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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28503
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our chicken seems to have lost the use of one of its legs.

Resolved Question:

Our chicken seems to have lost the use of one of its legs. It is eating nd drinking and does not seem to complain when I move it.
Please help,
Wayne.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Wayne, at Frank's age Marek's disease (herpesvirus) is the most important differential diagnosis for a paretic (weak) or paralyzed leg in a chicken. Careful exam of that leg from Frank's toes to his hip should be performed but his not complaining when you've looked at it doesn't support an injury. Please review this link and let me know if you're seeing any other symptoms of Marek's disease: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/#!mareks-disease/c1qzk

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your response, I have read through and have noticed that Frank seems to sometimes pant and her crop seem to be small. We found her sitting on a freshly laid egg which was also her first, the shell was extremely weak and she couldnt stand up.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome. Marek's can cause most every symptom imaginable. An atonic crop is possible but not present if Frank's vagus nerve isn't affected in the disease process. Her weakness isn't likely to be of a dietary origin if you're feeding a high quality laying formula. There's no treatment for Marek's. Some chickens will recover; most progress to life-threatening paralysis and are culled. Some suffer peracute (sudden) death. There's no reason to quarantine her because your entire flock has already been exposed and either immune (if vaccinated at 1 day of age, in particular), or carriers of this virus and may or may not ever become clinically ill. Let's see how she progresses. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thanks again for your time.
Fingers crossed!Regards,Wayne.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the photo, Wayne. That one leg forward posture is strongly suggestive of Marek's. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.