HELP Injured day old chick with leg infection!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by osukrazykate, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster

    I picked up my chicks today and one has an injured leg and hobbles on the other leg. It seems swollen and a little bit of pus is coming out at the joint of the upper leg to the lower leg.

    I know this may be hard to see how it is swollen, but right at the joint and it holds this leg out to the side a little bit. [​IMG]

    Does anybody have any suggestions of what I should do to help this little guy out?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  2. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    If it is what I think it is, it is called spraddle leg (I might have misspelled that).

    Last year was the first time I ever got chicks, and the local feed store sold me a buff orpington with spraddle leg. I didn't know what the problem was at the time, or what to do with it.

    Later I found on the net where some folks put a band aid around the two legs, sort of as a splint, to keep the errant leg in place. They did this for maybe two weeks or so, and the leg strengthened enough that the chick could make it.

    But I didn't find that out until it was too late to treat the condition, and so eventually as my chick grew bigger and heavier, I eventually had to put her down.

    It was my understanding from what I read, though, that if I had treated her in her first few days of life, that she might have overcome the problem and lived a normal and healthy life.
  3. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    Sadly I have one like that and the outcome for the leg was not good. [​IMG] She is still alive, but can only hop around. So she is in a brooder with the new chicks (which she loves). I know I should have culled her, but I couldn't. She is not in any pain, and seems content with the chicks loving up on her![​IMG]
    I hope someone else can give you more hope. I'm sorry your chick is hurt!

    Edited to say... I have fixed the spraddle leg, but this one I could not help. Because of the joint problem, and the sore on the "elbow". It was like the joint had some kind of trauma.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  4. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster

    So I have spraddled the leg with the band aid trick and sat here with her for awhile and gave her some sugar water and a little bit of boiled egg smashed up. She seemed to drink the water when I dipped her beak into the water mixture and drink it. I also put some triple antibiotic ointment on her elbow, now that was a trick band aid and ointment. So she doesn't quit stand up yet with the bandage, but I put her in her own little container inside the brooder so she will stay warm over night and watched for awhile as I every once in a while gave her more water. While watching I did see her peck at the towel a few times like she thought there was some food, so I put a little bit of starter feed in and she did eat some of it here and there. However, I am still concerned about the elbow and only time is really going to be able to tell. So if anybody else knows what I should do to help this little one, please let me know!
  5. firedove

    firedove Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    You may want to try a warm wet compress on the joint every two hours or so to draw out the infection, soaking the joint in warm water will do just as well but may be harder to safely manage with a tiny chick.

    I know if it was a rabbit I would be washing down that joint with betadine twice a day but I don't know if betadine is OK for chickens or what the dilution rate would be.

    Maybe you should wrap the wound itself with a band-aid between compresses to keep the area clean from mess in the brooder.

    Does anyone know if you can use epsom salts with chickens? I know that draws out an infection spectacularly well but not sure if it is safe.

    The triple antibiotic may be good or may not be. While the wound still has puss in it a layer of gel antibiotic will trap in the infection. To the same end though, if you can get the wound cleaned out the gel will form a barrier to keep new infectious materials out.

    Your chick may not be spraddle legged at all, in the traditional sense anyways, it could be that it holds the leg funny because of the pain in the joint.

    You should consider changing the thread title to "chick with leg infection" to draw more specific interest. Maybe someone can help with whether or not the betadine or epsom salts would be ok.
  6. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Betadine is okay for use on chickens. try to make sure you get as much puss out as you can and wash the injury down with betadine (be warned it will stain anything and everything). Afterwards, apply the neosporin. Do not use any antibacterial ointments that contain anything ending in -caine. I agree with Firedove that your chick may not be spraddle legged but has a boo-boo that hurts.
  7. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster

    Quote:So should I still treat for spraddle leg? I did put a band aid on for spraddle leg last night, but when getting up this morning to check on it I see that the band aid has come off.
  8. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I would probably hold off until the leg injury is healed. I think a lot of the people that posted about spraddle missed that you mentioned puss.

    After the leg has healed, that is when I would use medical tape. I prefer medical tape because the adhesive is stickier (or at least in my experience). I don't recommend the clear med tape but do use the cloth kind. The clear kind seems to not be as sticky again.
  9. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    on my infected wing chick i use an antibiotic from the vet, clamavox, and dap a drawing salve(ichthamol from walmart) on it after a warm bath- here are some progressive pics- maybe you could try it- it is slowly coming down, today i can almost see the normal joint


  10. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster

    This little chicky crossed over the rainbow earlier today. Thank you everybody for being such great supporters and helping me out with such great advice and suggestions.

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