Help! Hen off her legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ruth1979, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Ruth1979

    Ruth1979 New Egg

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    Please can anyone help us? One of our favourite Araucanas has suddenly gone off her legs. She is around eight months old and has been perfectly healthy till now. Last weakend we noticed she had a limp and was walking with some difficulty. We've since separated her with a couple of her friends and she now sits on the floor of the coop and needs moving to the feeder and drinker (she is eating and drinking). She is absolutely fine apart from the fact her legs seem to have become very weak. None of our chicken guides have any information about this complaint. We are concerned that she can't fend for herself and obviously want her to get better. Any advice very much appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to Backyard Chickens Ruth1979. Sorry you are having issues with your hen. A few questions to better assess her.

    1. What does her poo look like?

    2. Is her crop hard, or soft? Is she empting her crop overnight?

    3. When this started, did she appear to get a dropped wing or some sort of eye change? (Check out the Marek's thread here on BYC).

    4. Is her breastbone prominent?

    In the meantime, would keep her isolated and make sure she has water.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. Did she have a Mareks vaccine? Limping can be a sign of leg or foot injury, vitamin deficiency, or from certain diseases. Does she hold her leg up when she walks, or does she drag it or act as if it is numb? Are both legs now involved? Can you describe how she lays or sits? Can she hold her head up? Has she been free ranging where she could have eaten something bad? We don't want to jump to conclusions about it being Mareks, but here are some links to read, and the first one includes things that can look like Mareks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
     
  4. Ruth1979

    Ruth1979 New Egg

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  5. Ruth1979

    Ruth1979 New Egg

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    Thank you, Eggcessive. As I have just written to JWB, once his reply highlighted the possibility of Marek's, I looked into it further and concluded it was definitely the right diagnosis. Sadly, the hen became much worse over the course of yesterday and was completely listless with no use of her legs. My husband and I decided she was suffering too much to keep her alive and so he dispatched her last night. It was a very gloomy evening as she was a special bird, plus we are worried the remaining chickens may have the disease, but will be moving the flock to fresh ground in order to keep them healthier as our run's been in constant use since 2007.

    Thanks again,

    Ruth
     
  6. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ruth,

    So sorry for the loss of your hen[​IMG]. Mareks is more common than people want to admit. I do believe I have had a couple with the disease. They were all purchased elsewhere and I did not ask if they give the vaccine. Although the vaccine does not prevent the disease, it only lessens their chances of getting it. Kind of like our flu shots. At least now you can be educated on the disease and know what to watch for. Let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    So sorry about your hen Ruth. Any new chickens in the future will need to be vaccinated and kept free of the dust/dander of your environment for at least 2 weeks to develop immunity.
     

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