Five-month old Australorp suddenly lame. Update: Now another pullet going lame!

azygous

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11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Speaking of pain meds, I've been pondering the possibility that May may be experiencing returning sensation in her legs, and her right leg is causing her significant pain when she attempts to maneuver it. Just a hunch, really, as I watch her as she moves to try to position herself to eat or to poop.

She is making slow progress, though remarkable. She now can stand on her left leg quite adroitly without faltering or losing her balance. But when she tries to bring her right leg under her to use it, she hesitates and is reluctant to try to extend it. It remains an appendage that she doesn't quite know what to do with.

She's getting stronger, her appetite it improving, though she's still half the weight of the other two, June and April. This afternoon, as the sun was angling into the garage window, I brought her inside for some boiled rice and keifer. She greedily wolfed down two helpings, maybe half a cup in all. Earlier, she and Su-su shared two of April's brown eggs, soft boiled. I'd sure like to get some weight on her.

So, I'm going to try her on 81 grain aspirin twice a day and see if that encourages her to use her right leg more.

I look at where she's come from, complete paralysis of both legs and weak and sick and barely able to eat on her own, and I see a miracle in the works.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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Far north texas
May's continued progress and recovery is simply wonderful! To be honest, i was concerned for You when u mentioned the newest issue of needing to rig a barrier in the freezing weather so as prevent May from being bullied. I thought "now this; what next?!" I have concluded you can run circles around people half your age, & likely whup 'em for good measure too if necessary. 😁 But still, everyone has their limit,. And no one would blame you if you had thrown in the towel and said "its all become too much; i quit." But then i also suspect that quitting isnt in your dna. This saga started with the thread honoring amazing nanny Su-su. Su-su is Still amazing. So is May. And so are you!!!
 

HiEverybirdy

Songster
May 5, 2020
268
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East TN
Speaking of pain meds, I've been pondering the possibility that May may be experiencing returning sensation in her legs, and her right leg is causing her significant pain when she attempts to maneuver it. Just a hunch, really, as I watch her as she moves to try to position herself to eat or to poop.

She is making slow progress, though remarkable. She now can stand on her left leg quite adroitly without faltering or losing her balance. But when she tries to bring her right leg under her to use it, she hesitates and is reluctant to try to extend it. It remains an appendage that she doesn't quite know what to do with.

She's getting stronger, her appetite it improving, though she's still half the weight of the other two, June and April. This afternoon, as the sun was angling into the garage window, I brought her inside for some boiled rice and keifer. She greedily wolfed down two helpings, maybe half a cup in all. Earlier, she and Su-su shared two of April's brown eggs, soft boiled. I'd sure like to get some weight on her.

So, I'm going to try her on 81 grain aspirin twice a day and see if that encourages her to use her right leg more.

I look at where she's come from, complete paralysis of both legs and weak and sick and barely able to eat on her own, and I see a miracle in the works.
Hooray, May! It makes sense she'd be sore as she works to regain mobility. Plus, nerves can have uncomfortable sensations when they come back. Some light pain relief definitely might make take the edge off.

That's great she was ready for some treats. Did your barrier work, or did April and June chill out? Being lighter has served May well--she might've had a hard time getting back up if she were full weight--but hopefully she'll now start to catch up in every way.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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It was a good call to start May on the aspirin. It's made a big difference. I didn't give May an aspirin today until after I had finished feeding and cleaning, and May was withdrawn and huddled under Su-su. After the aspirin, she was standing to eat.

Throughout the day, I would pick her up and set her down a ways from Su-su, and she would stand and get her balance and then make a dash back to Su-su. Her tail is upright, and that's just since the aspirin, so it's a sign she was in pain.

May is working the right leg now with more purpose. It's like each day a couple more nerve connections mend. It's not easy to see the progress from day to day, it's so slow, but I can still conjure the picture of May lying paralyzed and helpless, both legs straight out behind her, useless appendages. Several times over the past few months, I thought about euthanizing her, but she never completely gave up. So I didn't either.
 

azygous

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11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
A milestone was reached today in May's recovery! She dirt bathed for the first time since she took sick. This is significant since it requires leg action. May also reunited with her two sisters and behaved trusting instead of fearful of being pecked. She's standing more now, so I think that's giving her confidence and also signals to the others she's not sick and vulnerable. May is on the left.
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texsuze

Songster
8 Years
Dec 17, 2012
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Texas Hill Country
Excellent news on May's recovery milestones. The dust bath is huge! My Fay will lay in the dirt, use her beak to bring dirt up around her, but sadly does not have the leg action for a real dust bath.

Despite having a moderate appetite Fay is still underweight. I've ordered a birdy bra for her to wear (my old ones are worn out), thinking I could add extra padding on the inside to keep pressure off her keel and underside. That is, if she'll wear one.

Another question, Azy: how do you administer May's aspirin? I've been crushing Fay's and adding to her wet feed mash, but she's become wise to that method. Also, do you have concerns about gastric issues with giving aspirin b.i.d.? Thanks!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,182
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Colorado Rockies
I have to confess I'm lazy and I just pop the aspirin into her beak. I keep the aspirin to 81 grain tablet twice a day and no more. This is not going to be a continuing pain treatment. It's a stop gap while her nerves are reawakening. I don't anticipate May needing pain relief for longer than two weeks at most.

I've noticed that May has a good day followed by a bad day. Today she was inactive and only wanted to snuggle with Su-su under the heat lamp. May spent some time in her roller chair and she remained in it for longer than usual before she got out of it and scampered over to Su-su. She's extremely dependent on Su-su for comfort and a sense of safety, and Su-su is absolutely dedicated to her needs. I remain constantly amazed at this relationship.
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