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Help! Neck problem - Intermittent Shaking, Wobbling, Seizing, 20 wks - VIDEO

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tamara119, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Hi!
    I've been very concerned about my 20 week old araucana rooster. He's small for his age, and he has developed a neck problem. I've read all about B-vitamin deficiency, gapeworm, crookneck, stargazing, Marek's, Newcastle and everything else. Trouble is, these symptoms fit everything a little bit but nothing completely. He talks a lot, as in he has this kind of trill that he's always doing while he walks. My husband thinks he's saying "Look at me, I'm Tamara's favourite, you guys are all second best, she loves me the most!" And actually, he's probably right!!


    1) What type of bird, age and weight. Araucana (South American standards), about 4 months old weight unknown
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Wobbling his head, not all the time but typically when he is eating. When he crows, his neck seems to seize and pulls his head backwards by the end of the crow. Then he's fine. If he is startled and scared his head will bobble and sometimes his neck will twist back a bit and seize, but again, it doesn't last for long. He seems to stretch his neck and yawn a lot, like he's adjusting his crop. He's done that since he was just a few days old, much more frequently than any of the other chicks. He sneezes only if he's eating crumble and his nostrils get dirty. He doesn't have any other respiratory symptoms.
    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No, but he was trampled when he was about 6 weeks old and held his head at an angle for a few days. I gave him vitamins and molasses at that time. This new neck problem showed up suddenly. Perhaps he is more prone to neck problems or re-injury because of being trampled?
    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. He behaves normally, except he seems more frightened of the hens. Perhaps he was injured by one of them?
    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. He eats and drinks normally and comes for treats like all the others.
    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal, but runny when he's eating lots of lettuce.
    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? I have had him on vitamin B complex and vitamin E for about 10 days. Some days I think the seizing is better, but other times I'm not sure. I don't have access to selenium. The video is take today, and yesterday I added prednisone to his vitamins. So he's been about 10 days with vitamins only and 1 full day with vitamins and prednisone.
    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I'll treat everything myself, no vets here for chickens.
    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use. He still sleeps with his siblings on shavings.

    Here's the video:

    In the video link you can see the bobbing and shaking behaviour. He'll do that for a bit, and then it stops and he's normal. Sometimes I wonder if it is an injury and when he shakes the lettuce to tear it he's aggravating the injury. The video doesn't show the seizes after the crow, but I'm sure you can imagine it. It's like the muscles tighten and pull his head backwards. The video also shows how this is intermittent; sometimes he's fine and symptom free.

    So, what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  2. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Bump. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  3. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    I watched the video on You Tube and see your concern. Truthfully I would not be too concerned. It possibly could be a crop problem as the food may not be passing as easily when he eats or the food doesn't go down as normally when eating. I have seen this issue with my wild turkeys from time to time along with some chickens over the years.As long as he is able to do the water thing without a problem, I would not worry too much.
    If you are really concerned, watch his drinking habits to see whether he drools or has water dripping from the sides of his beak. He looks fine in the video. Nothing serious. If you can , hold him and massage his crop to see if it shifts easily enough, not too full.If it seems overly full and bulging add some vegetable oil to the lettuce he eats or water dish. As to be expected not all chickens are perfect and some have personal quirks to add to their personalities. He looks happy and healthy in the video. Carry on lil fella...
    Steve(BunkyB)
     
  4. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Thanks Steve. I have to say how perfect it is that you've responded, as the roo's name is Bunky!
    I've wondered if it's the crop, but the seizing when he crows is the part that makes me think it's muscular/neurological. If I can, I'll get a video of that too.
    Cheers,
    Tamara
     
  5. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    I checked his crop, and it seems fine. A bit of food as he had been eating, but not distended. I checked the back of his neck too, and there's no obvious laceration. He's just got lots of feathers coming in. I took another video, this time it shows him doing the yawning/gaping thing. By chance, he's done it several times during the video, but I don't think he really does it this often. Also, you can see how his neck seems to pull backwards sometimes. One thing seems increasingly obvious, and that is he is bothered by something. Could this be gapeworm even though he has no respiratory distress? I have some levamisole; I was going to use it on the whole flock once egg production has gone down (it's autumn here). I could dose him with levamisole and see if that helps.

    New video:


    Thanks for any feedback!
     

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