Crooked Leg on 4 week old Chick~Need Advice!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DuckyLou, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2012
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    I have a 4 week old production red chick thats leg is going out to the side. It stumbles around when it walks and is not growing like the other 3 chicks. Does anyone have experience with this and advice on how to straighten the leg back out? Its my 5 yr olds favorite chick! I have them in deep pine shavings and putting vitamins and electrolytes in their water. Here are some pictures of what it looks like. Please help![​IMG]
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  2. OreoPlymothRock

    OreoPlymothRock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im sorry for you
     
  3. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It looks like it might have been fractured, dislocated, or a genetic defect. You could try strapping a brace of some type to the leg. Does it buckle in when it trys to walk or does it seem "stuck" in that position even when the chick is putting weight on the foot?
     
  4. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    It seems like it is stuck when it puts weight on it, and almost appears to be completely turned around the other way. I tried to make it a brace today, but it didn't work. :( I started noticing it limping about a week ago and it has just gotten worse the more time goes by. I don't know what to do, I feel really bad for it, but he seems ok, he is eating and drinking, it just takes him a minute to get around. Any ideas on how to make a little brace that works?
     
  5. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the joint straighten out if you move it? Do this very slowly in case it causes too much pain. If it doesn't move then bracing isn't really going to do much because it is fused into position, although I suppose it might keep it from worsening. If it does move, then a brace should help it from continued injury and potentially help it to heal in a slightly better position. I realize that there are some leg deformities in birds that are caused by vitamin deficiencies and some from the wrong bedding, but it seems you have those covered so I am still operating on fracture, dislocation, and genetic deformity.

    As to bracing... this might sound odd, but I saw on another post that a person used the cardboard tube from a tampon, cut it up the side, cut it to length, put it around the leg and taped it together so that it was snug, but not tight. I suppose you could make a tube shape from any non-corrugated cardboard (toilet paper or paper towel tube cut to length?)? If none of these are options, I would think you could even make it triangular or square (those shapes will likely cause more discomfort than round though). Their legs are about small child finger size. So, you could also see if your local pharmacy carries finger splints for kids and tape one of them to the the leg.

    It sounds like it would be uncomfortable, but it is an idea. Any of these models will cause some chaffing at the top and the bottom of the tube, so put some tape or a bandaid over the edges to decrease the irritation. I know people medicine, not bird medicine, but if this was a person I would be stabilizing that joint with a brace that has both medial and lateral stays (inside and outside splinting). So, a round tube should be just what you need. A people brace would have a hinge to allow for movement in the right direction, but no side to side movement. I don't know how you could work that into a bird brace. Right now that joint needs to be immobilized. If it survives it will probably have a fused joint, but it should be able to adapt to that better than having a floppy leg. You could probably use bandaids for the tape if you don't have any first aid tape around. Duct tape would even work in a pinch.

    Again, I am no bird expert. This could be coming from the "hip" joint as well, it is hard to tell from the pics where the torsion begins. If that is the case, hobbling the bad leg to the good leg might force it to turn in a bit. I am not sure what the result would be for the bird, but I know they do this for splayed leg in chicks (they use a bandaid with the pad portion as a spacer).

    Most creatures seem to do ok with all kinds of deformities if they have access to food/water and rest. Extreme pain or infection will decrease the odds of survival and adaptation. Perhaps put him/her in a spot where food and water are easily accessed to decrease the amount of time on the leg?
     
  6. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much JerseyHen! You are one smart chick! :) What an awesome idea with the cardboard tampon! I am going to try that. It does move very easily, so its not fused yet, and it doesn't seem to be to painful for it. I have been completely baffled by where the problem actually is on the leg, because it moves around so easily. Maybe just maybe I can use the tampon splint idea and it will help it at least to grow somewhat normal. Thank you so much for your thorough reply and your awesome ideas!!! I will keep you updated!
     
  7. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so I got the story this morning while trying to attempt another splint.... my 5 yr old was helping me and I asked him again if something happened while he was holding his chick.... he started to cry and said yes that he was holding him and he flew down out of his lap and underneath something in the building we keep them in, and that he went to get him and thought it was his body but it was his leg, so I dont know if its broken or dislocated. I feel really bad for the chick and my 5 yr old, he feels so bad and he was scared to tell me what happened, he can't get over it, in my defense I always closely supervise when they are holding the chicks, but I did run and feed our dog this time when he was holding it. Lesson learned "DON"T LEAVE A 5 YR OLD WITH A CHICK!" Its my fault. :(
    I can't seem to get the brace to work, its really hard because of the joint, should I put it one solid splint from his body down to the base of his foot?When I tried it that way he couldn't walk at all. But it didn't do any good with it at the base of his body to his joint, his leg just turns. I'm struggling with what the right thing to do is... I wonder if I should put it to sleep. Its the last thing I want to do, but is that the right thing to do? I'm just torn up about it.
     
  8. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so so so sorry for you. I hate saying this but I hate to see animals suffer or have to go through life with a problem. It's more in likely going to get worse as he grows. I have no other suggestions of what to do so I would wait until JerseyHen replies, she seems to know alot about splinting. I would hate to tell you to put him down but, since chicks are growing it is likely it has already healed incorrectly if it was broken.....I'm so sorry.Although there maybe is hope that it's dislocated ;) If all else fails and JH doesn't have a suggestion but you're really set on keeping the chick a vet could possibly tell you what to do. Thats my only suggestion :)
     
  9. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  10. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your sympathy Quality Polish. I completely agree with you. Part of me feels like I want to save everything, but the realistic side of me says that things like this happen and sometimes you got to put your big girl panties on and do the right thing, even if it's the hardest thing to do.
    I did wrap his leg with vet wrap and it did seem to help pull it around closer to where it should sit. I tried several different methods of wraping it and tying it trying to keep it in the right position, i think i worked on it for almost an hour. I'm just really not sure if it's broken or just dislocated. He can put weight on it, but it is almost turned completely around when he stands on it. He seems pretty happy other than that, and he manages to get around and eat and drink. I guess Im not quite ready to give up on him just yet, but I just don't know.:(
     

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