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Hen with leg/knee pain-- puffy knees and difficulty walking

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

For a while now one of our Jersey Giants, Helga, has had a great deal of trouble walking-- she hobbles as she would if she had arthritis (for all I know, she might-- I know that breed is rather prone to knee/hip injuries because of their weight). If we call the flock for food, she will break into a lumbering run, but usually she tries not to walk at all, and it's clearly painful when she does. She tends to stay sitting when she can.

 

Today I examined her legs to see if I could see any signs of leg mites or anything, as I noticed her leg scales were turning white. She flinched when I touched the backs of her legs, but she really drew back when I touched her knees. Her knees seem puffy and bumpy as well.

 

Anybody have any ideas? I've tried researching it with no luck.

 

Thanks so much!

post #2 of 6

Welcome to BYC.  Can you post a picture of her legs close-up--check the medium size box. Viral tenosynovitis arthritis and mycoplasma synoviae can cause swelling of the joints and walking on elbows or hocks.  A sprain or leg mites could also cause problems.  Leg mites are generally treated once a week with warm soapy water, and a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush.  Then dry legs well, and apply a vegetable oil, vaseline, or castor oil to the leg scales and rub in well.  Here is some reading:

 http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/164/viral-arthritis

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/mycoplasmosis/mycoplasma_synoviae_infection_in_poultry_infectious_synovitis.html

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the help! Here's pictures.

 

 

post #4 of 6

Mareks disease can cause lymphomas in the legs and elsewhere.  Here is a link--click on gross lesions:  http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502   Chickens with mycoplasma synoviae can lie down a lot of the time, and develop blisters on the breast.  Sometimes they can have respiratory symptoms, or no symptoms at all besides sore joints.  There is no treatment for viral arthritis, but MS is treated with Tylan 50 injectable 1 ml daily injected into the breast muscle or Gallimycin (erythromycin) in the water.  It would be best to get her tested through your state vet (if you are in the US) or local vet to find out what is wrong.  Here is a link for that:  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/participants.shtml

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the help! I'll look into this.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

She still has this problem, and now her poor feet are twisting and bending. Poor thing. It might be staphylococcic arthritis-- at least that's what I'm treating her for now. Hopefully she improves. 

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