Chicken lying on side, but still eating

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChikenMom, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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    My little 6-month-old Belgian D'Anvers has been inside for about 2 weeks now. At first we thought she had broken her foot, but she has not improved. She is lying on her side, but still eating and drinking normally. After reading a bunch of forum threads, I thought perhaps she has Wry Neck, so I got some vitamin E and gave it to her this morning. I have been feeding her chicken vitamins and letting her self-feed on food.

    I am concerned about Mereck's disease - my other two hens seem fine, however.

    Should I try an antibiotic? Dewormer? More vitamin E? wait and see?

    The closest vet who sees chickens is 30 miles away, so I'd like to exhaust the home remedies before going that route. Also $$. But my kids love this little girl!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. Mareks could well be a possible cause since she is in the age group it affects. I certainly hope that it's not Mareks, though. Can she move both of her feet and wings? Does she usually free range? Had she started laying eggs yet? Avet probably couldn't diagnose Mareks without a PCR blood test sent off to a poultry college, or from a necropsy after death. So many different things can cause a chicken to go down, from dehydration, vitamin deficiency, coccidiosis or other intestinal disease, worms, eaten a toxin from moldy feed or dead animals, lead poisoning, or even mite infestation. Are her droppings normal? You may want to try placing her in a chicken sling to get her off the ground (see below.) Worming her with Valbazen 1/4 ml orally, and repeated in 10 days would not hurt her. I doubt if antibiotics would help unless you suspect some sort of infection. Here are some articles to read about Mareks which can have many different symptoms, not all alike in chickens:
    https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease

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  3. etammy

    etammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep up the vitamins, add B12, it can take a few weeks. It will at least help give her strength and may help with other issues.
     
  4. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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    She is normally in a coop/run with 2 other hens. (Too many of her predecesars were eaten by predators!) I feed them layer pellets, but none are laying at this point.

    Possible causes I've thought of: about a week before she suddenly wasn't standing up, I took the D'Anvers to a preschool & let 20 preschoolers pet them. Infection? Did she get hurt in cage in car and hide it?

    The morning she wasn't walking, she fell down the ramp from coop to run. Maybe hurting before fall?

    She had a torn toenail that day, which I treated with neosporin and wrapped with vet wrap. She was crouching. She seemed to feel a little better after a couple of days & was shuffling around her little box.

    Then she started holding the other foot up to her side, curled up. And was dragging herself around to food & water by kind of rolling around the box.

    All this time she's been eating & popping normally.

    Today I was force feeding her vitamin e & she wriggled out of her towel and fell. :(. I hope she didn't injure herself even more.

    Am feeding Reeces de wormer pellets now. Is that enough or do I need liquid de wormer?

    Guess I need to make another trip to the drugstore for B vitamins. Should I give her D as well?
     
  5. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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  6. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried the chicken exersaucer. She wouldn't stay in it. Even tried putting towel around her to hold her still. Wow did that make her mad!
    Took exersaucer out of cage bc I was afraid she would hurt herself. She's back to rolling around.
     
  7. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Reece's seems to slowly be getting worse. She has taken to sleeping on her back or side, and isn't even trying to walk. But she's still eating & drinking normally. Her poop has been a little loose the last couple of days. Should I try antibiotics?
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It really seems more and more like Mareks. The antibiotics probably won't help, but they certainly won't hurt her. I usually don't suggest them unless you know that there is an infection, but in this case, it might help you to feel like you have tried everything. I would definitely try to get a necropsy on her if she dies. Sorry that she is worse.
     
  9. ChikenMom

    ChikenMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Started Oxytetracycline yesterday, (powdered mixed into drinking water) as well as switched out her food to medicated chick crumbles. Still giving her vitamin E and B complex - I guess its been about a week on those? And electrolytes.

    Put her in a sling like suggested overnight - rigged up one that tied over her back so she couldn't wiggle out. I thought. This morning she was on the floor of the cage. She had had massive diarrhea overnight. I thought I would probably have to euthanize her tomorrow.

    Just now (24 hours of antibiotics) she stood up and took two steps. She uncurled the foot that has been curled up for the last two weeks. Then, she fell over again, head first into her food bowl. Then, like Winnie the Pooh, she just stayed there and ate. Maybe we need to change her name. :)

    I'm back to "wait and see" mode.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Just so you are aware, medicated chick starter doesn't have medication in it. It contains a thiamine blocker. It's effective as a prevention for coccidia (a protozoa), but won't help with infections or viral illnesses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015

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