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Help - Hen with difficulty walking for 4 days, steps on own feet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chelchick, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    My 9 month old hen is barely moving around. She will stand for very short periods of time and then just sit abruptly. I have seen her drink water, but not sure if she is eating the laying pellets next to her. Her poop was yellow the other day, today it is more of a green color, but still more liquid than solid.

    She was attacked by at bobcat 12 days ago, but didn't have any obvious injuries other than missing feathers. Please offer any help you can, she looks like she is declining and I am afraid I am going to lose her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check the bottom of her feet for bumble foot. There are photos that are very helpful, if you search it...Good luck!
     
  3. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion, but her feet look normal. Any other ideas?
     
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do a complete head-to-tail assessment of her.
    Check out her vent.
    Check for mites/lice
    Feel her abdomen......is it swollen?
    Had she been laying eggs and now isn't? The bobcat attack may have caused such stress as to stop her laying eggs, but she may still have one inside her.
    If you think one is stuck, put on a latex glove and go up inside her gently and see if you can feel an egg. Sometimes people prefer to first set them down in warm water.........which can stimulate them to expel the egg.
    How is her crop? Is it swollen?
    What does her comb look like? Really pale?
    I would definitely put her in a crate, so you can take better care of her and know exactly what she is eating and what she is pooping.
    Are you sure she didn't get a bigger injury from the bobcat?
    I had a coon attack and one hen didn't look too bad, but when I looked closer, she'd lost a 4x3" area of skin under her feathers.
    You just need to really check out her whole body.
    Tell us more of what happened to her during the attack.
     
  5. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2010
    I just went and looked in on her.

    Her crop is not swollen, just checked and didn't feel anything. Her comb looks normal, red. She is pooping, but the color is an off green/greyish color.

    She had been laying eggs prior to the attack. We checked her for a stuck egg last weekend, but didn't find anything. She laid an egg earlier the day of the attack.

    I am not sure if she isn't more injured from the attack. I will do complete reinspection and re-check her vent while there. Last I looked, it was ok.

    During the attack she lost a lot of feathers (a whole line across the backyard). Following the trail, my husband saw the bobcat next to the hen laying on the ground looking dead. The bobcat ran away and my husband chased it off. I saw the chicken walk across the yard then disappeared out of sight. She ran across the street to a neighbor's yard and couldn't be found. A few hours later she appeared at the side of the road. We picked her up and brought her back.

    There wasn't any blood or obvious injuries. She had lost a lot of feathers and had bare skin. She slept overnight in the nesting box then came outside the next morning. Seemed a little slow, but thought she may be in shock. She was eating and drinking and walking around for a few days. Not entirely normal, but doing ok. Last Monday she started limping. She got worse thoughout the week. I gave her a bath on Thursday night since she had poop in her feathers. She is in a nesting box with food and water within reach.

    She is alert and is sitting with both feet under her, but makes no attempt to walk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  6. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    UPDATE: Performed a head to tail assessment.

    No cuts or sores
    No lice or mites
    Vent is open and normal looking
    Her left wing seems injured. She would squak some when we were examining it.
    Did not feel any lumps or swollen places.

    We gave her a bath since she had poop on her feathers. After her bath, we set her on the ground and she walked around.

    She was stepping on her own feet - left foot appeared to step on right. This made it difficult for her to walk. She took a few steps, and pooped:
    [​IMG]

    She pecked at the grass a little bit and groomed herself slightly before laying down again.

    I fed her some softened oatmeal and she ate it (dish was covered along the bottom).
    [​IMG]
     
  7. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Update: Our hen ate some more oatmeal and a few bites of banana. She hasn't walked or changed positions since I set her down earlier. She is moving her head around.

    Any suggestions for changes to her care or ideas of what could be causing her to have difficulty walking?
     
  8. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're sure taking good care of her!
    Its impossible to know if she had internal injuries from the attack.
    I would just keep doing what you're doing. Make sure she's sitting on her legs/feet okay and they're not bent in a bad position.
    I had a coon attack in my run last June. The coon killed 2 hens and injured another one. But even the ones who didn't have any external injuries quit laying for the rest of the year, and it took a long time for them to not act lethargic. Your hen might just slowly be recovering from that trauma.
    Even if she doesn't get up on her own, make sure you move her around several times a day. That should be good for her system.
    Bless her heart........what a traumatic thing she endured.
    I'm glad she has you to take such good care of her!
    Keep us posted on her progress.
     
  9. dinahmoe

    dinahmoe Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    how is she this morning?it sounds like she may have some nerve damage.probably from the biting down across the back when the bobcat carried her off.there could also be a fractured pelvis causing the damage to get worse.i would just give her tlc and make her as comfortable as possible.have everything in reach so she doesn't have to move too much.if you could find a vet to look at her and maybe some steroids that would be ideal.
     
  10. chelchick

    chelchick New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Update: She is still alert this morning. She moved about a foot from where I saw her last night. She was sitting with both her feet underneath her and looking around. Just gave her a fresh round of food and water and I will check on her in a while.

    Thanks for the kind words.
     

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