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Chicken with a torn ligament, HELP!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi All!

 

     I took my chicklet to a vet and was told that she had a torn ligament in her knee. After being crated in a smallish cat crate for ~ 5 days I started letting her out to forage around with her sisters while I kept a close eye on her. I put her back in the crate (which I upgraded to a larger crate about the size of a medium dog crate) when she looked a little pooped out. It looked like there was a little improvement the first couple of days, but now she's not using it at all. She kind of just hops around. I still bring her in when she looks like she's pooped out, and I crate her at night. She's not laying eggs ( I'm sure due to stress), and she has white, chalky poo stuck to her bottom feathers (no sticky butt though).

 

     How long should I expect for the healing process to take? Should I be using the smaller crate so she is unable to stand when she is in it? Is there anything else I could be doing? HELP!

post #2 of 9

Give her a few months.   It takes time to heal..... Increase her calcium/ protein a bit and consider if she would be better with her peers rather than alone...... and please make sure that the crate doesn't have slippery surface which could make her slip and have it further out of place!
 

Remember God's sunshine in your heart. GA farm sell vegetables,goats, bunnies,hatching eggs/babies: turkeys, chinese geese, ducks,guineas,lavender ameraucanas,lavender orpingtons;bbs,white, buff & partridge silkies,Black Copper Marans,BBS Marans,Welsummers,wheaten marans,bbs orpingtons, delawares,etc http://thegarryfarm.yolasite.com  See our BYC listings:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/clas...
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Remember God's sunshine in your heart. GA farm sell vegetables,goats, bunnies,hatching eggs/babies: turkeys, chinese geese, ducks,guineas,lavender ameraucanas,lavender orpingtons;bbs,white, buff & partridge silkies,Black Copper Marans,BBS Marans,Welsummers,wheaten marans,bbs orpingtons, delawares,etc http://thegarryfarm.yolasite.com  See our BYC listings:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/clas...
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you bargain! I am doing all of the of that. I thought that being with her sisters might lift her spirits rather than being alone in a crate all day. We also wanted her to get up and get moving (like in humans, they heal faster the sooner they get up after an injury). I've been giving her some live meal worms for extra protein, but wasn't sure about the added calcium because she wasn't laying at the time. I also put about 4-6 inches of pine bedding in the crate that I put her in at random times throughout the day and at night.  It's reassuring that I am on the right track and it's just time that is going to be the biggest help. Thank you!
 

post #4 of 9

Hi, I think I might be dealing with the same thing. I was wondering how your chicken fared?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Doctor Pammie!

 

It's been a long haul with Chryssy. I initially took her to the vet. She removed some fluid from her leg and gave her an antibiotic "just in case" there was an infection going on. Well, the antibiotic caused a fungal infection (the vet didn't mention that this was a possibility because she said that it was pretty rare). She had a hard time breathing and would eat very little for about 2 weeks. After she coughed up a couple of blood clots she started doing better. Now, she is eating fine and has even started to lay eggs again. However, we are back to square one. She is still limping. So, I can't really tell you how long it would have taken for her to heal under normal conditions. During this whole ordeal she's been living in our downstairs bathroom in a large Rubbermaid container. I have just moved her to a larger space in our garage with a heat lamp.

 

I hear that it'll take approximately 3 months for a torn ligament to heal under normal circumstances if confined and well taken care of. I would try this before taking her to the vet and spending a whole s*** load of money (not that she's not worth it!).

 

I'm so sorry that I couldn't offer a comforting answer. I really hope that your chickie heals naturally and quickly.
 

post #6 of 9

Thank you so much for your quick and detailed response. I am so sorry to hear that it is taking your bird so long to heal and that you had unexpected setbacks along the way. We first noticed our "surprise" rooster limping a little 12 days ago. The next day, the limp was much worse, so we separated him. Two days after that he couldn't stand. My husband and I have researched like crazy (we only started with chickens in mid-July!). We both have a lot of experience with human, horse and canine injuries and after LOTS of examination, we are pretty sure it's some sort of soft tissue injury. Our guy hasn't stood on his own in exactly a week. We have made a sling for him to rest in when we're home and because he's down so much, we have bathed his bum a lot so he's gotten used to being wrapped in a towel and resting on my chest (with his feet in the right position.) It's only his left leg. Friday we thought we were going to have to put him down when we left for work, but he's showing tremendous improvement. Still can't stand, but he's grasping at things with that claw, flapping his wings more, and he now has a full range of movement in that joint (the knee?) and will even bend it on his own. Now that we can see it improving, we're wondering how to rebuild his musculature since he's lost weight all around and seems weak in both legs more than likely from not using either of them. We're hoping the sling has helped with circulation and tonight was the first night where he used his legs to push his body down to eat off the ground. It probably seems silly with everything else going on in the world right now, but we have sacrificed almost our every spare moment to this rooster (that we didn't identify as a rooster until about 3 weeks ago, even though he's almost 7 months old! Ameraucana--hard to tell!) either with his care or researching possible diagnoses/treatments. We haven't even seen our horses in 10 days because they're boarded away from our house and we rush home to be able to let our 4 healthy girls roam and to put him out in the grass with whatever little day light is left after work. Gees, if someone had told me this time last year that I'd be so attached to this small flock, I'd have laughed. Now I can't imagine my life without them. Anyhow, thank you so much for your time and if you have any other ideas or insights, I'd love to hear back from you. Meanwhile, good luck with your girl!  Pam

post #7 of 9

I agree to give her time, a few months is not unusual. I would not place her in a crate that did not allow her to stand or move around, such a small area would do more harm than good...plus it would stress her unnecessarily.

 

I would put the crate in with the other chickens so they can visit and talk to each other and at night so she is not so isolated.

 

I had a wyandotte with an leg joint injury that I crated for 6 weeks in order to keep her from jumping up and down from the roosts. She did heal and all the extra work was worth it. Good luck to you.

Sounds like you are doing everything right.

My Girls: 2 senior hens and 16 new babies!!  5 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Delawares, 4 Black Astralorpes, 4 Gold Sexlinks and a rescue hen of undetermined heritage.

 

I also share my life with the best husband in the world and a remarkable lab mix, Maggie.

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My Girls: 2 senior hens and 16 new babies!!  5 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Delawares, 4 Black Astralorpes, 4 Gold Sexlinks and a rescue hen of undetermined heritage.

 

I also share my life with the best husband in the world and a remarkable lab mix, Maggie.

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I wish I could have offered more help. I'm so glad to hear that your little rooster is doing better. I completely understand the time and attention needed. It seems as if I have spent more time with my chickie these past 4 months than I have with my family (it's a good thing they love animals as much as I do and that they are so understanding). I too am very attached to my girls. They make me laugh every day.

 

Do you have the book "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens?" It's the #1 book on how to raise chickens. Every chicken owner that I have talked to has this book and highly recommends it. Good luck, and please keep us posted on how you and your roo are doing!

post #9 of 9

Thank you. I know what you mean about having understanding family members. It's just my husband and me, so our animals are like our little family since we have no children. 

 

I do have that book and have found it to be incredibly useful. It hasn't been much help with this particular problem, but it did give us great advice on how to bathe our guy. :)  Boy, I was so surprised to find that he really actually seems to enjoy it and doesn't squirm at all. :)

 

Every time we think it's going to be time to send him to that great roost in the sky, he rallies. For the last 3 days he was having, shall we say, some "gastric" problems. I was convinced that if things didn't start to normalize by today, that today would be his day. Sure enough, this morning we had evidence of "normalcy" and him looking at us like "where's breakfast?" His injured leg is recovering its mobility--that much we can see improving from day to day. Now that the digestion issue seems to be resolving, we're wondering how to help him rebuild his strength. For the first time today, we left him in his sling with access to food/water for the entire time we'll be at work (we are both teachers.) He got used to the set up pretty well over the past week, but he has only been in it for 3 hours at a time at the longest. Hopefully, he'll be fine.

 

Meanwhile, I told my husband this morning that if we do end up losing him, he will have served one huge purpose in his short time on Earth:  my education. Even though we've had some interesting issues at our school after last Friday's events, and I've had final exams at the college where I work a second job, I think I've probably put in 30 hours or so researching so many different "chicken health" issues that I have learned a ton. If we lose him, he will have done me a huge favor by forcing me to educate myself that much further.

 

Meanwhile, I hope your baby is doing better. I am terrible about the pictures since we don't have "smart phones." Oh well!

 

Take care!  Pam 

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