Broken, Dislocated, or Splayed? Week old-ish bantam chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AriRashkae, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. AriRashkae

    AriRashkae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    (tl/dr version in 3rd post)

    I have several chicks that are about a week old, Silkie crossed with a who-knows-what bantam (she was rescued from the weeds down the barn after Mom abandoned her. Looks like an Ancona, but bantam sized.). A few days ago, one decided to try to learn to fly when my older son and I had picked them up to cuddle. I'm sure you can guess how well that went. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I can't figure what she did to her leg. She holds it out straight and uses it to "row" her way around the brooder. She makes it to the feed and water fine on her own, and back to the chick pile for nap time. She's alert, and talkative, and poops just fine, based on what she left in my hand. [​IMG] She can pull the leg under her on her own, if I pick her up and hold her. The toes curl and uncurl on their own. I think there might be a break just above the hock, because she doesn't like when I manipulate it (it looks like it might bend the wrong way a bit), but she uses it, so I'm not sure.

    Pics as soon as I have a helper other than my 4 year old. [​IMG] Any ideas what I could do for her? I don't know if I should split straight, wrap her up tight, or just hobble her.

    Sorry to make my first post a plea for help. Been meaning to join up, but never got around to it before.

    EDIT: Apparently, my last time holding her did something, because she's now standing a bit more on her good leg (the left). She still holds out the right out at an angle in front her, so it's a little easier to see it, now that it's not pressed to the floor. It looks like a she's got a break above the hock (either that, or some really funny fuzz patterns), because her leg almost looks like it's got a little "knee" there. I'm going to try a splint, since that seems to be the most serious of the problems listed. How long should I leave it? I sort of have access to a vet (my father's aunt), but she's retired and doesn't have an answering machine. [​IMG] I know she'll help, but I need to get ahold of her first, and I want to help my baby now! [​IMG]

    Edit Part deux: Got my hands on my phone, so I was able to take a few pics of her. Dad thinks she's just spraddle-legged, and I'm waiting until my older son comes home to help before I do anything anyway. They're not the best, but I wasn't sure what angles to use.

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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  2. AriRashkae

    AriRashkae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Well, my son helped me splint her leg. She is most unimpressed, but seems to be getting around OK. She was hopping about like a flea at first, extremely upset, but she's gotten over it. As I type this, she's making her way from the waterer over to the lamp, with a stop at the feeder. I worry about the other chicks knocking her over and stepping on her, but it's not much different than they were all doing earlier. They don't beat up on her, but they have the stability of 2 legs and just knock her over by accident. I've noticed she tends to wait for a nap pile, and then worm her way under it to the back corner while they're still awake. (And it is so cute to watch the whole pile droop in unison!) I still want to put her in a separate box, but I just don't have anything to use at the moment. I may just have to bungee a sheet over a milk crate to keep the cat out. I think I've got another lamp around here I can use. Water may be tricky, but I think the others are figuring out the rabbit bottle, so I may be able to steal the gravity waterer. I don't like leaving her in there, but she's lasted this long without any "abuse" - pecking, bullying, etc - other than getting stepped on in the pile, and I just don't have anything to put her in at the moment. [​IMG]
     
  3. AriRashkae

    AriRashkae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Well, after much bouncing around (both the chick and conflicting advice!) I've got her hobbled with a bandaid for the moment. She kicked off the splint during the night, so I called my great-aunt to see if she had any tips and her advice was to try to keep the hock bent with a "soft splint" since the injury appeared to be at or just above the joint. I waited until the chick fell asleep on her back in my lap, since I didn't have an extra pair of hands, and she was most unimpressed with me when she woke up with her legs tied together. [​IMG] I'm still not sure what is wrong with her, but it's making it a little easier to watch her, since she stands up more. She has pushed against my hand with the bum leg, and I can bend it back into position with little complaint, as long as I'm gentle about it, so she doesn't fight me.

    Now that she's hobbled, she stands on her good leg with her bad up as much as the hobble will let her. The hobble is at least keeping her leg bent properly for now. I don't feel any "crunching" (as was described on the phone) when I feel her leg, but she doesn't like me squeezing on her hock. I suspect there might be a dislocated hip in the mix too, because it seems like I can feel farther up the inside of her leg than the good one, but I'm not sure. The hardest point is I don't know what to look for!

    I'd take her down to my aunt's bird colleague, but I couldn't afford the fee, since my husband's out of work at the moment. [​IMG] So for now I guess I'll just keep her hobbled to watch her.



    tl/dr: Each person I ask has a different opinion, so she's hobbled until I can figure it out. Flexes toes, can push against my hand, gets around the brooder and pushes her way in the pile o'chicks fine. Eats, drinks, poops normally. Just trying to figure out what's wrong so I can fix it but I need advice on what to look for. [​IMG]
     
  4. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my opinion you are doing what you can at the moment. I would keep her with the rest as long as they dont pick on her. With such a young chick it is hard to do much else with splints etc. She may grow up with a limp but...good luck! Terri O
     
  5. AriRashkae

    AriRashkae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    That's what I'm hoping. I didn't notice anything at first (and honestly, I'm not even sure if she's the one that got dropped!), so it's so hard to tell. She pushes against my hand, I can bend it as long as she's relaxed and not pushing it out, I've seen her scratch herself with the bad leg, and she'll stretch it out as best she can with the hobbles, so it's hard to tell just what she's got! She sticks it forward and to the side if I just leave her be. And when I first hobbled her last night she managed to flutter herself face first into the feeder, and was annoyed when I picked her up and moved it so she wouldn't get stuck. She was quite happy stuffing her face! [​IMG] I'm not worried about the water dish because it's raised up and a gravity feeder, so she can't really get stuck.

    I'm thinking right now, watching her, that the odds are bad bruising (I had bruised ribs once, and even breathing hurt. I didn't want to do anything!) or a fine fracture just above the hock, since she isn't putting weight on it and didn't like me pressing on it. I figure, I'll keep watching her, and maybe wrap just above her hock with one of those little razor cut bandaids. [​IMG] And research, research, research!
     

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