Guinea with swollen legs

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by KimM, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. KimM

    KimM Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'm new to guineas this year. We have four, housed with a flock of chickens. They are about 10 months old. One of the four injured a leg several months ago. I thought she had recovered, but the past few weeks she has been limping again. Today when I went to let everyone out, she came out but she was hopping around funny- on her hocks- and refused to leave the run. She had trouble getting back up in the coop, because she wouldn't extend her legs normally. When I looked closer I saw several swollen areas on each leg. Her feet look fine, so I don't think it's bumblefoot- the swellings are up on the legs. The swollen spots are slightly soft and warm to the touch. I've looked through all my chicken books to no avail.

    Any ideas? Everyone else is in good health, I don't see any signs of mites or that sort of thing. Her legs are smooth, no scaliness.

    Thanks for any thoughts-
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Sometimes one small puncture wound or old injury can heal over but leave infection behind (usually staph) to run rampant and pop up wherever as an abscess. So that would be my guess as to what's going on. I'm also going to guess that the pressure of the swellings is causing her a lot of pain, and that's what's making her walk on her hocks...

    Since you say the swellings are soft and warm (abscess), you might try soaking her legs in warm water 10 mins or so first, then getting a large gauge needle and syringe and piercing the softened leg skin where you'd consider it to be the head of an abscess. Piercing Guinea leg skin is tough (unless it's THEM injuring themselves!), so you may need to use a little force, just be careful and have a helper. Guineas aren't the most docile or appreciative birds when we are trying to help them so it might help keep her calm if you wrap her in a towel and cover her head while you work on her. If the swellings are definitely pus filled, then IMO they need to be opened, drained and cleaned/flushed out with a betadine/water solution or a peroxide/water solution, then coated with plain neosporin and kept clean until they are no longer draining and are healing well (wrapped with vetwrap maybe as well to help keep them clean). Once the swelling is relieved it should relieve enough pain for her that she'll get up on her feet again (hopefully... if this is actually what's going on with her).

    I'd of course confine the bird to a cage or crate on soft bedding, in the coop if you can so she isn't overly stressed by being away from the flock, or rejected after she's recovered, and so she's easy to catch for wound cleaning, soaking and medicating etc. (Plus she may have a messy rear end that needs cleaning if she can't get up to poop). I'd also provide her with a brooder lamp for a little warmth (not too hot tho, you don't want to over heat her, and you want to be sure it's securely hung or mounted so there's no fire risk!). Vitamins and high protein feed will also help her heal and fight infection.

    Since this may be a recurring infection that she can't seem to shake on her own she may also need to be treated with some type of broad spectrum antibiotic... injectable types (like baytril) work the quickest and require the least amount of doses, but the types you can add to the water are easier to deal with, (but take longer to start working and must be used for longer periods). (And I know Resolution will suggest boosting her immune system with cranberry capsules and krill oil capsules instead of treating her with antibiotics if he reads this, but IMO she's probably a little past that stage already). Yogurt or probiotics after the treatment of antibiotics will help re-flourish the beneficial microbes in her digestive tract that were zonked out by the antibiotics.

    Good luck, hope you can heal/cure her.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012

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