Sorry for the long post- just trying to include all symptoms up-front. I'm hoping someone can help diagnose this for me.
I have a silkie who has sudden hindlimb paralysis but no other signs of disease (bright eyes, alert, eating a little, poo is normal, abdomen feels normal/don’t feel an egg stuck/not straining to pass anything). I put her in the bathtub on some folded towels with food in easy reach, so she has some friction/can move around a little. She doesn’t seem to be overly poofy (for a silkie) or in pain… just can’t bear much weight on her legs. She does have a grip reflex when I touch her footpad, and she pulls away if I pinch her toe. She is lethargic, but able to flap & spread her wings for balance when I hold her upright.
She had a full crop yesterday evening when I found her unable to move, and was acting normal yesterday morning when I left for work, so I know she had been eating recently. Crop was basically empty this morning and she had normal droppings overnight.
Should I just keep her separated and treat it as an injury/see if she recovers, or should I be getting her tested for Marek’s right away? Her vision is fine from what I can tell and her eyes look bright and normal (they are black, so can’t really tell if there is color variation). Are there other diseases that cause hindlimb paralysis in poultry?
My flock is from Cackle hatchery- I don’t know if our feed store has them vaccinated for Marek’s or not, but could find out. The other 10 chickens (all are larger, heritage breeds) are healthy and normal. I’m hoping one of the bigger girls just stepped on her and sprained her back or something of the sort- she is always under foot. None of them are aggressive towards her, or any of the others, really… all pretty docile.
I am lucky enough to work with animal experts- including a large animal vet who sees chickens and a PhD in poultry science, so I have sent emails to them. If I don't hear back I will call my family veterinarian, who does see pet birds and the occasional pet chicken. Thought I would check with the poultry experts first, though.
Any other ideas/advice?
Thank you for any help!
Edited by RoxyBird - 3/7/13 at 9:11am