Chicken Intensive Care :)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wonderwend, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Wonderwend

    Wonderwend Out Of The Brooder

    84
    14
    43
    May 8, 2015
    I have a sick Silkie. I don't need any help, just an ear to listen to me really and to document it.
    She is my friend's white bantam Silkie who hatched one of my eggs for me and was at my house while the chick settled in and grew big enough.
    At the weekend she became lame on her left legs and was like that for a couple of days. On Tuesday she was lame in both legs and I isolated her in the house so I could keep an eye on her and keep her warm. She was quite depressed.

    As she was off her legs I fashioned a sling for her to be suspended in in the crate so that she can reach food but be upright and have her legs in a better position. I based it loosely on a crop bra. She had no use of her left leg at all, it was floppy and even cold at times. Right leg had some power but ended up in all sorts of positions from her trying to push herself upright.

    I found her to be very thin ( she's a very broody hen so not surprising), and her crop was SOLID. I looked on here ( thanks BYC members!) and concluded from the texture of it that it was fungal ( was hard but slightly doughy). This bantam's crop was a good handful in size. Soft feed given.I gave her some canestan cream and regular massage of it. Moist pellets and soft food. Next day, crop not clear in morning but smaller. Oil given and massaged again during the day. Weight 1.1kg. Baytril given only after two days as I didn't want to give it with the working theory of Fungal infection. I gave it yesterday in a '**** or bust' move. :D

    She's been eating like a horse throughout. I began with homemade rehydration fluid via syringe. All soft food given. I've aimed to get as many calories as possible into her; Scrambled egg, runny porridge, hard boiled egg, live mealworms, mashed potato. She cannot get enough tomatoes!! I wondered if her potassium was low as she is eating so much of them. I supplemented a little Magnesium for her too ( a scrapping from one of my tablets)just in case she was low on that as this is used in the muscles. My thought being that if she doesn't survive, at least she's had a fab menu! :D

    Poop was formed but offensive smelling at beginning, with what looked like partly undigested food in it. The smell lessened and changed to watery 'antibiotic' poop yesterday. Urates present.
    Today her left leg has some 'tone' to it. ( for the non medical folk: the muscle gave some resistance when moved rather than being completely floppy like it was), which is fab.
    The #2 sling:
    ~[​IMG]
    Being a Silkie it is almost impossible to keep her clean!

    I do have permission to euthanize her if I feel all hope is lost. I have had many times when I've thought I am being cruel by keeping her alive and hoping she'll improve quickly. I am worried it's Marek's but I'm not sure.
    I'm a new chicken keeper ( only 5 months) and this hen raised 5 of my flock so I feel I owe it to her to give her the very best chance at survival.

    I will keep this thread 'posted' on developments. You're welcome to point out any ommissions I've made. Keep your fingers crossed!
     
  2. Wonderwend

    Wonderwend Out Of The Brooder

    84
    14
    43
    May 8, 2015
    [​IMG]Oh, and I can't tell you if she's anaemic because her skin is black!
     
  3. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,329
    171
    178
    Jul 3, 2015
    Amo, IN
    Aw, sounds like you are giving her a chance. Fingers crossed...[​IMG]
     
  4. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    5,787
    742
    306
    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    Subscribing. I hope she makes it!
     
  5. Wonderwend

    Wonderwend Out Of The Brooder

    84
    14
    43
    May 8, 2015
    Me too.
    Today she seems stronger. Wing flaps are much stronger. Legs the same really. No pain response in left one. Leg positioning generally better today.
    Appetite has calmed down (or she's fed up with my menu! :-D ).
    Poop is watery but not as offensive in smell at all. Food looks better digested.
    Crop still emptying ok.
    Day 3 of antibiotics.
    Took her outside for a 'constitutional ' in the garden. Good to see her responding to stimulus. Pecked a few bits of grass.
    I just hope I'm not being cruel by keeping her alive, but I don't think she's quite hit that stage yet.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    3,100
    1,435
    273
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    Unfortunately it does sound very much like Mareks.

    I've nursed quite a few of my young chickens with it and I've been through the highs of improvement (sometimes total recovery) and the lows of deterioration and secondary attacks and in some cases euthanasia. I had the best results when they had a poorly pal in the ICU with them(not something you can arrange unfortunately) and getting out in the sunshine and grass whenever possible made a huge difference.... I made a cage for them in the garden and scattered mixed corn around, so that the rest of the flock foraged with them at least for part of the day.

    Reducing stress levels and keeping them happy is without doubt the key. I tried turmeric and black pepper mixed into scrambled eggs as this is believed to be beneficial on tumours, and they ate it initially but once they got sick of it I came to the conclusion that it was more important for them to eat and enjoy their food than to try to make them eat something they didn't like.

    You will know when/if the time comes that their quality of life is no longer sustainable and I wish you courage to deal with that issue if you have to. The longer you spend caring for them, the more attached you get, so I know how very difficult it can be.

    Good luck with her and I hope she is one of the rare exceptions that makes a full recovery.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  7. Wonderwend

    Wonderwend Out Of The Brooder

    84
    14
    43
    May 8, 2015
    Oh Barbara thank you SO much for that. I feel quite tearful reading that actually.
    I really am torn completely in two by this situation.
    I've just read the Chickenvet.co.uk article on Mareks and it has made my mind up somewhat. I says that even if they do survive they will have a compromised immune system and will be highly susceptible to other infections and diseases.
    I want to help her, but it sounds like she will have a lifetime of struggle ahead of her.
    I think the kindest thing now would be to euthanize her.
    It breaks my heart.
    She's the 'Mum' to most of my chicks and she's not even mine!

    Thank you to everyone on here for your knowledge and support. The poultry of the world and I love you all xx
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    3,100
    1,435
    273
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Just remember that whatever decision you make is the right one because you do it with love in your heart. [​IMG]
     
  9. Wonderwend

    Wonderwend Out Of The Brooder

    84
    14
    43
    May 8, 2015
    It's done. That love hurts.
     
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,329
    171
    178
    Jul 3, 2015
    Amo, IN
    Aw, sorry.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by