Chicken having convulsions and cold feet, eyes closed and head on floor.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SuzanneW, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    I have searched and researched to find out what the heck is wrong with our little girl. At fiirst, the only thing wrong was it appearing as though half of her was missing and her feathers sort of coming away but not falling off (no feathers in the ground). But her toilet was fine and she was eating as much as the rest.

    The following day: oh so much more going on. Weakness, eyes closed and shaking. We brought her indoors and put her in a box. She looked as a fight for life or death was going on! We not knowing what on earth to do, decided that we would syringe feed her with water and vitamines and that seem to be working. She kept resting her head between her wing and scratching, but we found nothing to warrant her itching!

    She honestly seemed to be improving. From being very passive whilst we fed her, to actually fighting with all her might, which I felt was a good sign. I also had the feeling that life at taken over.

    Yesterday, she was sleeping peacefully. But then things started changing! Instead of her putting her head between her wings, she lay it down on the floor. Not so much shaking now, but actually having convulsions! My husband said that he did not think she has long to live as her feet are cold. She refused to take food from him ie would not swallow.

    So now, she is breathing, but with head down and eyes closed. I hate it because when I went to check her feet, she started to convulse again! So leaving well alone.

    We cannot take her to a vet as we live in France and they would just say to kill her and then eat her!

    I really don't want to give up on her, but with these stupid convulsions, I really can't see what I can do and so wait for her to die and hate that with a passion. If I had it, I would give her the injection to end her life, but I don't and I cannot kill her by hand!

    Her toilet is fairly normal ie black and white and no blood. I guess you could say her flappy red bit is not quite so red. But that is going to be obvious since she is seriously ill!

    She is a Rhode Island and roughly we have had her for 3 to 4 years and got her ready for laying. So it is not old age.

    The others are fine; no signs of illness. So I don't think it is catching.

    But what on earth could be wrong with her? I so need to know this so that next time, I can do the right thing ie treatment.

    Is there any chance for her?

    Suzanne
     
  2. FlyHigher

    FlyHigher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could it be infectious bursal disease(IBD) or Botulism?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  3. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for replying. No it is neither and in this case, sadly, because it still means we have no idea.

    She has stopped convulsing and is no longer shaking, but what is left is far worse to my mind! She has her legs sprayed out and her head is very floppy and eyes closed. The only thing to symbolise she is alive, is her steady breathing!! Basically, her body is refusing to die and quite frankly, I just wish she would die, because I cannot wring her neck etc and we can't take her to the vet due to them laughing as in France there is no respect!

    We are not giving her anything now, because when my husband tried this morning, she refused to swallow and when he picked her up a while back, her mouth which had been closed, was slightly open and what was in, was dripping out!!
     
  4. FlyHigher

    FlyHigher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lots of chicken diseases can cause leg paralysis,such as

    Bacterial - Botulism
    Functional - Epidemic tremors
    Nutritional - Nutritional deficency-vitamin E
    Poisoning - Algae poisoning
    Poisoning - yellow jasmine poisoning
    viral - Marek's disease(MD)


    I hope it's not Marek's. Maybe you can do some research on them.
    Good luck!
     
  5. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much FlyHigher.

    Horribly the closest of the list you gave, is the worst ie Marek's! I think she must be in a coma because she is not moving, her head is lying on the ground and her legs splayed out and yet despite the apparent death state, she is breathing steadily. No more shaking or convulsions.

    I have to say that the legs thing has really only just happened ie after 3 days!

    If there is no other life signs from her, then I am afraid my husband will do the deed! If this happens again, due to the infectious state, then immediately we will whisk her off to the vets, despite their attitude because obvously this has to be confirmed and stopped.

    I think she must be in a coma for her stillness!
     
  6. normanack

    normanack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have enough experience to have any idea what's wrong with your chicken and am so sorry she's so sick. I wish I could help.

    I'd urge you to put her out of her misery -- ask a neighbor to help if you can't do it? -- but can't believe she'll hang on much longer anyway so you may not need to.

    It might be worth seeing if France has a ministry of agriculture with a pathology office, or perhaps a veterinary school, for diagnosis/autopsy so you can find out if it's infectious.

    I'm so sorry.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  7. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    I would agree with you 100% if she was in pain or even distressed, but she is quite the opposite. Yesterday, she was in a terrible way ie shaking and convulsions, and now quite and peaceful.

    Unfortunately, we cannot afford to take her to the vet for an autopsy. So what we are going to do, is keep an eye out for our other chickens and see what happens, because if it is infectious, then they will start to get ill and then, we will scoot down to the vet and see what can be done.

    I actually even think she has moved her position and so because of how unlikely this could be, I have taken a photo of her to compare next time.

    I guess I am wishful thinking, because I keep thinking her being in a possible coma is to help her heal as it does often in humans. She was doing so well which is causing me deep pain, seeing how much she backslided.

    Again if there is no change by tomorrorw then my husband will end her life. We hate to end it, if by some miracle, she survives!
     
  8. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    A bit late to help probably but she may have eaten something toxic which can cause all sorts of nasty symptoms - one of mine ate what we think was a mushroom or toadstool, she lost all coordination and went blind, couldn't walk either - after a lot of hard work she was back to normal within eight weeks - she was fed whatever we could get into her - eggs, chick food and "tetratime" antibiotics ( you can buy this from your local Veterinary Surgery - cost about 18 euro's )

    I am so sorry you are going through this and I do understand..... if you asked for an Avian Vet here..... you would probably get a rendezvous with an ex airline pilot!

    Suzie
     
  9. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    Ah thank you Suzie

    Sadly it is too late, as she passed away a short time ago!

    What exactly is: tetratime? We were feeding her with a syringe of water and vitamins and really thought she was pulling through, but I wonder now if we were a bit too zealous as when we picked her up, a lot of it fell out of her mouth, so that suggests, too much and I just so hope it was not that which finally killed her!

    Also, would you use penicillin? We have a medicine cabinet full of tablets and wonder if this happens again, if we can crush our own meds and feed them to the chickens?

    Suzanne
     
  10. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    HI Suzanne,

    Tetratime is an antibiotic - it is a teracycline - it comes in a powder form which you can add to the drinking water - if any of mine show signs of illness I isolate them and add the powder to the drinking water - any eggs they may lay should be thrown away for at least ten days after finishing treatment. I keep a syringe handy and use as a dropper to drip the antibiotic onto their beak - this way you know they are having some antibiotic.

    Your local Vet will have Tetratime - is is specific for small animals - rabbits, chickens etc.

    I have not used penicillin as I would not know how much to give them - I know it is advocated here and can be very effective - it may be an idea to look into the threads to see how much should be given!

    It is very windy here and raining now - trust your part of France is experiencing better weather!

    Suzie
     

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