help, chicken limping

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Meg6438, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Meg6438

    Meg6438 New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2015
    Pleas help! I have noticed for sometime now that my sweet Penny Sue (Rhode Island Red) has been limping. At first we thought her feet were cold from the weather and added extra hay to the coop and run but it never got better. I have checked her feet on several occasion , even washed her feet with a warm wash cloth, and have never noticed anything irregular or any sores. She has recently gotten worse. She has a hard time walking on her right leg. She limps badly and sometimes has to flap her wings to help balance. She can barely get in her coop from the run. She still has an appetite, drinks water and still has a drive to be like the other chickens. I gave her 1/2 a baby aspirin today in hopes it would help with any pain. I left her alone in the run with access to the coop , and let the other chickens out to run around and forage. Penny just laid around in the run and didn't try to do much. I plan to separate her and bring her in for a little TLC and keep her off her foot for a while. Any ideas what this could be? Or advice on what to do to make her feel better?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. She could have a bad sprain or a broken leg, but I would also check her for symptoms of Mareks disease. Was she vaccinated for Mareks? Does she hold the leg up and hop around, or does she walk on the bad leg, and does it seem numb or paralyzed? Can she curl her toes if you touch her foot? Does she walk on her hocks or elbows? I would place her in a pen, either in the coop with food and water, or inside. Keep her there for a week to evaluate her walking and force her to rest the leg. It can take a couple of weeks to rest a sprain. Give her some poultry vitamins in her food or water daily, in case of a vitamin deficiency. Here is some reading about Mareks:
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
  3. barbjess

    barbjess Out Of The Brooder

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    I put one of my hens in isolation two days ago with a leg issue. I think it is just a leg strain because when I first isolated her, she could not bear weight at all and now after 48 hours of quiet time she is standing and making tentative steps although with a limp. She is eating, drinking and pooping. Please tell me why you asked MEG6438 concerning her chicken 'Does she hold the leg up and hop around, or does she walk on the bad leg, and does it seem numb or paralyzed? Can she curl her toes if you touch her foot? Does she walk on her hocks or elbows?' so that I know what to look for in this current situation and future situations. I logged on tonight to get an idea how long I should keep my chicken in isolation as I am hoping that she continues to improve and gets back to normal in a few days. Will being separated from the flock make it hard for her to adjust to being put back in the coop? I don't have vitamins to give her but I sprinkled some yeast on her food and added apple cider vinegar to her water. Will that be enough?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    A leg sprain should produce limping with the leg held up, just as you would hop on a good leg. Mareks disease may cause paralysis of a leg, and the chicken may still try to put weight on the leg, and the toes may turn under or the foot may appear numb. Toes should curl when the foot is stroked--if not there could be nerve damage or paralysis. Walking on hocks may be a symptom of riboflavin deficiency, mycoplasma synoviae,or Mareks disease. To reduce the need for reintegration, I would cage your hen inside the coop with flock mates for a week, and then longer if needed.
     
  5. barbjess

    barbjess Out Of The Brooder

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    I am sure hoping that it is a strain and not Mareks. When I entered the coop the other morning she was on the roost and flapping her wings to get stable. I set her on the floor to look at her and realized that she could barely stand. I have not seen her hop but I have not seen her do anything other than a tentative step. I will check her toes tomorrow. She is looking better..at first when isolated she was huddled on the ground with her feathers puffed up a bit, the next day was some ground huddling and some standing but today she was standing and looks much better and is holding herself better. If her toes curl and she is looking better tomorrow, should I plan on caging her in the coop immediately. If her toes don't curl or she has not started to walk normal in a few days, what would be your thought? I appreciate the help you have given me.
     
  6. Meg6438

    Meg6438 New Egg

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    Thank you for responding and the helpful advice. I have separated her from the other chickens. I am keeping her in a crate inside for the time being. I gave her a warm bath to see if it helped her leg any. Dried her off good and gave her a treat. I think she is getting used to being spoiled lol She does seem to be resting on her hocks/elbows as you can see in the picture i provided. It takes her a minute but she will curl her toes when I press on her feet. I have noticed the limping starting probably a month ago or so.. when it first started it was just a slight limp.it lasted about a week or 2 and she seemed to be better. Then it started again a week or so later. We thought it was from the sever cold and just watched her. But it kept getting worse this time. I looked her feet over and the bottoms looked fine. This past week has really gotten worse to the point she can barely get around. So im not sure if it started as a Sprain and got worse or if another chicken attacked her. Or what it could be. Im going to try keeping her off of it a while and give her 1/2 a baby aspirin the morning. I will also see if i can get some vitamins to add to get water as you suggested. If it doesn't improve after trying that im not sure what else to do. Thank you again
     
  7. barbjess

    barbjess Out Of The Brooder

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    I hope your chicken gets better soon. It is so hard when something happens to our birds so I feel your stress.
     
  8. Meg6438

    Meg6438 New Egg

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    My poor Penny seems to be getting worse. She is still eating and drinking and wants to walk. But when she tries to walk she falls over on her face and rolls to her side and just lays there. I stopped the baby aspirin since it didn't seem to help her. I have ruled out a sprain. I was able to get some vitamins yesterday and started her on that mixed in her water. Do you know how soon she may start to show signs of improvement if it is a vitamin issue? Or can they recover from a vitamin deficiency?
     

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