Has anyone's chicken ever recovered from paralysis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eme, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Eme

    Eme Out Of The Brooder

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    I see so many posts about chickens being unable to walk or stand, I am wondering if any do survive and go on to live normally after being pretty much paralyzed? If so, what was the cause of it, and what did you do to make them thrive on their own again?

    I am going through this (for a second time) on my first ever batch of chickens that I brought home 7 months ago. I am finding it all very... discouraging for a beginner.

    He was being picked on by another rooster, and then collapsed, and hasn't walked since. His legs don't look broken or injured..i don't know if it's mareks and thats why he was being picked on, or if he was injured in some way that made him paralyzed. He can't even stand or move, and one leg has absolutely no resistance when i touch it or put it against my hand. I honestly didn't notice anything wrong with him until he collapsed.

    So, yeah, any similar stories with happy endings? Or any advice?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it has been some time (more than a few days) since he was picked on then it does sound like head/spinal trauma and I would think recovery would be unlikely.

    If it has only been a couple days then he may snap out of it as it could be a shock response.

    Some people have had chicken paralysis resolve when it was related to vitamin or nutrient defficiency too.

    Botulisum can also cause paralysis and if they survive they can recover provided the dammage caused is not too extensive.
     
  3. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It might be worth atry to give him some vitamin B12 and E in his food to see if the paralysis is from a vitamin def., even if it is Marek's disease he may live through it, and the extra vitamins may help give him strenght to survive it. I think with marek's they get splayed legs, one going in one direction and the other leg extended in the opposite direction, you can look up both here in the search engine. The vitamin treatment took about 10 days for my hen to walk again, but she is now fine, it has been at least 5 months since it happened. But you must separate him from the others , asap, no matter what is wrong, if it's marek's he can't be with the others and if it is from a vitamin def. he has to be separated because the others will pick at him. Also, being kept warm for a few days will help him to recover. If he seems fine in everyother way, eats, drinks, pecks the floor, poops, talks to you, then I would try the vitamins. Get powdered vit. B complex taps, pull them apart, sprinkle on his favorite treat. Vit. E, get liquid caps, cut tip open and squeeze liquid onto food. Don't give vit. E every day, it gets absorbed into fat so it stays in the boby longer than vit. b which is water soluable, taht's why your pee turns yellow when you take vitamins. Also, electrolyte solution from the feed store in his water. I hear people using polysol liquid without iron as a vitamin supplement also. good luck
     
  4. Eme

    Eme Out Of The Brooder

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    Since he has been paralyzed (monday) he has been inside, in a dog crate with a bunch of straw used to prop him upright. I have been giving him electrolytes and keeping food and water closeby. I only notice him eating if i put it up to his face, then he will start to show interest. His legs are both forwards, but one is very far forward, and the other one is forward tucked up against his chest. He doesnt seem to feel me touching his legs or feet. He sort of falls over when he struggles to move. If i pick him up, his legs stay in the exact same position. I scrambled some eggs, but he shows no interest in it.

    I will start with the vitamins tomorrow. I don't see him having any control/being able to move his feet (only his elbows a bit.. mostly his wings).

    It's all very sad. I didn't know owning chickens is so tough.

    I attached a photo, it probably isn't a big help, but you can see how his feet are stuck. Poor guy. He's always leaning to one side.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. exop

    exop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's important to keep him fed and watered, to keep his strength up. When he eats, you should be sure he eats enough to fill his crop (you should be able to feel the lump on his breast). He may be too weak or too "disabled" right now to eat on his own. I had a silkie cross last year who suffered a head trauma and was almost completely unable to move or sit upright, and he didn't really eat unless he was force-fed; he started to improve dramatically when I made sure to force-feed him several times a day. Mixing chicken feed with water to make a mush seems to work well. (Let it sit for a few minutes after mixing to let the water absorb - you may need to add a little extra water in order to get a moist mixture). If you pry the beak open gently and then hold the bird's mouth open with one hand, you should be able to insert a pea sized glob of moist food using your other hand. See illustration. Once it's in his mouth, he should swallow it down. Depening on the size of the bird, he may be able and willing to swallow slightly larger globs. Try to feed about a tablespoon of moist food total, if he seems to be swallowing ok.

    [​IMG]

    Best - exop
     
  6. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

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    I am going thru this now, though it's for a dislocated leg, which is not going to heal, unfortunately. Usually it's a vitamin deficiency, and I treat with vitamin and electrolyes. It takes a while, liek two weeks or so but they did get better
     
  7. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    soak her in a basin of warm water for 20 minutes. mine liked it, may of helphed with the recovery, got blood to the legs, sooth muscles ect..
    I can't believe how common this is, you would think the feed would be better suited for the girls!
     
  8. Eme

    Eme Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your helpful replies. I found some powdered chicken vitamins, and have been syringe feeding him that mixed with his water. Today he seems very thin and weak. Would those vitamins be fine? Or would it be better to just give him vitamin E and B12 directly instead? Or in addition to those general chicken vitamins? it has vitamins E and B 12 in it.

    Still giving him electrolytes too.

    I tried exop's method of balling up his food, and he really hates it haha. He would struggle and roll around and shake it out. He got really agitated. So i blended some of his crumble in water and made it into a mash, and using the syringe put drop by drop on the side of his beak and he'd take some of that in.. not sure how much though.


    Another question i had, is, how do I know when he's full? How do i tell if the crop is full vs too-full? This morning it felt empty except for a small hard lump.

    I realized that he does not seem to like his crumbles, and I had changed the brand last weekend, because my usual store was closed for a few days and I ran out of their usual crumbles. Maybe he hasn't been eating that, and relying only on the couple handfuls of scratch I throw everyday. Because he doesn't seem to eat his crumbles in the dish, but if i sprinkle a couple pieces of scratch, he goes at that pretty good. I will get a bag of their old crumbles today from the store. Do you think he could have starved himself because he didn't like the crumbles?


    For Tammye, do I put his body in warm water? Or do I hold him above it and sort of let his legs go in it? I have been trying to massage his legs and move him around every once in awhile, to hopefully keep them ok...

    for Jerseygirl1, how can you tell if a chicken's leg is dislocated?

    Thanks for everyones help.. hopefully something will work...its already been a few days now..
     
  9. exop

    exop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] ... I'm glad to hear that he's still got some fight left in him! [​IMG] But he will need to eat, just vitamins and electrolytes won't give him the calories and protein he needs to keep going and heal. [​IMG]

    In crop size, I'd shoot for a slightly squishy feeling ball about the size of an unshelled walnut, if he's a standard sized bird, or a hazelnut if he's a bantam. If the crop is very soft and squashy that means it's mostly filled with water.

    I forgot to mention, no, they really don't like being handfed. There can be a lot of neck wiggling and head thrashing to get away while you're trying to get an open beak... and as you saw, shaking to get rid of unwanted object in mouth. The key seems to be,
    * hold the chicken on your lap, maintaining a firm but friendly grip with your arm, chest, knees etc...
    * make sure the food glob is soft, mushy and digestible, not solid like a ball of dough...
    * if the chicken rejects it totally or it looks too big to fit in the throat, try again with a smaller ball ...
    * when it's in the mouth, give the glob of food a careful push with one fingertip, to push it back past the tongue. If you have smaller fingers, push it right into the esophagus. Once it's past the "point of no return" the bird will basically swallow it even though it doesn't want to. I know this sounds like really bad advice!! But I've successfully fed several ailing or non-self-feeding birds this way.

    If he totally will not be fed solids, you could try adding sugar to his vitamin water, or try him on yoghurt.

    Good luck! I'm rooting for him and you!!

    Best - exop
     
  10. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Put the alarm up for me, I'm just wondering if there is something actually wrong with the new food. Sometimes a batch can be bad or off. Just a thought... no real advice here. Oh, I hear it can be a shock to change their food without phasing it in/out gradually, maybe someone with more experience can expand on that.

    Good luck!
     

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