Chicken bum leg-no other symptoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ydkjenn, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    I've looked through the forums and didn't really see anything that would explain a bum leg or what to do about it. Yesterday, my daughter notices one of our hens (about 7 mos old) was holding her leg up. She was able to get to her roost and stayed there even this morning when I let them out of the coop. I took her down from the roost and examined her leg. I don't see a wound, swelling and/or scab that might be bumblefoot, she's not splayed like Mareks, and when I moved her leg and palpated it, everything seemed to be in order. I'm new to chickens though so might have missed something. She hobbles/hops and uses her wing as support when needed. Today, we put food and a water bowl right in front of her and she gladly ate and drank, so I dont' think she was getting too much yesterday. The other chickens seem to be picking on her though. I'm wondering if I should isolate her in a dog crate for awhile and hope that she gets better with time? Or should I do something more proactive??
    I would hate to have to put her down as my kids (age 5 & 6) would be devastated!
    Any ideas what could be causing the lameness/??
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would isolate her to observe her more carefully and make sure she is getting enough to eat/drink. Does she clench her foot at all/respond when you push into the pad of her foot, or pull the leg in various ways? If she does respond, then I would suspect that she has some sort of sprain, especially since it came on so suddenly. If that is the case, the best treatment is rest. Keep her in a well-bedded, small area, without a roost, and try to keep her quiet. I've never had a chicken with a sprained leg, so I don't know how long recovery usually takes, but I would keep her confined for at least 3 days and see if there is any change/improvement.

    If she doesn't really respond, then I'm afraid that this does sound a lot like Marek's Disease. Not all birds show up with the classic splayed leg Marek's pose; it can attack various parts/nerves of the body, and cause a nearly unlimited variety of symptoms. 7 months is the prime time for Marek's to hit a bird, too. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated birds are susceptible, though vaccinated birds are usually more resistant.

    If it is Marek's, there isn't really much you can do. There are several threads on treating it with medications such as St. Johns Wort, turmeric, and colloidal silver, among other things. I've had birds with Marek's, and only tried the turmeric and St. Johns Wort. From what I read, colloidal silver can "cure" Marek's, though the birds will still be carriers; however, I don't have personal experience with this.

    I do know that I suggested colloidal silver to a BYCer who had a bird with Marek's a month or so ago, and that within a few days of the person treating her bird with colloidal silver, it recovered. It is by no means a miracle cure, but if you are desperate to save your bird, I would recommend trying the colloidal silver.

    Good luck with your hen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  3. Ciqala

    Ciqala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hen a while back who started limping, not as badly as your's sounds to be, and I put her in a crate for a couple of days and it seemed the confined rest did the trick for her. I never knew what happened to her.
     
  4. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she a big breed (Marans, Sussex, Cornish X etc?) and does she have access to somewhere high where she could then jump down onto a hard surface?

    My light sussex Igor, who weighs over 4kg, insisted on laying her eggs on top of the work surface in my chicken shed. It was fine for a few months, but the other day she must have jumped down awkwardly, and I suddenly noticed that she was limping really badly, and not keen on moving around. (The roosting part of the shed is covered with sand and shavings, to provide a soft surface, but my work area is a concrete floor.)

    She would have gone bananas if I had separated her from the others to force her to rest, so I just made certain that any food I put out was close to where she was sitting, so she didn't have to walk far to get it. I also gave her a treat sprinkled with aspirin for a couple of days, which seemed to help with the pain.

    I was really worried that it might be something much more serious, but after 5 or 6 days she was walking with a lot less of a limp, and now a couple of weeks on she is back to normal - it was just a sprain, and nothing more.

    I really hope that this is the case for your girl - try limiting how much she moves, and giving her a dose of aspirin (50mg/kg/day is the maximum recommended dose). If there is no improvement after a few days then it may well be something worse, but at least try the simple option first, and hope for the best. [​IMG]
     
  5. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    She's an EE, so kind of medium size.
    Today, she looked even lamer, and was laying on her side for a bit. I rigged up a lean to in the run with a big piece of plywood leaning against the fence and put water and food under it. She seemed to appreciate that she didn't have to hobble back into the coop for food & water.

    Tonight I looked at her foot and leg again. She doesn't respond really when I touch it, but did pull away when I moved part of her leg. She also does try to put it down to use when she walks but pulls it back up again. This gives me hope that it is just a kind of sprain and will heal on its own.


    Tonight I put her in a wire dog crate within the coop, removed the tray from it so she could dig in the shavings on the floor, and added food and water. My concern now is that the other chickens will peck at her from the outside the crate. :-/
     
  6. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Still not better, but she is trying to use it so it's not totally useless.
    I called an exotic vet and they want $65 just for the exam an will probably want to do xrays on top of that.
    I'm not sure I want to or can afford to pay that at this time, especially for a chicken that only cost $2 originally. I know that sounds bad though. So I"m going to give her a few more days in isolation to see if she improves.
     
  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there any improvement at all? My girl didn't seem any different for about 5 days, but then I suddenly noticed that she was limping very slightly less. It took over a week to see a really visible change that I could be convinced was not just my imagination.

    As long as she does not appear to be in pain, or suffering in any way, I would be inclined to give it a few days more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  8. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    I checked her foot again just now. When I touch the pad of the good one, she tries to curl her toes around like she would a branch. When I try with the bad foot/leg, there is hardly any toe curling around my finger. hmmm.
    However, she does keep trying to gingerly set the bad foot on the ground then pulls it right back up, so I guess that's an improvement? I'll give her a couple more days to see where she's at.
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let us know how she gets on in a day or two. If it is a sprain then it must be a really bad one for her not to even try to walk on it. I really hope she starts to show some improvement soon, but if she doesn't then you may have to start considering other possibilities.

    Here's hoping for the best for you and your girl. [​IMG]
     
  10. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    It's been three weeks and she still only hops/hobbles on the leg...she's become adept at racing across the yard on 1 1/2 legs.
    It looks like her ankle (where all the toes come together on the foot) might be slightly larger than the other foot, but I still don't see any swelling or plug like I would with bumblefoot. So, while I think it should be better than it is, I don't know what else to do at this point.
     

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