Hoping you can provide us with some suggestions for our very frustrated lame hen.
Around 2 weeks ago our hen Petunia (about 3 years old, warren) contracted an infection of some kind. At first we thought she was egg bound as she was very listless, didn't seem to like walking and had lost interest in food and drink. We tried a few things, but after a couple of days realised it wasn't that as she started pooping what looked like egg yolk and besides from getting progressively weaker was doing this wierd thing with her neck.. Her eyes would glaze over and her head would slowly slide backwards into her shoulder blades, almost as if she was hypnotised. So, because of the yolk poop we instead thought it was EYP and so feared the worst.
However, 5 days after she started going downhill, when she was at her weakest she suddenly decided she would like to eat food again. At first all we could get her to eat was (her favourite) Cheerios in milk/yogurt and she was so weak we had to almost push her head into the food, but eat she did. It is now a week later and she is very much back to her normal self and eating proper mash and corn however, whatever infection she had has had an unwanted side effect - it's made her lame.
At first we just assumed it was because she was still weak and building her strength back up, but she has made no attempts to use her legs at all. When trying to do my own research the first thing that pops up is mareks disease however I'm not convinced that is it. For one no other hens in the flock are showing symptoms (although she has been isolated from the others since she became ill) and second her legs are not splayed about in different directions, but curled up neatly underneath her like a cat and her feet are curled up, and pretty rigid. When you pick her up the feet remain curled and she doesn't make any effort to move her legs. They are warm though and you can feel a bit of muscle twitching going on.
I'm not really sure what to do going forward as she is getting very frustrated. We currently have her in a make shift sling but she is starting to injure herself; I can tell she wants to move around as she is very flappy and tries to use her wings as leverage to move around.. Which of course she can't so they are getting very bruised.
Has anyone come accross this kind of thing before? I'm loathe to put her down as she is otherwise so feisty, and clearly doesn't want to give up!
Thanks in advance,