Hen appearing to have had a stroke

heatherdevito1

Chirping
Jan 21, 2021
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136
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A few days ago, Bamboo, our ISA Brown seemed to have temporarily lost her vision, possibly a few times. Her pupils aren't dilating properly and she has a tranced look almost appearing as if she is in shock, but we don't believe it was caused by heat stroke because it was not particularly hot that day or the days preceding. She has an ample, clean water supply, high-end 16% layer feed, and additional fresh fruits and vegetables with herbs in small quantities a few times a week, mixed with scratch and black oil sunflower seeds.

The following day, she couldn't walk, but that appears to be secondary and as the result of an injury, perhaps because she couldn't see again. Her right leg is very sensitive to touch and the toes are curled under on their knuckles. Her left leg seemed to be the stronger, uninjured leg but those toes are also now curled up on the knuckles, as well. She can't stand, walk, or lay comfortably, so I have her in a wheelchair from another rescue.

We've been supplementing her with poly-vi-sol, water from a dropper and small portions of hand-feeding. I believe she may also has an impacted crop which we've massaged during and after water, and she is still pooping.

She repeatedly raises her head, very slowly as if following something up, then brings it back down and continues this pattern. We know it's not wry neck or star-gazers and we are awaiting the results of her stool sample. She will see the vet in the morning, but I can't seem to locate ANY information relating to her unique symptoms.

I've already done an immense amount of research on Merek's, wry, etc. This one baffles me. Has anyone experienced similar symptoms that can shed some light on the situation?

Bamboo is one of my many rescues and we rehabbed her after we got her in June, 2020. She's done so wonderfully well these past two years with no incident, so I'd like to do whatever I can to get her on the mend.
 

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TwoCrows

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Awww....poor girl. :hugs I have had 2 hens with stroke. This hen like your girl got weaker and weaker. She had Congestive Heart Failure and of course stroke is common. She too had curled toes and lost use of her legs. She would fall over without the support of towels. Eventually another stroke took her life.

IMG_20160318_085813.jpg


My other hen actually recuperated, she had droopy wing, some neurological troubles and limped on one side.

Your hen sounds pretty severe if its a stroke. I think supportive care is about all you can do for them with stroke. My girl in the basket was still eager to eat, drink and nearly fell out of her basket for treats, she had no pain and still loved life right up to the end.

Blindness usually accompanies kidney failure, so I worry your girl has lost function of kidneys.
 

heatherdevito1

Chirping
Jan 21, 2021
49
136
66
Awww....poor girl. :hugs I have had 2 hens with stroke. This hen like your girl got weaker and weaker. She had Congestive Heart Failure and of course stroke is common. She too had curled toes and lost use of her legs. She would fall over without the support of towels. Eventually another stroke took her life.

View attachment 2759965

My other hen actually recuperated, she had droopy wing, some neurological troubles and limped on one side.

Your hen sounds pretty severe if its a stroke. I think supportive care is about all you can do for them with stroke. My girl in the basket was still eager to eat, drink and nearly fell out of her basket for treats, she had no pain and still loved life right up to the end.

Blindness usually accompanies kidney failure, so I worry your girl has lost function of kidneys.
I hated to hit the like button. I appreciated your reply, but certainly didn't like it. I'll verify with the vet tomorrow, but you and I sound like we're on the same page. It breaks my heart, but considering the deplorable conditions I rescued her and the others, we promised we'd do our best for as long as we could, and offer them a better ending to their beginning. If she doesn't make it, it's gonna pack a wallup.
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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I hated to hit the like button. I appreciated your reply, but certainly didn't like it. I'll verify with the vet tomorrow, but you and I sound like we're on the same page. It breaks my heart, but considering the deplorable conditions I rescued her and the others, we promised we'd do our best for as long as we could, and offer them a better ending to their beginning. If she doesn't make it, it's gonna pack a wallup.
I know how bad it hurts to see them suffer. I still cry after all these years when they pass, they know how to burrow right into our hearts.

You are doing a fabulous job with your flock and this girl especially! And no matter how this turns out, she KNOWS you love her, she feels your sadness as well. 💗:hugs
 

heatherdevito1

Chirping
Jan 21, 2021
49
136
66
I know how bad it hurts to see them suffer. I still cry after all these years when they pass, they know how to burrow right into our hearts.

You are doing a fabulous job with your flock and this girl especially! And no matter how this turns out, she KNOWS you love her, she feels your sadness as well. 💗:hugs
Thank you, I appreciate that very much. There's something chicken people seem to understand in a way that dog and cat people can't. I have those, too, but only Chicken people can comprehend the pain of losing any of them. I have a steady rotation of house chickens that live inside with us until they are ready for coop life.

Toothpick would come back every morning from the coop and peck on the glass of the back slider until I came out for my coffee with her.

Q-Tip used to yell at me at the top of her lungs if I walked away with Einstein for even a second, and she lost sight of him.

Now I have Laverne and Static in the house. Laverne and Shirley were rescued with Meep-Meep last fall but Shirley didn't make it. Laverne never got over the loss and wouldn't acclimate. One day shortly after Shirley passed, she came walking through an open door and she's been inside since. It worked out nicely because I just rescued a blind silkie who has to stay inside, and they've paired up.

They have quirky, unique personalities and the bond we develop with them is unbreakable. It hurts like hell to lose any of them, but every now with the loss of a particularly special one, it tears a piece of my heart out that goes with them.

Bamboo came to us with nary a feather, other than her wings. I named her Bamboo because her naked tail pieces looked like bamboo skewers. She has had a wonderful last two years with us, I have no doubt, and I hope she makes it, but if she doesn't, I'll rest in the solace that she good life. A better life than her cards initially dealt her. 😢💕
 

TwoCrows

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Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
49,219
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New Mexico, USA
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There really is something special about chickens that non-chickeneers don't know about. Chickens are sensitive, intelligent, affectionate and mourn over the loss over their flock mates. It is totally possible to bond with your birds as much as you would with the family dog.

So yeah I get it. And you gave this girl a special gift, one that her previous owners could not. She received a ton of love from you, you gave her the chance to be a happy bird. And this is all that matters. :hugs
 

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