Martin. The hen I lost last month was Elizabeth

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Aston?

Just it was a very quick illness...as soon I realized what was happening I knew I would lose him by this evening and i did. He was so weak the other hens would knock him over just walking by him...

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
12/19/2017
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 34,846
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

My condolences for your losses. This must necessarily be conjecture because I haven't been able to examine these birds hands-on but my initial thought would be Marek's disease (herpesvirus). Please review this synopsis and let me know if you saw signs of Marek's as mentioned there: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/mareks-disease

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
He(nor any of the ones I have lost) experienced paralysis.... he was walking, very clumsily and would fall over, he would try to run to the food but then had a hard time eating; he loves bread crumbs, so I tried to see if he would eat them and later I found him standing there with a piece of bread partially eaten in his mouth. 2-3 days a go he was fine.
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. Paresis (weakness) and ataxia may not proceed to paralysis. In fact, these birds can suddenly die without any prior signs. If you have a sizeable flock and see another bird in this condition (or find a fresh carcass and refrigerate - not freeze- it) please consider sacrificing it and having it necropsied. This is the most expedient manner in which to determine cause of death and how the rest of your flock might be addressed. Any vet can arrange to have a necropsy performed, your local county poultry extension office might be helpful, or you can bring a bird to a county animal disease diagnostic laboratory (if you're lucky to have such a laboratory) or to a veterinary teaching hospital pathology service.

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