7month Delaware has paralized legs....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katkan, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. katkan

    katkan Hatching

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    Jun 16, 2010
    We are new to chickens and live in the city but have a huge yard and an awesome coop. We got three chickens when they were about 4 months old and have had no problems. They all seem happy and healthy. The only weird thing is that MH (the Delaware) had eyes that were always a little more closed than the other chickens. Seemed she could see fine and always acted normal, just always kind of at half mast. Shes super friendly too, loves to be touched and interact with you. She started laying later than the other two, at about 6.5 months, and her eggs are strangely shaped. Very long and thin for chicken eggs. I'm not sure if that's connected but I thought it worth mentioning. Is there any way the eggs shape can have adverse effects or get stuck somehow?

    A few days ago she started walking funny. I though she had hurt her leg somehow and of course it's going to be hard for a chicken to walk with only one leg and she was flapping her wing as though to balance herself. She was still eating and drinking. Today she cannot walk at all and does not react when I touch her feet. I don't think she has eaten today and I have had to syringe an electrolyte/vitamin water mix into her to get her to drink anything. She is inside now away from the other chickens in case she has Mareks or something. She is also usually the noisiest bird you've ever heard and now it sounds like she's losing her voice, like when a person does and it gets very hoarse. Should she be laying still?

    I used to be a vet tech and the only think I have ever seen which compares to this is when a cat throws a clot and it gets stuck in the T in the pelvis area where the blood vessels split and they are paralyzed from the waist down. We don't know much about chickens and I can't afford to take her to the bird vet but I would like to do everything I can for her. She's a great chicken and I don't want her to suffer.

    Thanks to anyone who can help my Moneyheney.
     
  2. RuffledFeathers

    RuffledFeathers In the Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    Hi

    Sorry your bird is sick! I just lost one this AM (13 weeks old), and I am not positive what it was this time, but I do know I have Marek's in the flock. So Marek's TYPICALLY affects just one leg or one wing or one side and not both at once. The classic presentation is one leg stretched out in front and one behind- does your bird sit that way?
    Eggbound usually shows a stance like a penguin and also you may see a swollen and red backside, so that doesn't sound right from your description. Losing her voice is a weird symptom. Marek's birds with the nerve paralysis form mostly eat and drink well if you can keep them within reach of the bowls, but there are other forms of the disease. There is the ocular form (grey eye) and the type that causes internal tumors. This is the type I have in my flock, so the birds are fine and then out of the blue one will stop eating, act sleepy, and die within just a few days.
    Not every bird dies from Marek's, but it is so unpredictable. All your birds have already been exposed, but it is better to keep the sick one separated so you can make sure she is not trampled or picked on, and kept warm and safe. I have lost 3 birds in 3 years (out of 30) so it is not taking my whole flock out like a bad respiratory disease, at least.

    Keep her hydrated, do the yogurt, vitamin/stress supplement, all the usual care that the backyard chicken keepers recommend, and hope for the best. If it is Marek's there is nothing that a vet can do for you anyway. I love my chickens, but I do feel I have to be a little practical about sick birds since I bought unvaccinated chicks. I aim for comfort and quality of life and I try to be realistic about what I can really help cure.

    I hope you find out it is something other than Marek's and she gets better for you! Keep us posted.
     
  3. katkan

    katkan Hatching

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    Jun 16, 2010
    Thanks so much for the info!
    You said to do the "regular chicken keeping stuff" to keep her comfy and so on. What is the regular stuff? We really are new chicken keepers and this is the first trouble we have had so I'm not really sure what I should be doing for her. I am concerned that she is not eating at all. Is there a special food that she might eat instead or some kind of chicken treat she can't resist?
     

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