Blizzy is Dizzy? (Started out 'dizzy', can't walk, won't eat)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pipdzipdnreadytogo, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Blizz is a three-and-a-half year old red sexlink. I don't know which hybrid she is (ISA brown, golden comet, etc.). I don't know her weight exactly, but it was normal for her until today, at which point she began feeling light.

    Around the end of last week, I noticed that she was perching on the lowest rung of the roosts instead of toward the middle rungs like she usually did. I thought nothing of it.

    Not long after that, I hung a shower curtain in the coop door to lower the amount of wind that blows in in the winter (the only door on the coop is a human-sized door). There are small holes cut at the top of the shower curtain and a popdoor-sized hole cut at the bottom of the curtain for the girls. When Blizz first tried to get out the door past the shower curtain, she acted as if she couldn't tell it was there. She kept running into it until she found the hole.

    Yesterday, I noticed she was acting dizzy. She would stand still, but her head would move slowly in a single direction. She would be looking around with her head moving like this, as if trying and failing at focusing on something. She was still free-ranging normally otherwise.

    Today, she acted as if she couldn't hop down from things. I heard her fall off the perches at about 3 am last night and found her on the coop floor this morning. When the door opened and she could see, she stepped up onto the edge of the food dish (maybe 4 inches off the ground) and kept turning around like she didn't realize that she could hop down from it. I moved her to the floor and then she followed me to the door of the coop and stood there like she wasn't able to hop the half foot to the step.

    She would not leave the coop today. I made sure that there was water within her reach (I have a heated bucket in the coop during the day). I brought her over to the bucket and splashed the water a bit to show her it was there. Blizz was very interested in the water, but wouldn't drink.

    She was not on the perch when I got home from school this evening (it was roost-time by the time I got home). I found her underneath the lowest rung of the roosts. It is possible that Frou-frou knocked her down after she roosted on her own (because Frou-frou doesn't realize she's bigger than most of the other girls and she tries to crawl under them on the roosts). She perched fine when I put her up on one of the roosts (these are 2x4s with the flat side up).

    Her crop is emptying normally. She does not feel like she is internally laying or anything. Her egg production has slowed in the past year, but I think she's just reaching the end of her egg-laying days. I don't think she has gone blind, as her eyes are clear and she followed my hand a few days ago. She didn't seem to have much of an appetite as of this evening, but it felt like her crop had a little water in it. She did have just a little bit of poo in her vent feathers, but I haven't seen signs of diarrhea (however, she could still have some going on). The flock free-ranges almost every day, so it is possible that she got into something, but I haven't come across anything myself.

    There are no other birds in the flock showing symptoms. The coop is not insulated and I use sand across the entire floor with a little Sweet PDZ mixed in. We've had some pretty cold weather lately, probably around 35 degrees F during the day. Most of the other birds are molting, but I haven't seen Blizz start her molt yet.

    I have not administered anything yet. I planned on adding vitamin/electrolyte mix to their water tomorrow. Is that okay to do with a heated bucket? Also, should I try to get Blizz to eat some scrambled eggs or something as a boost? I didn't want to remove her from the flock in case that would stress her, but I do have the means to bring her inside the house. If she is in the warmth of the house for long enough to get used to it, will she need to stay in all winter? Would she need a friend?

    Any other ideas?

    Please let me know if I need to give any more information! This was all I could think of for now!
     
  2. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    No one..?

    Well, by this morning, Blizz had fallen off the perch. She is off balance and cannot stand up. Her legs don't seem to be paralyzed or anything, as she kicks a little when I pick her up. She made some attempts at walking after I tried to stand her up, but didn't get far.

    I have brought her into the house to be safe. She is at rest right now and it appears as though part of her comb has gone a little blue. She has a really big comb and this has happened before to her, so I'm not sure if it's related.


    I'm going to try to get her to eat a scrambled egg and drink some vitamin/electrolyte water to see if her weakness in the legs is a result of her not eating or if it is an actual symptom. Can anyone tell me how much water I should try to get her to drink? I thought I read somewhere that a hen drinks about 8 ounces of water a day, but since she's ill, should I try to give her more than that over the course of the day?
     
  3. fernwoodj9

    fernwoodj9 Out Of The Brooder

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    maybe you can try epsom salt in the water. We raise silkies here, and that is usually our first course of action. If necessary, you can get medications from your local feed store or tractor supply store. Best of luck.
     
  4. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Thank you! I've located the bag of Epsom salt! Can you tell me what the dosage is for a chicken? She is large fowl and probably weighs around 6 pounds right now (estimated; I don't have a scale I can use with her).
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  5. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Okay, I located an Epsom salt dosage for chickens! I treated Blizzy with one teaspoon of Epsom salt dissolved in one ounce of water. She drank it just as well as she's been drinking her vitamin/electrolyte water through the syringe, so that wasn't a problem.

    She was not eating the scrambled egg, so I cracked open a teeny-tiny pullet egg and fed it to her raw. She actually guzzled it down on her own with only a little help from me! I'm thinking a daily ration of one or two raw eggs might be in her future.

    She is still bright-eyed and looking around. She's trying to move around in the dog crate I have her in, but she always ends up face-planting and just sitting there like that for a little while. When I lift her up, she moves her legs and flaps her wings, so she still has some motor control. I'm trying not to be too optimistic at this point, though.

    I still do not see anyone else in the flock showing symptoms, so I'm thinking this is not something contagious. Hopefully the Epsom salt will clear anything out of Blizz's system if she ate anything she shouldn't have.
     
  6. fernwoodj9

    fernwoodj9 Out Of The Brooder

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    yes the epsom salt will clear out anything she has eaten.and help with any toxic simptoms from mold she may have gotten may take a week or more but bird should start eating in a few days and keep drinking.Free rangers should be wormed regularly also bcuz i have seen birds get very sick and weak from worm infestations.you havent mentioned any heavy breathing or eye /nasal discharge so i think she may have gotten into something lack of appetite is not normal in chickens if she is taking it keep the fluids in her.
     
  7. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    There have been no respiratory symptoms at all from her. We had a pretty heavy worm infestation that I treated with Ivermectin pour-on earlier this year, but I haven't seen any signs or symptoms of worms since. I can, however, give the flock a round of Ivermectin because I have some on hand and they aren't laying much right now anyway. :)

    Blizz had some poops finally! (Imagine, getting excited over that!) It looks like she has diarrhea, likely because she hasn't eaten anything solid for a good 48 hours now. I'm continuing to push her vitamin/electrolyte 'chickorade' and will be giving her raw eggs periodically throughout the next few days.
     
  8. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Okay, the morning Blizzy report!

    Blizz passed a lot of poo last night--a LOT. Like, more than she should have for the egg, vitamin/electrolyte water, and Epsom salt water that was in her. Could she have had a blockage that the Epsom salt took care of?

    She had managed to turn herself and get most of the way to the back of the cage, where it was exceptionally difficult to retrieve her. She feels like she has gained some weight, but she is no longer moving he feet when I lift her up. She does, however, still appear to be able to use them to shuffle around the cage.

    She guzzled a normal-sized egg this morning and finished all but about a teaspoon-full of it. She acted like she was falling asleep by the time she was about finished with the egg. She also had about 5 mL of vitamin/electrolyte water with her egg.

    I've noticed that she's been panting and her breath feels warm. I'm not sure how to outwardly determine if a chicken has a fever or not, but we do have a thermometer for our animals that I can use on her if necessary. She did go from the mid-30's weather outside to a pretty stable 72 degrees in the house.

    I am still not seeing symptoms in the rest of the flock.
     
  9. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Blizzy is drinking on her own again! She drank most of her Epsom salt dosage and took a few swigs of the vitamin/electrolyte 'chickorade'!

    She is passing slightly more solid poops now (though I'm not sure how as she has had nothing but raw egg and water since I brought her in yesterday). Her last one was green, not sure if that makes any difference.

    Still not using her legs, but trying to waddle around on her 'knees'. I've noticed that if she is lifted up and moved around or if she tries to walk on her own and gets some distance, she keeps her head firmly against the floor for a while afterward like she's trying to catch herself or something.

    Still no other birds coming down with symptoms. They're free-ranging, so I think I'll see how far out they go and see if there's something out there they shouldn't be into.
     
  10. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

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    Well, Blizzy took a step backward again. I found her with her head stuck in the bars of her dog crate this morning. It appears as though she'd been there for a while. She had regurgitated some water and one side of her face is swollen from struggling to get loose (I'm assuming). I have taken measures to see that it doesn't happen again (however, Blizz has a talent for these things...).

    She's very tired, but ate an entire raw egg (rather than leaving some behind) and drank 6 mL of her vitamin/electrolyte water. I'm thinking she'll probably sleep most of the day. I'm going to try to keep her strength up by giving her three eggs today instead of just two.

    I don't see any improvement with her legs. She is just kind of rolling around now, using her wings to balance herself. I will go with the hopes that this is because she exhausted herself when her head was stuck in the cage bars.

    Her droppings are now fully water, so I'm guessing she has passed everything she would have ingested if a toxin is responsible for her condition. I'm hoping that now it's just a matter of being patient as she recovers. I have resigned myself, though, to the very real possibility of losing Blizzy at this point.


    Still no symptoms in the rest of the flock. I'm keeping an eye out for it.
     

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