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Help! Wyandotte having trouble walking, leg injury?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by britamarian, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. britamarian

    britamarian New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2013
    One of our two Wyandottes seemed to be acting strange yesterday. All of our seven chickens free range during the day and she seemed to be walking around with her neck tucked in to her body, as if she was cold. After watching her for a while, it seemed that she was also having trouble walking. The furthest right toe on her right foot seemed to curl under, causing her to lose her balance and continue to topple over on her right side.

    After keeping her inside overnight with food and water, she seems to be worse today. Although seeming cold and huddled into herself, she was walking around yesterday. Today she can't walk at all, flopping onto her right side whenever she tries.

    She seems to have no interest in eating or drinking, she's been dozing all day, simply sitting down in her carrier...I gave her a warm bath with epsom salts today, per other advice I've seen on the site, but she seems the same.

    I've given her 1/2 of a baby aspirin and she drank a bit of water with vitamin C in it tonight. Besides a few nibbles of bread/oatmeal dissolved in honey water, she hasn't been eating or drinking much, just dozing. Please help! What should I try next?? She seems so unhappy :(

    The first two photos are of her sitting - the next two are when she attempts to stand.

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm afraid that she may have Mareks disease, but I hope I'm wrong. Did she have a vaccine? That is not a diagnosis, but a suggestion to research Mareks to see if her symtoms match. Another possibility could be botulism. This is caused by eating a toxin in decaying animal or vegetable matter such as a fish or animal carcass, maggots, or something from a compost bed. http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
    http://www.avianweb.com/botulism.html
     
  3. britamarian

    britamarian New Egg

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    She has been vaccinated for Marek's disease - after doing some research, it seems that botulism may be the case. I did feed a tiny bit of our food scraps from the compost bin to the chickens a few days ago - this could have been the culprit? The other chickens seem to be doing fine...
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I doubt it was that since most cases involve digging up deep compost where air can't get to it. But if you suspect it you could give her a molasses or epsom salt flush which is used to flush out the toxin. One TB molasses in 1 cup of water for her to drink or 1 tsp epsom salts in 1 ounce of water. These will give her diarrhea, and I wouldn't attempt unless you really think she has this since it may dehydrate her.
     
  5. britamarian

    britamarian New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2013
    So I think it might have been debris from cleaning out our gutters. We recently moved into a new house and had to clean out the clogged gutters in a haste during a rainstorm a few days ago. The debris was scattered near her free range space...

    This morning she seems eager to eat more oatmeal, sunflower seeds and honey, but isn't interested in drinking much at all. I'm starting to get really worried because this morning she's keeping her eyelids shut most of the time and seems to be having small muscle spasms, causing her to contort into strange positions - maybe Marek's??
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If she has paralysis of the third eyelid or nictitating membrane, that is a symptom of botulism. This is the whitish looking lid. Can she hold her neck up? Is she having any neck twisting spasms--sideways, or up or down? I would hate for it to be either disease, but if it is botulism she has a chance to recover. The first 2 days is critical. You might want to make sure that you see the Cornell link in post #2 with the 18 pictures of Mareks disease if you missed it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  7. britamarian

    britamarian New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2013
    Yes, it is the whitish looking lid - both of these eyelids keep closing periodically - making it appear that she's dozing on/off. Her neck is definitely spasming sideways and up and down - not very dramatically, but occasionally, forcing her to move into odd positions. She can only hold her head up occasionally - she's been eating/drinking a little bit, but pretty much only if I hand feed/water...

    Thank you so much for all of your help! Sounds like botulism?
     

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