2 year old hen loosing use of legs but returns ?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bevis, May 17, 2019.

  1. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    I have a 2 year old americana that i found in the hen house a couple months back, laying on her side on the floor with her legs outstretched and stiff. i thought this was going to be a life ending event. we put her in a nesting box and tried to get her legs under her so she would be proped up and expected to find her dead the next morning. To my total shock :eek::eek::eek::eek:, the following morning she was walking around the hen house in the morning. I looked at her and thought " that just can't be ".

    I talked to two crows about it and she thought she may have banged her head causing loss of legs temporarily . 2 days ago, we found her in the exact same condition in the middle of the hen house and put her in a dog kennel in the hen house for the night. the following morning we moved her to the small baby run so the other girls would not pick on her. This time no such miraculous overnight improvement . yesterday she had regained the use of the left leg and was sitting upright but when she stands and tries to walk, the right leg is not working and she falls over. she is eating and is very strong and healthy otherwise. her eyes are crystal clear and not cloudy and her comb is normal.

    this morning when i took her out of the kennel she had an egg attached to her bottom from poop being stuck to it. i took the egg off her and immediately washed her bottom in warm water and put her in the baby run on some hay. she's not very receptive to being approached and never has been and she tries to escape my presence as best she can when i go in the baby run. she is still very strong.

    also this morning her crop was still full and i was concerned that if that does not empty, we were going to be looking at future sour crop. i just took her some applesauce, scrambled eggs, tomatoes and banana in a bowl and noticed that she is pooping. so thats a plus. as i was holding her as i was washing her bottom, i put her feet on my fingers to see if she would grip them..nope ...

    I have been reading threads for 2 days and i have seen posts about using antibiotics for such a problem but I'm not sure thats the right approach. The flip side is, i have no clue what is causing this or if she hit her head again. I just have no clue. My girls are pets not livestock so culling is not an option.

    Im unsure of how to proceed .
    Any help or insight is appreciated.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would suspect Mareks disease. It can cause paralysis in one or bith legs, and in some rare cases, the paralysis can disppear completely. Later symptoms can return. Tumors can form along the nerves in thr legs, in organs, and some may cause the crop and gizzard and intestines not to work. More commonly people seem to see paralysis in one leg. Hopefully it is not Mareks, but that is best diagnosed after death with a necropsy by your state vet.

    Egg binding is something else that can cause a temporary paralysis of the legs. Since you found an egg stuck to her, I would hope that she might get better soon if egg binding was the cause.

    Here is some reading about Mareks disease:

    https://extension.psu.edu/mareks-disease-in-chickens

    https://www.extension.umd.edu/sites...Preventing Mareks Disease in Small Flocks.pdf

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
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  3. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    she was not egg bound. she had laid the egg and it was stuck to her bottom with dried poop because she is not ambulating very well. as far as mareks, i have read that a very common symptom is cloudy eyes. her eyes are crystal clear. that does not mean that she doesn't have it but her eyes are very clear.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Actually there are 4 types of Mareks: the type that affects eyes, the nerve type, the skin type, and the type that causes tumors in organs. The eye or ocular type is not seen in a lot of cases, and if it is, the eye color changes to grey and the pupil may appear irregular. Mareks can have different symptoms in each bird, and can be hard to diagnose positively without testing after death, since other diseases can mimic it. I really hope that she doesn’t have Mareks, but it is a possibility.

    I would make sure that she can reach her food and water. Sometimes a chicken chair or sling can be helpful with a lame chicken. Some will try to escape them, but they can be helpful to get them upright, keep them cleaner, and to help them eat and drink by placing food and water bowls in front. Here is a good link with many pictures and a video of homemade slings:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    The first time she couldn't walk and you put her in the nesting box - she could walk the morning after - did she lay an egg then too?

    The egg that was stuck to her this morning - was that a whole egg or a soft shell egg?

    Feel her abdomen for bloat/swelling or feeling of fluid. The crop not emptying you would want to address that too. Often a crop that is not functioning well is due to an underlying condition.
    Marek's does come to mind as well since this is a repeat in a fairly short period of time. Eggcessive has given you some good information.

    Here's some reading about crop problems. http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
    Eggcessive likes this.
  6. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    I have her in the baby run on some hay. i put a waterer in front of her and a bowl of food. she ate all the food and she scooted up to drink. she's sitting upright with her legs under her. i will check her closer in a bit. I'm trying not to stress her anymore than i have to.
     
  7. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    The first time she couldn't walk and you put her in the nesting box - she could walk the morning after - did she lay an egg then too?

    not sure as we have 28 girls and we have no idea who is laying or not


    The egg that was stuck to her this morning - was that a whole egg or a soft shell egg?

    it was a complete normal egg. i busted it and it had a normal hard shell and normal yoke.

    Feel her abdomen for bloat/swelling or feeling of fluid. The crop not emptying you would want to address that too. Often a crop that is not functioning well is due to an underlying condition.

    i think her crop emptied this morning after i got her out of the dog kennel. i will verify further.

    Marek's does come to mind as well since this is a repeat in a fairly short period of time. Eggcessive has given you some good information.

    will get to reading those links

    Here's some reading about crop problems. http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments

    i have way more experience with crop problems than i ever wanted and have had to deal with them in the past. impaction, sour and doughy. two crows instruction has saved more than one of my girls and i have learned so much from her. her spice mix and or colloidal silver have been life savers.


    I sure appreciate all the help i get here on BYC.
     
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  8. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    update : yesterday she started getting more active and she is standing up and putting pressure on her right leg. it appears that the hip is working now but not the lower leg yet. she's certainly trying to get it back working. i have not given her anything medicine wise. just feeding her fruits / veggies and eggs. i will keep up the same treatment to see if she continues to improve. her crop is emptying every day so theres no crop issues yet thankfully.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    That is good news and sounds promising. I would make sure that most of her diet is chicken feed to get all of the nutrients and vitamins she needs. Most chickens will eat it better if it is made wet with water, if they are not taking the dry well. But eggs are really good as a small treat.
     
  10. bevis

    bevis Songster

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    I don't have any illusion that she will fully recover but you never know. We go to the feed mill 60 miles north of here to get our feed because they make it on the spot. Its mash feed that can be wetted but the flock always gets it dry. She has that in the baby run with her today. My gut tells me that she may have had a 2nd stroke and will have to live alone the rest of her life. I think if i let her back into the flock, they are going to recognize that she's hurt and attack her. Its certainly sad but she's otherwise healthy as a horse. We will see what happens. I could put another americana in with her but i don't know how that would work out and i would be punishing the other girl because she would be babysitting long term.
     

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