Help with Our Sick Chicken Limpy Laserbeak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NewCr8ion, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. NewCr8ion

    NewCr8ion New Egg

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    Our Buff Orpington "Limpy Laserbeak" is not doing well. She has survived and healed from a broken leg (September) but in the past two weeks she has stopped standing and walking completely. The back story is LONG so grab some coffee...dates are as best as I can recall.

    Sept. 23 we got four 6-8 week old pullets (Barred Rock, Buff Orp and two Easter Eggers) from a man I now call Chicken Mike. I asked a ton of questions including were they vaccinated, when they hatched out, if we get a rooster can we bring it back, etc.

    Sept 28 our son accidentally let the dog into the run and he sat on the pullet breaking her leg. She was brought into the house and nursed back to health for four weeks.

    During this time we got two 2 week old chicks (Black Australorp, Silver Laced Wynadotte) who stayed indoors in a brooder, we introduced our Buff Orp to them. She healed quickly but was unsteady on her feet so we gradually took her out to the run when the others were not out so she could gain her strength and the chicks could go out as well.

    We gradually reintroduced her (and the chicks) to the other chickens while supervised but they were picked on by the EEs.

    I was getting eggs from Chicken Mike during this time so I saw him regularly.

    Toward the end of October we moved Limpy and the chicks into their own small run/coop and kept up the supervised time with the other chickens.

    I noticed one of the EEs was acting and looking rather rooish, so I called Chicken Mike and told him we would wait a couple more weeks to see if when he came back from a molt he was in fact a boy.

    We are now into November, Limpy was doing great, they were all getting along pretty well during supervised time but that EE was getting agressive. So I called Chicken Mike. The date was set to return the roo and swap him for a girl. On November 9th we made the trek back to Chicken Mike's and swapped EEs. He also gave my kid a kitten. And yes, I fell for "the look" and said they could keep the cat. He was tiny and had the most adorable face. He assured me the kitten had been vaccinated "just last week" and all he would need would be to get fixed in two months. (And yes, this ties into the chicken).

    We came home and put everyone into the run and without the aggressive roo leading the charge they all got on just fine.

    I guess my first mistake was not segregating the new EE. But I trusted this guy, at least at this point I did. Three of our chickens had come from him and with the exception of the broken leg they were all healthy, or so I thought.

    That was a Saturday, on Wednesday 11/13 the kitten got sick. He was sleeping on my husband when his bladder just let loose. I have never watched anything so miserable or pitiful as watching that tiny creature die. And he was dying. By the time we got to the emergency vet they said the only option was to put him down. They didn't even have time to do that. Our family was crushed. I was thankful he had been kept isolated from our other indoor pets, then I started to think about the chickens. If Chicken Mike lied about the cat he probably wasn't truthful about the chickens.

    So I contacted friends about what to do, I watched my chickens closely as they advised and all seemed well. I made sure the run was scooped regularly and we wear coop shoes. I thought the worst was behind us. I was wrong.

    On the morning of 11/22 we found our Barred Rock dead in the coop. No warning, no signs of illness or injury just gone. So I turned to my friends again. Cleaned the coop and run, saw some runny poo and decided to treat for Coccidosis with Corrid (1 tsp per gallon of water 11/24-11/30). Within a day or two no runny poo, everyone seemed fine. Until Sunday 11/30. Our Limpy flew out of the coop and then took 3-4 steps and dropped to her whole leg. Hopped 3-4 times then sat down.

    I had already planned to do a week of wormer for all the chickens and indoor pets so I started Safeguard (2ml per gallon of water) on 11/30 and ran that through 12/7.

    Since 11/30 Limpy has not walked normally, in fact she is no longer attempting to stand at all. She's back in the house in isolation.

    On Thursday of last week I took her to the vet. They did x-rays and found nothing wrong with her spine or legs. The vet mentioned Marek's disease but also said there is no treatment and no definitive test. But she also said it presented with lateral paralysis not both sides at the same time.

    Our other chickens are doing great, in fact we got our first eggs this week. (We are not going to eat them due to the medications.)

    So here we are wondering what, if anything we can do for Limpy.. She is eating and drinking, she is alert, no sneezing or discharge from her eyes or nose.

    Can we save her? Is there something we missed? The vet has no idea other than an anti-inflammitory medication which thusfar has not helped. I do not want her to suffer, and she has zero quality of life right now. I mean she is confined to a dog crate or a box on the porch during decent weather.

    Am I being naive to think my miracle chicken will recover and just delaying the hard choice?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Does her bad leg look swollen, infected, or otherwise injured again? Its common for chickens to re-injure legs; I'm dealing with that in one of my cockerels right now. In such cases, rest, vitamins, and supportive care are the best treatment to provide. However, if there is no obvious injury, then I would suspect something else, including Marek's disease or a vitamin deficiency. I would recommend purchasing some poultry vitamins (offer free choice in her water) or Polyvisol infant vitamins (without iron, give 1-2 drops a day). As for Marek's, it is true that there is no 100% effective treatment. But some people have had success giving their Marek's birds St. Johns Wort/Hypericum. Here is a link to that: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/135247/st-johns-wort

    Good luck with her! Chickens are great at recovering from injuries/illnesses, so who knows? Maybe Limpy will miraculously recover.

    ----

    Edited: Just noticed that you said the vet didn't find any leg problems/injury, so I guess that isn't a possibility. I'd try vitamins and perhaps the St. Johns Wort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  3. Viollettt

    Viollettt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried giving her extra vitamins? I have read on this site about giving baby poly-vi-sol vitamins WITHOUT iron drops.
    You can try give her a couple of drops in her beak. Be careful you put it to the side in front and let her drink it. They have a hole in the back of their tongue that is their airway. You don't want it to go in there. When they drink they sort of put the water in the side of their beak and then tilt their head back to make it go down. Just in case you didn't know. Sorry if I am telling too much that you already know. I hope she gets better soon.

    Edited to add: Sorry I was typing this at the same time of the above post and didn't see it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  4. NewCr8ion

    NewCr8ion New Egg

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    May 28, 2013
    I did use Save-a-Chick electrolytes. I will go get vitamins tonight. Right now I will do almost anything. It was ridiculous the amount I spent at the vet but the money was worth knowing she does not have a spine/leg injury.
     
  5. NewCr8ion

    NewCr8ion New Egg

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    May 28, 2013
    Her previously broken leg healed almost perfectly. The vet was shocked as a matter of fact and said we did an "exceptional job" setting it. I could see the injury on the x-ray, that was pretty cool to know.
     
  6. NewCr8ion

    NewCr8ion New Egg

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    May 28, 2013
    Limpy is much worse today. She won't hold her head up. But I did get her to take some water and some of the baby vitamins and food.
     
  7. Viollettt

    Viollettt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know you are doing your best. I'm sorry. I hope she perks up soon.
     

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