BYC, can you help her???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PollyGirl21, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am babysitting a chicken named Nalu for the week, and she recently got attacked by a fox. she got attacked before I was babysitting her, but her owner (who is my aunt) had to leave for the week so she left us in charge. Nalu can't walk, so there must be something wrong with her hips or legs. when I try to stand her up, she starts to fall over backwards, then to the side. There are no open wounds or blood, and I've felt around her legs and everything seems normal. She looks perfectly healthy besides the fact that she can't walk. I don't even know which leg is hurt! She doesn't seem in pain, but I don't know for sure. My aunt told me to take her out of her cage and try to get her to walk or run and exercise it as often as possible. I haven't been doing that though, because I think she should rest to let it heal better. what is the right call here?
     
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  2. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone? Nalu really needs help, and I could use some advice :)
     
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  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

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    She does need to get out of her cage just to keep her muscles working, and to tell if she is improving. I would try to stand her up to see if she can balance at least a couple of times a day. I also would place her near you one some old towels for company, where you can make sure that she is eating and drinking, or help her to do those things. Since she cannot stand she may be getting soiled in her droppings.

    A good thing for a hurt chicken is to try a chicken sling, which youncan make for her. That can get her upright where food and water can be placed right in front of her. Remove her often from the sling to move her legs and to sleep.

    You may feed her a little chopped egg daily, and she really needs to eat mostly chicken feed. Sometimes they like it wet, if you mix a little in a bowl every day. You can add a little yogurt—just a tsp or so. Here is a link for some chicken slings that others have made:

    https://www.pinterest.com/barefoothollow/chicken-sling/
     
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  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

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  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a possibility that the stress of the fox attack has triggered an attack of Marek's disease, which often lies dormant until a stressor sets it off. Being unable to stand or balance is a common symptom. Can you take a video of her trying to stand or move. It is often possible to differentiate between a neurological problem and an injury which is causing pain. If you can get some video footage, it needs to be uploaded to the likes of You Tube or Vimeo and a link to it posted here.
    Unfortunately there is no accepted treatment for Marek's. It is caused by a virus and in contracted by inhaling infected dander dust from a symptomatic bird. It is similar to the human cold sore virus and it is indeed a Herpes virus, in that it lies dormant, so that you cannot tell which birds have it and which don't until thy have an outbreak and the symptoms are so numerous and diverse, it often doesn't get correctly diagnosed. Lameness and loss of balance is one of the commonest symptoms though. Good quality food and treats like scrambled egg and a bit of liver or tuna and a poultry vitamin supplement like Poultry Cell or Rooster Booster and sunshine and grass whenever possible have been the things that have benefitted my birds with Marek's. Also encouraging them to move towards a treat once or twice a day. Just short distances at first but extending it as they improve. It will look ugly and may seem cruel when they are crawling with their wings but it helps them to learn to coordinate themselves again. In between times a sling can be beneficial to keep them in an upright position and within reach of food. It is important to adjust the sling so that their feet can just touch the ground otherwise some birds panic at being totally suspended.
    I may be totally wrong and it may be a simple injury and not Marek's but when there is no obvious injury and she is struggling to balance it is something to consider and all the treatments I have suggested will only benefit her even if it is a physical injury.
    Good luck and please keep us updated as to how she gets on.
     
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  6. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much, both of you!:D Eggsessive, I did try to fashion a chicken sling for her, and she tried it and took it like a sport, but the sling just didn't seem right for the injury. She always keeps one foot straight out in front of her, and another one tucked up against her. she looked very miserable, and her foot kept slipping on the bottom of the bin. Rebrascora, do chickens ever recover from Mareks? also, I can't really let her out of her cage to exercise for a while. There is a big snow storm going on outside, and it is very bitter. The Barn that she is in is also cold, so I think that for today she should stay tucked up inside her dog kennel. her feet are cold, so I put a rag in the dryer to heat it up, then draped it around her. I can't put a heat lamp over her because there is lots of sawdust in the barn and it might catch fire. Is bringing her into the house a good idea? (I'm not even sure if my parents would allow it) Please respond, and I will be sure to keep you updated!
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

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    The posture you describe with a leg stuck out in front is quite typical of Marek's and sometimes the other one will be stuck out behind in the splits sort of position but that doesn't mean to say she definititely does or doesn't have Marek's. Sadly there is no cure for the disease but the ones that I have had recover from an attack can have months if not years of normal, good quality life before a second attack, especially if they are kept in a happy, stress free, stable environment. I've had some that came sound again after just a few days, so that you would never know they had been incapacitated at all and other make a significant but not total recovery after months of TLC. Sadly some also lose the battle against the disease and die. Those that do recover will always carry the disease, even if they don't show symptoms. The incubation period for the disease is a minimum of 3 weeks, so she will probably have been infected with it a month or more ago and the chances are that her flock mates were exposed at the same time unless she came from a different home. Things that stress and trigger an outbreak in one bird may not affect another, so you get individual birds showing symptoms of it at different times, often weeks or months apart whereas with many other diseases, you usually see several birds become sick within a few days of each other.

    That was a great idea to warm an old rag to wrap her in. The problem with being out in the barn is that she may not be able to access feed and water herself and other flock mates may start to pick on her if they have access to her.... that can make her symptoms worse because of the increased stress. If she is out there within sight of the other chickens but not vulnerable to bullying and you can ensure that she can get food and water, then she may be better out there than in the house. Sometimes they get depressed when they are separated from the flock..... it is an individual thing.... some enjoy the one to one attention and special treats that come with being indoors.... chickens are individuals just like people. You are obviously very sensitive and sympathetic so you will be the best person to decide what she is most comfortable and happy with.

    It is a shame that you feel she was not comfortable in the sling. Is she able to stand on her own or is she lying on her side. The problem with lying on one side is that it can start to compromise her digestive tract and it puts a strain on the neck trying to keep the head upright and wry neck sometimes develops, which is another neurological symptom of Marek's disease but is triggered by strain on the neck from lying in an abnormal position. They also tend to soil themselves when they are laid on their side which makes it harder and sometimes more stressful to care for them.... bathing can cause panic in some birds.... again, that can make their neurological symptoms worse.... just other things to consider. I am sure she is warmer wrapped up in that rag out in the barn than she would be in a sling but maybe try the sling again when the storm has passed and the weather is a bit warmer. For information Marek's birds are often bright eyed and quite perky at least in the initial stages. Keeping her enthusiastic about food is really important. Once they go off their food, it is usually a slow deterioration to death. Sometimes perceived competition for food with other chickens can help to stimulate them. I place mine in a cage and scatter food in and around the cage so that the other chickens forage around them and that seems to help.
     
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  8. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all the helpful info! :D I've had a chick with Mareks, and she's not in that "traditional pose" (kind of like the splits, like you said) She is on her side, and yes, You make a good point about Wry Neck. Poor Girl! I have separated her; she is in a great dane kennel. I have tried standing her up, and she pecks vigorously at some food, excited to stand again. but her feet get kind of tangled and if I take my hand away, she topples over. Should I take her inside? Oh I hope she doesn't have Mareks!:hit
     
  9. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to post a vid soon, maybe when it stops snowing and raining freezing rain
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

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    If you and your aunt live close together, Mareks can spread between flocks. Since you had a bird with suspected Mareks, it could be that, especially if you visit one another. Mareks can be spread through the dust and dander of the chickens, by visiting one another’s flocks, or through wild birds.
     

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