bad leg seems to be contagous?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by alice, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. alice

    alice Hatching

    Sep 28, 2007
    i have a hen about a year old and she seems to have a bad leg we had a close look at her but nothing except the leg looking weak and limp she is struggling to get around and now a weeka nd a day later on of my chicks about 8 weeks old now seems to be suffering the same noticed this morning!!?!?!?!
    any ideas what i should look for or do?
    i have not had chickens before and am not sure where to look or what for??
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Is it a paralysis? Did it progress or did the hen recover? Could it be mericks disease? Good luck.
  3. alice

    alice Hatching

    Sep 28, 2007
    haven't found a tick yet what do they look like wehre should i look the hen is still hobbling about but not well she seem to be eating and pooing?
    her leg just looks like it is no use she moves it but puts no weight on it!
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I am not familar with ticks causing paralysis. Mericks disease is a disease of poultry that is passed from bird to bird and causes paralysis.

    However, you say it just walks around just fine except not liking that foot. By any chance is it bumble foot then? Search "bumblefoot" and there are lots of threads with some pics and so on about what it is and how to treat it. It is an infection that often occurs on feet and can be painful to walk on.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    please check the hen's foot..(the bottom and toes).look for any sores, ulcers, or scabs.
    also..make sure nothing is there sticking her, like a splinter or burr or something.

    if you find any sore or scab..she has Bumblefoot...and needs to be treated..
    post description of what you find.

    separate her to a warm safe place with food and water close by and good bedding..

    do you have any antibiotics on hand?
    if she has'll need Pen-G procaine,(which can be found at feed/farm supply stores, or call a vet for antibiotic that treats staph infection.

    also check the chick..

    please describe the coop/pen/environment..roosts..
    most likely, something is hurting their feet..high roosts, or stones, or splinters..etc..

    BTW..Mereks Disease can cause paralysis, but isn't from a tick.
    if she's moving the leg, it most likely isn't paralysis.

    check the foot.
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    There are MANY things that can cause (temporary) paralysis and lameness in chickens ...including ticks.
    ..... I am not familar with ticks causing paralysis. Mericks disease is a disease of poultry that is passed from bird to bird and causes paralysis......

    here is some info on ticks causing paralysis:
    ".....Soft Ticks (Argasidae)
    Fowl Tick [Argus persicus (Oken)]
    The fowl tick, also known as the “blue bug” can be a very important poultry parasite. The larval, nymphal, and adult stages all feed on the same type of host. The adults feed primarily at night, leaving the host to hide in cracks and crevices or under debris during the day. Large populations
    of this tick are capable of killing birds or chickens by removing large amounts of blood during feeding. The fowl tick is also known to be a vector of fowl spirochetosis, a disease of chickens.
    The female lays her eggs in cracks and crevices, and after they hatch, the young larvae feed on chickens. The larva may remain on the host four to fi ve days before completing its feeding. After it leaves the host, it molts into the nymphal stage. The nymphs feed mostly during the night, and they
    feed repeatedly and molt several times before reaching the adult stage. Under favorable conditions, the adult stage can be reached in about 45 days. This pest is capable of living for long periods of time without feeding."
    "...Tick paralysis in chickens, a flaccid, afebrile motor paralysis, may result from attacks by A. persicus as well as by A. walkerae in Africa. Aetiology of this sporadic disease is not understood, but most probably a specific paralytic toxin is contained and transmitted in the tick salivary secretions. Clinical signs may be confused with botulism, neural signs of Marek’s Disease, transient paralysis of Newcastle disease, and possible conditions caused by other bacterial or chemical toxins.....
    .......Treatment and control:

    Control requires treatment of premises because adult and nymphal ticks are on their hosts only a short time and then hide in the surroundings. The litter, walls, floors and ceilings must be sprayed thoroughly – forcing spray into cracks and behind nest boxes.

    Outdoor runs and feed troughs, woodpiles and tree trunks may be treated suing approved insecticides. Other methods for fowl tick control include use of metal construction, elimination of tree roosting, using roosts suspended form ceilings and converting to cage operation. ..."
    Paralysis caused by ticks is reversible when the causative ticks are removed, but it is sometimes difficult to clearly separate paralysis from toxicosis. Paralysis is usually associated more with female ticks and can be produced by a single tick....while Argas ticks in the subgenus Persicargas cause paralysis in poultry..."
    "....The free-living stages of argasid ticks, which infest specific foci such as fowl runs, pigeon lofts, pig sties, and human dwellings, are more frequently and more effectively treated with acaricides.
    Treatment of hosts with acaricides to kill attached larvae, nymphs, and adults of ixodid ticks and larvae of argasid ticks has been the most widely used control method. In the first half of the century, the main acaricide was arsenic trioxide. Subsequently, organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, amidines, pyrethroids, and avermectins have been used in different parts of the world. The introduction of new compounds, such as the phenylpyrazoles, has been necessary because of the development of resistance in tick populations. .... On fowl, acaricides are usually applied as dusts;......Control of argasid ticks such as Argas persicus and A walkerae in poultry can be achieved by eliminating cracks in walls and perches, which provide shelter to the free-living stages. ..."​
  7. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Another thing that might be the cause is a Vit B deficiency. You can try giving them rooster booster in the water.

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