Q: Lymphoid Leukosis (Avian Leukosis) Overview
A: Lymphoid Leucosis
Liver cancer, Liver disease, LL
General signs -
Fatigue, weakness, ruffled feathers, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, drop in laying, shrivelled comb, loose poo, death
Cardinal or diagnostic signs -
Post mortem signs may be diagnostic: tumors in liver or other organs, swollen joints
Yes -- spreads through contact, droppings, blood (for example mosquitos), or from hen to chick through the egg. Late feathering birds are thought to be more susceptible to the virus.
Communicability to humans -
Incubation period -
14 weeks, onset usually occurs around laying age
Yes, especially if the virus was passed in ovo from its mother.
Home treatment and/or prevention -
Prevention: Practice good biosecurity. Unfortunately, this disease is difficult to prevent, even with good management practices. Purchase poultry from reputable, NPIP sources that closely monitor their flocks’ health.
Treatment: None. This usually leads to a painful death, although some birds can survive to be carriers and infect others.. Consult your vet to be sure, but generally, this is one of those tragic illnesses where it’s advisable to humanely euthanize affected birds so they don’t infect others. Sanitize the coop and run, and be sure to also sanitize the brooder and/or incubator.
Veterinary care -
None. Your vet can humanely euthanize suffering birds, and may have good advice for sanitizing the coop/run/brooder.
Recovery - No, however some birds can survive to shed the virus.
Other conditions, illnesses and/or diseases with similar signs:
Marek’s disease, pullorum.
Also consider browsing through this list of other chicken illnesses with neurological symptoms.