Cockerel with stiff walk (video)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mos, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Mos

    Mos Chirping

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    Hi,
    I'm in desperate need of advice..
    My 17-week-old cockerel has a very stiff walk. It started about 4 or 5 weeks ago when the temperature started going below zero. He would have a very stiff walk that I assumed was that he thought it was cold and unpleasant outside. I had read that chickens will do fine in cold temperatures as long as it's not humid, which it wasn't. So I was optimistic and thought "he'll get used to it", but he didn't seem to get used to it, and was having trouble with his balance (if he was trying to balance on something) and when walking he lifted his entire body with each step as if to help the leg lift off the ground.

    The others seemed fine. They weren't enjoying the cold weather, but walking fine.
    I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but in case it could: out of the blue I found one of my cockerels dead one night when checking in on them (it was about 44 degrees F at the time so I can't imagine he'd freeze to death). I immediately thought that it must be Marek. He had just a few hours earlier seemed completely fine though.

    So I gave him to the vets to open him up and take a look. They couldn't find anything wrong with him. He looked completely healthy and in good shape, no organs looked out of the ordinary.
    I showed her a video of my cockerel with the stiff walk and asked what she thought could be causing it - she said it looked neurological and that she couldn't really do anything about it.
    So I went back home and since the vet had at least told me there were no signs of Marek in the dead cockerel I figured that it was probably not the cause of this one's strange walk.

    So maybe vitamin deficiency? I've given them multi-vitamin in their water since they were chicks but I thought maybe he didn't absorb the vitamins as he should. So I added some vitamin B (a mix of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) and I thought over the weeks that he's gotten a bit better. He's walking with a bit more ease, and can have those little happy running around moments flapping his wings. He's eating, drinking, going outside, dust bathing etc.. everything a normal chicken does.
    But he still has a stiff walk.
    And today when I let them out it looked a bit worse again. Not as bad as in the beginning, but still. I don't want it going in that direction.

    I'm at a loss. Since his stiff walk started after the temperatures dropped below zero I don't let the temperature go below freezing inside of the coop anymore (even though it might be completely unrelated).

    Some videos:





    Side note:
    At the end of the second video I thought I saw something beneath the dirt on the backside of his foot. After removing the dirt I saw this:

    20191118_122244.jpg

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    Is it bumblefoot?
    It's quite flat and hard, not red and swollen like most pictures of bumblefoot.

    His feet are dry and sensitive, he has on a few occasions scratched open the skin in between his toes cause he stepped on his own foot and his claw made a red little scrape wound (not bleeding, as in dripping blood, but the wound would leave a tiny blood print if I put a paper towel against it). Could these little wounds cause infection problems even though they don't show any signs of infection and heal on their own?

    I don't know. Maybe I'm going completely off track with things that are completely unrelated, but just in case it could be the result of the same underlying problem.



    Please, give me all your thoughts of what it could be, it breaks my heart not knowing how to help him.
     
  2. Duck_life

    Duck_life Duck Addict

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  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Can you post some photos of the bottom of both feet too please?
    What do you feed?
    Yes, little wounds can cause infection. Bumblefoot is not always a flat round scab - it is a term that means infection caused by bacteria (mostly staph infection) that enters the chicken's system through a cut, scratch, injury, chafed and/or irritated area on it's foot.

    I would investigate that round spot on the back of his foot very carefully. Looks like there is a raw(ish) spot too, hard to tell what that is.
    Basic care would be to soak the feet in a warm epsom salts bath, clean well - then get us some more photos.

    It could be that most of the symptoms are neurological, it won't hurt to give B-Complex and some Vitamin E. I would start with 400IU Vitamin E and 1/4 tablet B-Complex. A treat of egg has the right stuff to help with the uptake of E.

    You may want to add some straw to your run to cover the wet/snowy places as well. Cold and wet are not going to help with a foot condition - he really needs to stay on dry clean bedding to heal the feet.


    upload_2019-11-18_14-25-17.png
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Did she send any tissue and/or blood to a lab to be tested?
     
  5. Mos

    Mos Chirping

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    @Wyorp Rock thank you!
    They're given a feed that's for growing birds (from hatch up to 18 weeks or until the hen starts laying). I don't know how specifically you're asking, so if you want specifics:
    Protein: 17 %
    Råfett & råolja: 4,5 %
    Växttråd: 8 %
    Råaska: 6,7 %
    Metionin: 3,4 %
    Lysin: 8,5 g
    Natrium: 1,6 g
    Kalcium: 10,8 g
    Fosfor: 7 g
    Energi OE: 11 Mj
    (per kg)
    Vitamin A: 10000 IE
    Vitamin D3: 2750 IE
    Vitamin E: 40 g
    Vitamin B1: 2 mg
    Vitamin B2: 6 mg
    Vitamin B6: 3 mg
    Vitamin B12: 0,015 mg
    Pantoten syra: 10 mg
    Folinsyra: 1 mg
    Niacin: 35 mg
    Vitamin K3: 3 mg
    Biotin: 0,63 mg
    Betain: 1100 mg


    I don't have any epsom salt but I'll make sure to buy some asap! Should I wait with more pictures until I have the salt to soak them in or would a regular wash with water suffice to take some more pictures?

    Should I stop with the multi-vitamin and vitamin B in the meantime to avoid accidentally giving them too much?

    And the biggest red ring on the picture is of dirty water that came from the water I put on the suspected bumblefoot to remove the dirt.
    They have hemp bedding in their coop which is always kept dry, and they sit on their roosts at night with a poop board underneath, and since it's cold out they're inside 90% of the time, so his feet are quite rarely wet.


    @aart I don't think she did, but if it was Marek's then tumors would be seen on the organs, right? :(
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    You can wash the feet to get some pictures.
    Let's see what the bottom of them look like along with that "sore" looking spot on the back.

    Is the multi-vitamin a poultry vitamin? Can you post a photo of the ingredients?

    Also what country are you in?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I don't think Mareks always presents with tumors(I wonder if she dissected the brain?)......but am not sure....but labs may have told the tale on other diseases.
     
  8. Mos

    Mos Chirping

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    @Wyorp Rock i've taken some pictures, but he was very uncooperative about soaking his feet and I would've needed an extra pair of hands to get better pictures but hopefully these can give some information in the meantime. I inspected his feet closely and felt if there were any rough spots or anything that looked suspicious, and it was the red spot on the top of his foot, the bumblefoot-looking at the back, a smaller spot above that one, and some dirt that seemed to dig in a bit on the tip of one back toe. Those were the things that stood out to me.

    Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-50-45.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-50-28.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-47-55.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-47-43.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-47-18.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-47-05.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-46-33.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-45-23.png Screenshot_2019-11-18-22-45-14.png 20191118_222647.jpg
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    I'm in Sweden. The vitamins they're getting is for livestock animals, with different dosage instructions for different animals. The instructions for chickens is 10 ml/day for a group of 100. Since I only have 4 it makes it a bit hard for me to give them the exact dose, so I try to be cautious not to give too much - which could result in them getting too little of it instead..

    I'm only speculating now, but is it possible that his stiff walk comes from growing pains since he's a big boy? Maybe he's gotten heavier than his bones and joints are comfortable with? I don't know if it's possible for big breeds to get that sort of problem as they're growing.
    Or that he has overexerted himself and gotten painful hips or something like that?


    @aart Ahh that's true. I was so stressed out and can't have been thinking clearly.. Of course I should have told her to send some samples to the lab to see if they could have found something else! :he
     
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  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    If possible, I would give him a daily soak in salt water or epsom salts to see if that helps with the bump on the back of his foot. It's hard to know if that is the main reason he's walking so stiff-legged or not, but it may be contributing to it.

    I would give him the vitamins a couple of days a week for a boost - no more than that.
    upload_2019-11-19_14-31-38.png
     
  10. Mos

    Mos Chirping

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    @Wyorp Rock thank you! I ordered the epsom salt yesterday and it should be here in a couple of days, so I'll start with the daily soaks as soon as it arrives.
    Should I continue only with the vitamins I have a couple of days a week or should I try with the vitamins you suggested instead? If I were to try the ones you recommended, should I stop completely with the vitamins I have while trying the others?

    I'm very curious, do you think the amount of vitamins look correct for a chicken's needs (or in this case - 100 chickens)? I'm a bit sceptical of whether all livestock animals require the same percentage of vitamins, but I have no knowledge in that area, and these were the only supplemental vitamins for chickens at our local farm store. Do you think it looks alright or should I order something specifically made for chickens instead?
     

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