Chicken seizures

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Badhbh, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I have a mottled houdan chick from the September batch that has seizures. She's a sweetie with a slightly misshapen eye that we think is related to what's going on in her brain. We went out to the brooder one night about a month ago, and she was just laying there, limp and not moving. I was in the middle of The Outbreak of Crud, so I thought she's succumbed to it. But when I picked her up I saw that she was breathing and coming around a bit. I tucked her up inside my jacket and took her to the kitchen for some warm sugar water and snuggling. Well she woke right up and carried on like nothing happened. Half hour later, she starts chirping like something has her, and we see that she's in the midst of a full blown tonic clonic seizure.

    She went back out to gen-pop for a while, but was starting to look kind of hang dog after a week, so I think she's either getting picked on or they know there's something not right with her. I brought her back in last night and put her in the bog box brooder. She had 3 seizures last night, but is otherwise eating, drinking, and completely normal. She does have a temporary roommate, one of the white cochins that couldn't see to get to the food. (I wish this stupid sickness would go away.) After that one goes out though, she'll be on her own. I don't want to put her back out after the last try, so I guess she'll be an inside chicken.

    Couple of questions-
    Has anyone had a chicken with seizures?
    What should I be looking into as far as housing for her?
    What special considerations have to be given to an indoor chicken?

    I have a little hutch that she can live in for the summer, but until (at least) spring she's in with us. She has been named Twitchy, for obvious reasons. Culling is out if the question- I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, and i'd really feel like an hypocrite for killing her. We're all birds-of-a-feather and stuff. [​IMG]
     
  2. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    Oh my gosh I am so sorry for both of you! I have never heard anything like this, and never heard of chickens having seizures but I guess it is possible with everything. Here's a bump for you. I know nothing about this and I am interested to hear what someone has to say, but all I can say is DONT BREED HER! You wouldnt want this problem in any other chicken if it may be genetic.
    Good luck to both of you and God bless!
    Crystalchik
     
  3. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Oh, no, we already know that if she makes it to laying age that we couldn't hatch anything of hers. She's just so sweet, and I really don't want to cull her. [​IMG] I'll gladly take a house chicken [​IMG]
     
  4. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    *BUMP!* Yes, a house chicken would be great! I know there is someone on here that must know something about chicken seizures.... Hello?...Anyone?... [​IMG]
     
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Idiopathic epilepsy is a diagnosis by ruling out other causes of seizures. Not really a recognized problem in birds. Usually due to an underlying disease process.
    Medical stuff:
    An event that looks like a seizure could actually be a seizure or it could be something else like a cardiac arrhythmia.
    If the bird is actually having seizures- they could be due to intracranial problem- inside the head- (like epilepsy, mass or malformation causing pressure) or they could be due to extracranial causes- outside the head- (like lead toxicity, low blood sugar, toxin build up from organ failure, environmental toxin ect).

    Without taking the peep somewhere to actually do tests- there is simply no way to know what is happening to the bird- though a deformed eye or head is suggestive of an intracranial cause.

    What to do? Likely it is progressive- even in idiopathic epilepsy in animals where there is no obvious cause the seizures have to be stopped or at least controlled for the animals comfort and protection, and the more seizures that occur, the more likely more will occur due to brain damage.

    There are drugs that can be used- both published doses and anecdotal doses, to control seizures- but you need to see a vet to start and monitor these. They will likely recommend at least a minimal work-up.

    As rotten as it seems to you, I would recommend the cull option. I live with a diabetic person and do what I need to do help keep them healthy, but do not have the time/energy/patience to deal with a diabetic cat/dog/chicken/mouse- I do not feel like I am a hypocrite for this- just realistic about my abilities.
     
  6. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Well.. no seizures for a couple of days now. Very strange. Maybe they're done [​IMG]
     

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