Hen cannot walk, has curled toes, and has runny poop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SuburbanOutlaw, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. SuburbanOutlaw

    SuburbanOutlaw New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2013
    I have a RIR hen that is almost 5 years old, and she started displaying these symptoms yesterday or possibly the day before:

    1. Difficulty moving around coop. Stayed inside hen house.
    2. Toes and legs look curled and are paralyzed (wings are fine--she supports herself on them).
    3. Poop looks runny and yellowish, and has little pellets in it that are greenish-black.
    4. Still seems alert and has no difficulty breathing.
    5. Drinking lots but eating little. Offering layer ration, scratch, grapes, and mealworms. Also have added ACV to her water.

    I suspect my husband let the food get a bit moldy, but I'm not certain. This EXACT thing happened to another hen, another RIR that was shipped along with her when they were day-old chicks, last year or maybe the year before. My husband eventually put her down because she seemed to really be suffering. This one (Squanto) doesn't seem to be suffering--at least not yet. She actually seems quite content to stay in the cardboard box in our half bath!

    I keep thinking Marek's, but wouldn't that have presented years ago? I have never supplemented with vitamins or used antibiotics or anything with my hens. Should I? You can see in the pics that she spreads out her wings to support herself. The poop picture isn't that clear--sorry. I think you can see the weird pellets and gooey poop, though. I would surely appreciate any insight from you all! Thank you!

    Here are a few pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ETA: I wasn't able to get a picture of her legs and feet because I'm home alone with the kids, but I can take and add one this evening after husband or mom gets home if y'all think it would be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  2. yolkoroo

    yolkoroo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    Are the toes/feet discolored? Could there be some frost bite involved? Don't know your climate, but it does happen alot this time of year. Usually in birds in obviously colder climates, but some maybe in not so extreme cold due to poor circulation which usually first manifest with curling toes then blackening of the toes and eventual loss of appendages???? Again, not sure of your climate.
     
  3. SuburbanOutlaw

    SuburbanOutlaw New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2013
    I don't think so. It hasn't been horribly cold, and there's no damage to her comb or anything.
     
  4. Sarahj21

    Sarahj21 Just Hatched

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    Penny my RIR was doing the same thing!!! 3 days she just sat then the 4th she started to move around but fall over, today she has been almost back to her old self. Her feet are a bit pink tho. I have know idea what was wrong with her
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop
    This poop was from a 2-3 year old hen that died from Marek's


    [​IMG]
     
  6. SuburbanOutlaw

    SuburbanOutlaw New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2013
    Oh, no. That is exactly what her poop looks like. It was hard to see since it was mixed in with shavings. Now what? I'll go look into it more, I guess. Thank you so much for sharing that picture, casportpony.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop
    FWIW, Once I started tube feeding her fluids, then baby bird food, her poop started to look more normal, but it never looked right and always had a yellow color. You can read about my hen here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...lethargic-hen-w-swollen-legs-feet-and-wattles
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    This is a copy-and-paste from another post of mine

    You need to keep her in your house where it's warm, get her properly hydrated. She needs 30ml of fluids per kg of body weight 4-6 times a day. Once she is hydrated, she should be tube fed if she is not eating and/or losing weight. Unfortunately, she might have a disease like Mareks', so tubing might not do any good. You should probably also try an antibiotic like Baytril or Clavamox.

    Great info on tube feeding:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...cken-and-give-subcutaneous-fluid#post_9910754

    More on tube feeding:
    http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=7933


    When mine get sick, this is what I do:

    • Thorough exam which includes inserting a gloved, lubed finger into the cloaca, check for cuts, bruising lumps etc.
    • Dust for mites/lice with poultry dust even if I cannot see any. DE does not work.
    • Weigh on digital kitchen scale (see avatar), record weight and weigh daily. any weight loss is bad.
    • Place bird in a warm, quiet place on towel with food and water that it can't drown in.
    • De-worm with Safeguard or Panacur, liquid or paste 50mg/kg by mouth and repeat in 10 days.
    • Once warm, if not drinking, and crop is empty, hydrate with warmed Pedialyte or lactated ringers with a feeding tube - 30ml/kg every 6-8 hours.
    • If not eating after 24 hours and crop is empty, tube feed baby bird food mixed with Pedialyte
    • Inspect poop.
    • If I suspect a stuck egg, treat for egg binding.
    • If I suspect a bacterial infection, treat with antibiotics.

    From: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/cam/07_emergency_and_critical_care.pdf
    Supportive Care
    SICK-BIRD ENCLOSURES
    Sick birds are often hypothermic and should be placed
    in heated (brooder-type) enclosures



    b (Fig 7.7) in a quiet
    environment (see Chapter 1, Clinical Practice). A temperature
    of 85° F (29° C) with 70% humidity is desirable
    for most sick birds. If brooders are not equipped with a
    humidity source, placing a small dish of water in the
    enclosure will often supply adequate humidity. A moist
    towel that is heated and placed on the bottom of a cage
    or incubator rapidly humidifies the environment, as indicated
    by the fogging of the acrylic cage front.

    FLUID THERAPY
    Oral Administration
    Oral administration is the ideal method of giving fluids.
    This method is more commonly used in mildly dehydrated
    birds or in conjunction with subcutaneous (SC)
    or intravenous (IV) therapy. Oral rehydration (30 ml/kg
    PO q 6-8 h) also may be used in larger birds (eg, waterfowl)
    that are difficult to restrain for parenteral fluid
    therapy.
     

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