Betty, my 5 1/2 mos. old Buff Orpington can't walk upright, and is wobbly. Help!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 4 Golden Girls, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. 4 Golden Girls

    4 Golden Girls New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Hello all,
    I've been dreading starting this thread. I've been spending hours pouring through others trying to learn what it is Betty is suffering from and if there's hope.

    I was away for a week and had someone looking after the two chickens. I was informed a few days in that Betty was having difficulty walking and was found laying on her side, stuck in crevices in the run, unable to free herself. It was a hot week here. When I came home we immediately went to the Vet. Betty has been eating well and the vet put her on antibiotics, a dewormer, gave her a fluid and a vitamin shot, she also took an X-ray (to detect any metal if she swallowed some, which came up negative). Betty did get the Marek's vaccination when she was day old too. She's been walking around all drunk like, stumbling, falling over etc. Yesterday, about day 7 of acting poorly (day 3 of antibiotics, day 1 of anti inflammatory, day 2 of vitamin A therapy) she was walking around a lot better. She would roam the yard and wobbly make her way over to where I was stumbling here and there but looking better. At night I put her back into the kennel inside. Today after her breakfast and meds we went back outside. She has taken a turn for the worse. She seems unable to straighten her legs as much as she did yesterday and seems to be favoring one side more than the other. She had no open wounds and the vet thought that her legs were sound. Her eyes look normal. Her coloring was a bit pail at first, but she's pinkened up. Now she's developing little sores on the backs of her legs from sitting down and scooting around on them. The other chicken is absolutely physically fine, her only problem is that she's lonely, no health problems.

    My questions...
    What do you suppose is the issue? Is there any hope? Is sitting on her legs in the crate part of the problem or do you think that she over did it with her walking around yesterday, or is this just progression of her injury/illness? Am I overdoing it with letting her hobble around in the yard or is should I continue? When do you make the decision that her injury/illness is not compatible with quality of life? (I've never put an animal down before, and I'm scared to death, crying tons)

    The vet bills have been astronomical, and she's at a loss. I built a little chair today for her while she's in the crate so her legs are not tucked into her body so tightly. She's eating like crazy, but has little interest in drinking anything. I've been hydrating her with a syringe. Any help would be appreciated. I'm devastated.

    -Lauren
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I would call the vet and tell him and ask him if she needs a different antibiotic. His office can call it in to your pharmacy if humans take it, or you should be able to just go over there and get it.

    Please update.
     
  3. 4 Golden Girls

    4 Golden Girls New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2012
    I'll do that. At my wits end. Have you ever experienced this? Thank you
     
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    What type of antibiotic and wormer was given? Try adding some vitamin E, you can get gel caps and break one open on her food. You can moisten her food to help hydrate her or add some sugar to her water to make it more appealing..... I would keep her contained and resting. Quality of life is a hard answer..every situation is different.
     
  5. 4 Golden Girls

    4 Golden Girls New Egg

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    Thank you for your reply. The payed a new vet a visit for another look. He thinks it likely that she's suffered a spinal cord injury. He's put her on some new injectable antibiotics and a medications to take care of spinal cord swelling (also injectable). He says that if she doesn't improve in the next 2-3 days dramatically that the spinal damage is permanent and she can't go on like that. She's totally with it cognitively but looks like she's got nerve problems. She was found wedged in and unable to free herself when my caretaker found her. The vet said when looking at her blood work that there may have been indication to some sort of trauma. Hopefully these injections work. They're quite expensive, the same medication a person would get if they suffered spinal cord trauma. Hopefully it's just swelling and her mobility improves over the next couple of days. At least I know that I've done all that I can for her. She's a sweet girl and it's worth the mortgage payment to give her the best possible shot at healing. Fingers crossed everyone! Please send Betty your good thoughts and prayers (her mama could use some too). I'll keep you posted.
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Fingers crossed
     
  7. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Betty you can do it, stop worrying your mom!
     
  8. ChickyBangBang

    ChickyBangBang Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2012
    This might sound like a completely stupid question (and I'm sorry if it does, I'm brand new to this). Did your vet check to see if she was perhaps eggbound? I've been doing some reading and if she is as old as you say, 5.5 months - then that's right around the time they start laying (according to my research which I'm sure a lot of it is flawed and inaccurate). It says between 20 and 25 weeks old they start to lay.

    I also read that while it is NOT recommended to let them suffer for that long - some hens have been recorded as being eggbound for up to 6 days before succumbing to it.

    But in any case, it says there are a lot of hens that get eggbound during the first few months of laying eggs because it is foreign to what they are used to and because of the entire process involved in laying eggs. Some hens can form too large of an egg for their body to pass, due to their size at that age, and due to their muscles not being 'used to' egglaying all the time (yet).

    Sorry if I sound like a complete idiot and I'm sure your vet checked (or you did) but I wanted to ask anyway because walking sideways, falling down, acting lethargic are all symptoms of being eggbound. o.o

    Whatever is wrong with her, I pray it is remedied very soon!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  9. 4 Golden Girls

    4 Golden Girls New Egg

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    Hello all, sorry about the long delay. So, I after my last visit to the vet he sent me home with injectable dexameth (anti inflammatory) and Baytril (a very strong antibiotic). The vet said that if I didn't see a STARK difference in two or three days that it was the end of the line for Betty. The next day I checked on her there was no real change that I could tell. A little less than 48 hours after she began this new treatment I went in to check on her and she'd taken over the bedroom! I left the her kennel door open figuring that she wasn't going to go far if she went anywhere, turns out she went EVERYWHERE! I saw evidence of it...ugh. Well, the rug in the room may never recover but it looks good for Betty. She was up and walking around like a normal chicken. I was so trippy to see how quickly she went from doing somersaults when she tried to stand to walking fully upright! She's still not quite as spry as the other girls in the coop but she's doing great! I brought her out there and gave her her own space for a few days to adjust to outdoor living again. She's back with Rue, her best buddy and two other younger pullets I picked up a couple of weeks ago to keep Rue company when I though it was curtains for Betty. Now, all four are together and seemingly thriving. Betty has even been getting up on to the shorter roost all by herself! I'm really optimistic for her. SO STOKED! So, we will see how she does. Continue please to keep your fingers crossed for Betty that she continues to thrive and gain strength. My last question to y'all is about the Baytril. I understand that it's a pretty strong antibiotic. What are your thoughts about how long I should discard Betty's eggs after having used it? She was on Baytril for a week. She has not yet started laying, and I expect that she might be delayed even further because of all of her treatments. Any advice on this? If she doesn't start laying for another couple of months should I still withdraw her eggs? Thanks you guys!
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I'm so glad things are working out for her. Fingers crossed!
     

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