7 week old silkie collapsed-please help us.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ajablu, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. ajablu

    ajablu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a beautiful splash silkie , 7 weeks old, that was just found laying down and unable to get up. She has no strenght in her legs and can't hold herself up at all. We are heartbroken and the vet doesn't have a clue. Her poop looks normal.
    She was still eating this afternoon and now doesn't seem to want food or water. She is just laying there fallen over and seems weak. She was eating unmedicated starter and occasional treats of watermelon, some chopped greens and she has been spending time outside during the day so whatever she eats in the grass. My daughter said she had given them few small crumbs of her cornbread. We are trying to handfeed
    food and some water, but she is not real interested. If anyone has any advice we would really appreciate it. At first she seemed as if her legs had just gone weak and splayed out , but now she seems as if she is totally weak all over. So far her Silkie friends seem ok. We are chicken lovers and new to Silkies. They are so sweet. I had chickens years ago as a child at home and recently started a small flock of our own. This is the first problem we have experienced and have been searching for info . We do not know for sure this chick is a she, but my daughters are calling her a she until we know for sure. Please let us know anything we can try to help her.
    Michele
     
  2. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mixing a little sugar in drinking water, and a tiny bit of powdered vitamins, minerals and electrolytes (You can get a pouch of powder at a feed store for about $3--or I'm thinking Gatorade can be a temporary substitute?) can be helpful for energy and strength.
    I am sorry she's having difficulty, and glad she has people who are concerned about her and working to give her the right care [​IMG] I will pray for her & you, also.
    Hopefully others will have some suggestions, too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she could possibly have gotten injured, giving her part of a baby aspirin can help reduce nerve swelling, and vitamin E may help.
    If the iris of her eye seems to be turning grayish, that could also be an indication that it is Marek's disease (also called Range Paralysis). Other signs of that include: Paralysis - slower growth and feathering - usually no signs Lesions: swelling in the peripheral nerves in legs and wings - tumors on some visceral organs.
    Another possible cause: Cholera (Bacterium)--Listless, refusal to eat or drink - Rapid loss of flesh - Diarrhea, severe drop in egg production - Darkened head and combs - Swollen or paralyzed feet, head and legs - Swollen wattles and high temperatures.
    Is she showing any respiratory problems?
     
  4. ajablu

    ajablu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2008
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    Thank you for your reply and prayers.
    My 13 year old daughter and I are still up holding her and trying to get her to take some sugar water. The chicks had been doing great up until now . When they are outside I have a small area fenced for them and there is nothing I see that could have made her sick. She was this way when we got up today and my vet had no idea what is wrong.
    Thanks for your suggestions. If our chick is still with us in the morning I will go to the feed store to see what they have. I thought spraddle leg at first but read it is in meat chickens or young chicks mostly.
    Michele
     
  5. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are right that it would not be spraddle leg.
    Here is a post with other suggestions for helping a young chicken that is acting weak.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=76095
    You might try using the 'Search' menu on this forum to look for other posts on "legs, weakness"
    Wishing the best for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    My first guess would be coccidia, given her age and eating a nonmedicated feed. Coccidia, pending on the type may/may not show blood in stool. It causes weakness and loss of weight. I would get all of them on Amprol/corid and give vitamins,up the protien they eat. Next guess would be some other type worms. Mareks often starts out with one leg affected, looks like they hurt one leg, then goes into paralisis.
     
  7. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    It easily could be a B Vitamin deficiency. Start her on Poly-Vi-Sol drops...1 drop 3 times a day for 1 week, then taper off...

    B Vitamin deficiencies can cause "nerve" problems, including inability to hold weight, walk, straighten her legs, etc...

    Don't know for sure, but it won't hurt her...
     
  8. ajablu

    ajablu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast, PA
    Thank you for the advice. She is a little worse today and I did start the vitamin. I am going to make a trip to get the coccidia medicine also and check out the wormers. We gave her unmedicated feed because we were told Silkies could not have medicated food. Our other chicks do/did get medicated feed.
    She is very weak now and not wanting to eat. She has been drinking from a dropper .
    I think she is in pain now because she is laying on her chest with her rump up and seems to be clenching as if in pain. At times one leg is forward and the other backwards and others time both are back. Can you get Mareks if you have not brought in any new chickens in over a month or have had any people here with chickens? I am going to go read on it more. Her irises are deep brown/black and clear. Her breathing sounds are normal so far, but she does now have diarrhea and seems to be trying to go but not passing anything now so she must have pain and cramps. We are now very worried about our other Silkie babies. We couldn't bear to lose them. We are so attached to our beautiful birds. Do any of you recommend any types of tests or something to see if we can tell what happened and hopefully save our other birds? I have all the Silkies separated from the others birds and this baby is in a box by herself so they do not hurt her since she is weak. If she does not seem to respond I will ask the vet about ending her suffering. It is hard to see them suffer. We are trying to make her as comfortable as we can .
    Thanks again for the helpful advice. We want all the help we can get to try to save her or if we lose her, save the others if possible. She is our first sick chick and it is heartbreaking.
    Michele
     
  9. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    It is so hard when they are sick, I feel for you..A Vet can do a fecal exam, most don't charge too much for that. It would tell if and what type of worm it might be. Mareks is found in nature and can be present at any time, some birds are resistant, many are not, but they will come in contact with it sometime in their life more often than not. If a bird has it, it will be shed in the air from feather dander, so other birds are easily exposed. If they survive it, they will carry Mareks always. It is important to have all birds Vacc. for Mareks at any age, especially chicks. It can be bought through Jeffers Equine and others for about $10. Some people cull the affected birds, I just make sure all birds are Vacc. featherfanciers.com has some good info on Mareks. But lets just stick to the most common problem with chicks, and thats coccidia & worms. Get a fecal and that will give an answer or cross one off the list. Do what Gator said too about the poly-vi-sol. If she won't eat make some scrambled eggs and break into little bites, then put it in her mouth until she swallows. You can also buys some baby bird handfeeding formula at most pet stores, has a lot of good stuff in it..praying for her to get better...[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. ajablu

    ajablu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2008
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    Thank you. I will definitely take a fecal sample to the vet. I bought this chick at about 3 weeks old and have her about 4- 5 weeks now. I never thought to ask the breeder if they had been vaccinated. I did have a lady who told me that bantams, and Silkies especially, could not be vaccinated or given medicated feed, so we thought we were doing the best thing for her. She said she owned and bred some. Does anyone know if this is true about Silkies and is their a book on them we can buy? I have found some on chicken health and diseases and we are buying that and a bantam book.
    She did eat a very small amount of the scrambled egg.
    I also did get the vitamins. Thanks for the website with more info on Mareks. I am going there to read more. I am so glad we found this forum and appreciate all the help.
    So far no grey eye. But she looks as if she could have some of the other symptoms. I was going to post pictures of how she is laying, but have not figured that out yet. I am heartbroken for her and so worried for our other birds. Thanks for the kind words from everyone.
    Michele
     

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