Chick with bad foot/leg & respiratory issues??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Getaway Gal, May 28, 2010.

  1. Getaway Gal

    Getaway Gal Out Of The Brooder

    41
    0
    32
    Jun 19, 2009
    Hocking Hills
    Two days ago I was able to identify that one of my 4 1/2 week old chicks had a foot/leg issue. Middle toe looks broken-turns sideways, and leg cocks out to side & looks deformed. Chick limps when walking and lays down more than others. I was cleaning tanks and splitting the group between them tonight and, when I picked this one up, was shocked at her weight compared to the others...much lighter. I decided then to seperate her from the others. As I waited for my husband to bring me another container, I could hear that she sounds like she has a wheeze or rattle and, occasionally, a cough. She does not appear to be overly weak. She has been objecting to being by herself by throwing herself against the hardware cloth over the tank she's in. She is on medicated chick starter and was supposed to be vaccinated for Marek's. There was one chick that appeared to be the "runt" of the group early on...much smaller than the others and much later to feather out...I do not know if this is the same bird or not. There is one other chick who has a similar broken looking middle toe, but no other visible symptoms and doesn't appear to limp. These are either Welsummera or Rhode Island Reds, I have trouble telling them apart now. This is my first time with both of these breeds. I raised two groups of chicks last year, so I am not a complete novice but I do not have a ton of experience. I believe that I've stocked a fairly extensive medicine cabinet in the hopes that I could treat any issues as long as I have advice as to what to do, so I'm hopeful that you can point me in the right direction.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight...4 1/2 week old Welsummer or Rhode Island Red-Have trouble telling them apart. Weight is very light compared to other chicks.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly...Middle toe is bent to side, leg cocks out to side-looks like it bends the wrong way, lays down more often then others, sounds like it has respiratory issues and possible cough.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?...Not sure, could only pick out the leg issue from the other chicks in the last two days. Did not pick it up until tonight to feel the low body weight and hear possible respiratory issues.
    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma...No, toe and leg look more like they are deformed rather than due to trauma.
    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation...Nothing that I know of.
    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all...Medicated chick starter & water, cannot say for sure whether this one has been eating and/or drinking since he's been in with the group.
    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc...Not sure, has been in with others.
    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?...Have separated from the others.
    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?...Most likely would treat myself, have good medicine cabinet, but lack
    knowledge. [​IMG]
    10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use...In stock tanks with straw as bedding.

    Thank you very much for any help you can offer!

    Jennifer
     
  2. foxflower

    foxflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    267
    6
    121
    Mar 9, 2010
    Surprise Valley, CA
    I noticed your post because I have a similar issue. My chick is only 5 days old, but has a leg problem with it out to the side and has a crackly sound when it is breathing if you listen closely. It wants to sleep a lot and prefers it warmer than the others. It is much smaller than the other birds. It hatched this way. Sorry, I don't know what to do either. You might search under slipped tendon, mine doesn't seem to have it, but yours might....[​IMG] Here is a picture of mine just in case it helps... [​IMG]
     
  3. Getaway Gal

    Getaway Gal Out Of The Brooder

    41
    0
    32
    Jun 19, 2009
    Hocking Hills
    I looked up the slipped tendon and it seems like she has some symptoms, but not others. I don't see anything that sounds like the crooked toe along with it. OR the "crackly" sound (great description!) and cough. I want to do something for the respiratory issue right away, but I need help as to what to do, and haven't gotten any other replies. [​IMG]

    Here's mine. I'd be interested to see yours from the other side, to see if it shows a similar difference between the two. Although mine did not have anything as noticeable as yours until recently.

    Good leg.
    [​IMG]

    Bad leg.
    [​IMG]

    Crooked toe.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  4. foxflower

    foxflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    267
    6
    121
    Mar 9, 2010
    Surprise Valley, CA
    I don't have a good picture of the other leg, it is completely normal though. I do have this picture from the back, and one of me hold the chick suspended...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The leg closest to my arm is the odd one, but looks normal when the chick is suspended. I have a splint on it now, but wonder if this is the best thing. I'm wondering if I'm just exacerbating the discomfort. I can tell you one thing. Duramycin 10 and probiotics haven't helped the respiratory issue. I'm wondering if that is a sound they make when under stress from the pain and/or rapid breathing. Listen to another chick as see what you think. I thought they all sounded crackly when I first picked them up and it stopped mostly as they calmed. If a chick is never able to calm will it just keep crackling? Perhaps yours got stepped on or something dropped on its toe? It looks out of joint or something. When I was looking at those slipped tendon posts someone described something like these little ones and said it eventually got better. She gave it poly vi sol vitamins w/o iron and maybe yogurt? Some people also administer pedialyte. I was told to put about 1 tsp of pedialyte and 1 tsp of vitamins in the water. You can start there, it would be good whatever the case. I tried that briefly before giving the Duramycin, but you can't do both, so I have to wait on more of the vitamins and electolytes. I just don't know what to do....leave it and see if it gets better or put it to rest. I have a lot of chicks and have been trying to keep in mind that this one probably won't make it. We live on a farm and I don't want to expend too much time and affection on a bird that will suffer and not be productive. I'm told runts often don't lay. I'm willing to keep a pet I guess if it isn't suffering.
     
  5. Getaway Gal

    Getaway Gal Out Of The Brooder

    41
    0
    32
    Jun 19, 2009
    Hocking Hills
    I had a chick last year that had some major problems walking, but the legs looked fine...it almost seemed as if it were a nervous system issue. I had a lot of feedback here, and ended up putting her and one other chick together and giving them vitamins & electrolytes and yogurt since there was no other clear course of action, and she's done incredibly well ever since. Baby is still at the bottom of the pecking order, but she hangs tough and lays well. At the beginning, I wasn't sure that she'd make it at all.

    I feel bad that this chick I have now is alone...I know that's stressful in and of itself...but I don't want to put anyone else with her because of the respiratory thing. I heard less of the crackly/wheezy thing today, but she's definitely got a cough. I wish I could clear that up so I'd feel comfortable putting another with her. One of the other Welsummers has a toe that looks identical, but none of the other symptoms. I wish I could put them together, at least.

    I wouldn't put her down unless I feel like she's suffering, but I wish I had a little more direction. I've always been swamped with replies when I've posted here before. Maybe people are away or tied up with it being a holiday weekend??

    Thanks!
     
  6. foxflower

    foxflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    267
    6
    121
    Mar 9, 2010
    Surprise Valley, CA
    Yeah, I can see why you're worried about the cough. Mine doesn't have that, so maybe antibiotics would improve yours. Have you considered putting a small stuffed toy in there with her? I did that one night so mine would have something to snuggle with that wouldn't step on it...and she is using it now again (a small easter chick [​IMG] ). They only reason I haven't separated is because I figured they all had the same exposure. They came from the same breeder and all hatched together. And I agree, they are happier together if at all possible. Maybe if you get it on an antibiotic and probiotics you can get rid of the contagious stuff and put her back in for the remaining period of healing. The american poultry club has a list of chicken diseases categorized by respiratory and something else. You could look there for the right set of symptoms. I thought mine had m. gallisepticum, thus the antibiotics. They all crackled a little and there was one other that was breathing heavy also. It is just the one now though, so I just can't be sure. I don't think they were all sick or they probably would have been dying or all appeared in trouble. If you choose to feed antibiotics, just add powdered probiotics to the feed. It supposed to keep them from getting diarrhea from the antibiotics. It has kept my chicks poop nice and pellet like. I put apple cider vinegar in the older birds water too, and that seems to help them. FYI, I took the splint off because it was causing her some trouble, and I think it may have improved things somewhat....the foot seems to be under her a tiny bit more. Maybe it is just wishful thinking. Anyway, she seems more comfortable now without the splint making her leg stick straight out. I think, for my chick I'm just going to let be what will be unless I see her suffering. I reserve the right to change my mind though [​IMG] I'm sorry my thoughts are so jumbled...I keep getting interrupted! Maybe our chat will bump this up and catch the attention of someone who really knows something [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by