Help! My 20 week old EE has lumps on her shanks (the front) / lameness and feather loss.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pennyparty, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    I am so glad to have joined this awesome community of chicken lovers!

    I've been a back yard chickener for over two years and have always found such great stuff here. I am hoping you guys can help me figure out what's up with my poor birdie.

    I am desperate for answers to help my EE pullet. I got 10 pullets from a great lady here in So Cal about 2 months ago. All of them are around 20 weeks of age at this point and they are all healthy and happy except for this one. I noticed about a week ago that she was spending all of her time sitting in the bottom of the coop or on a perch inside, isolated. She was getting picked on by the other chickens and was starting to lose back feathers. I started letting her free range during the day and put her in the coop at night to give her a break from the unwanted attention but she seems to be getting progressively less active and walking seems to pain her. I have been keeping her in a dog crate for the last 5 days - letting her in out in the sunshine and grass during the day and bringing her in for night. I feed my ladies organic chicken grower but also have been supplementing this one with a mixture of oats, yogurt, garlic, sunflower seeds, spirulina, and meal worms to try and fatten her up.

    She eats and drinks. She poops and it looks totally normal.
    I have checked her all over for parasites and found none.
    Her eyes are bright.
    No raised scales on her legs.



    Symptoms:

    Swollen reddish lumps on the shanks of her legs (her ankles also seem a bit swollen).
    One leg is definitely hurting and more sensitive than the other but no raised scales or open injuries.
    Sits all day.
    Sits back on her haunches with her feet almost in the air.
    Feather loss on back and one leg.
    Not as heavy as my other girls
    Dry, flaky skin with little yellowish scabs/crusties in places.


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    Thank you so much for your suggestions :)
     
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Sometimes vitamin defiency can present these symptoms. I would start by giving a good multi vitamin and see if she improves. If no improvement it could very well be something much more serious like Mareks disease. Was she vaccinated for Mareks? Mareks is a highly contagious airborne disease that is literally every where.it can travel miles in the wind and live on land for a year or more. Mareks can present itself in different ways. It can be as subtle as a limp or stiff legs to as vigorous as full blown paralysis. Legs are usually in a Un natural position. Vaccine is not 100% effective but for now it's all we have in the line of defense against mareks. Only testing will confirm if it is mareks or not. Mareks can cause the lumps and scabs on the skin as well. If it is mareks it does NOT mean your whole flock will be symptomatic but if it is mareks it would mean that the exposed flock would now be carriers of the disease and could infect other birds brought on to the property although not symptomatic themselves. You might want to do some research on mareks and the different forms and the many ways it can present itself. I truly hope it is not mareks. I'm not saying she does have it I'm saying don't rule out the possibility. I really hope this is helpful and I wish the best for you and your flock. I would give the poultry vitamins A try and see if their is any improvements. If the condition worsens or no improvement is seen I might consider getting the bird tested.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    The feather loss may be due to rooster mating, feather picking, lice, or mites. The leg problem could be due to mycoplasma synoviae, viral arthritis (tenosynovitis,) or gout. The crusty skin sounds a bit like MS, but the reddish lumpps sound like hemmorrhages of viral arthritis. Here are some articles for your reading:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/viral_arthritis/overview_of_viral_arthritis_in_poultry.html
    http://en.engormix.com/MA-poultry-i.../avian-gout-causes-treatment-t1246/165-p0.htm
     
  4. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    Thank you guys so much. Yes, I was curious about viral arthritis. I have done some reading up about it but will do more for sure. I started poultry supplement that has B vitamins in it (you add it to their water). Are there direct dosing b -vitamins you guys recommend?
     
  5. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    I asked the breeder/ supplier if she vaccinates for Mareks - we'll see what she says. As far as the feather loss - it's not from mating (I have no roosters) and she is not pulling them out herself. Other members of the flock were pulling her feathers out but they might have been loose (therefore tantalizing to my other hens).
     
  6. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    So, I just heard back from the breeder and she said they just started vaccinating for Mareks so my pullets have not been vaccinated. I guess this means I should get her tested somehow... otherwise it's more waiting and seeing if she improves with the multivitamins, etc. The breeder suggested tetracycline in her water to see if that helps as it could be Mycoplasma Synoviae. Seems like a vitamin deficiency could be causing both symptoms though (feather loss and the leg problems) so it's a good place to start.
     
  7. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Here you can see both legs. Her right leg has two red, hot and squishy lumps... they are hard to see but they are there. One on the inside of the leg closer to the knee and one on the outside of the ankle. Today I noticed her left leg is also developing a lump below the knee on the inside (you can j=kind of see it here). I started her on Tetracycline and multivitamin yesterday. She is still eating and drinking well and seems bright, just can't walk around. I am beginning to think the feather loss was secondary to the leg problems (her laying around prompted the other birds to pick on her) because I haven't seen a single loose or shaded feather in her kennel over the last week.
     
  8. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    Loose or shedded feather. Autocorrect!
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Yes the lumps on her legs are quite visible in your pictures. Has your breeder had experience with MS? Tylan 50 injections or Tylan Soluble Powder for the water, or some even stronger antibiotics from the vet (such as Baytril) might work a little better to treat MS. Since it could be something that might affect the others, consulting a vet locally or even your state vet or local university agricultural dept. might be a good thing to do to learn about this. I don't know what state you are in, but there are several good poultry programs around the country, and are a great resource for something like this. Some states will offer free necropsy to diagnose an illness of chickens who have died--California and some others. Please keep us updated on her condition and what you learn. Hopefully more people will respond here.
     
  10. pennyparty

    pennyparty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    Well, it's been nearly a week on the Tertacycline and vitamins. Her feathers are all growing back in, she is eating and drinking, and her poop is normal BUT the lumps on her legs are bigger and look painful (pink and swollen). Yesterday and today I gave her legs an epsom soak and then rubbed with vaseline (she was like "awwww yeahhhhhhh" spa day). I have been scouring the entire internet looking for anyone who has had this problem and can not find a single person who has!!!

    Could scaly leg mite cause swollen lumps like this? (even if she has no crusts on her legs?) The skin looks perfectly healthy.
     

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