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Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 592
Experience:  full time veterinarian at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
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I have a newly acquired chicken that gradually lost her

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I have a newly acquired chicken that gradually lost her balance and now lays on one side. It started with one wing. She can move her feet but cannot stand upright. She eats if I hold her up. Is this probably Marek's disease? I don't think she was injured .

Hi this is Dr. Hill. There is a strong possibility of Marek's disease with that history. Do you know if she was vaccinated?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No she was not

Hi. I am checking in on Ivanka. Any improvement?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No she has not improved. Other than Mareks is there anything else it could be?

Bacterial or viral infection are other possibilities. It is best to have some bloodwork done at your local veterinary hospital to help determine underlying disease. Would start with physical exam and then baseline chemistry and CBC. If she passes away or you decide to euthanize, then I would definitely have a necropsy to help determine cause and if the other birds are at risk. Sorry Ivanka is still so sick. take care

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No improvement so probably will be put down. I am not willing to pay for additional veterinary care.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Your messages keep going in my junk mail so it takes me awhile to find them. I read in the Chicken Health Handbook that Marek's can be dormant in the chicken's system and get activated by stress. If that is true then maybe it explains Ivanka's illness since she was moved put under stress.

Yes. Marek's disease can be dormant for even years and later manifest as cancer. It is best to get chicks that have been vaccinated for Marek's at a day old. I have nine chickens and made sure all were vaccinated. I felt it was the best way to try and guarantee their continued health. The virus is in the environment and vaccination is the only way to protect the chickens if they go outdoors. A necropsy could give you the answer and if your other chickens are at risk.

Kelly Hill and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK thanks for the information.