Hen Can't Straighten Leg, Walks on Elbow

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ericfreese, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. ericfreese

    ericfreese New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    Our chicken Nina hurt her left leg somehow and started limping. After the limping didn't get better for a week or so, we ended up taking her to the vet. Nothing was obviously wrong, but the vet gave us some painkillers & anti-inflammatories and told us to keep her inside so she could rest up.

    Now, it's been a couple weeks and her left leg has mostly healed up, but now it seems like she's hurt her right leg somehow! Maybe putting too much pressure on it while her left leg was hurt. She can hold hardly any weight on it, and the elbow joint feels slightly swollen and tense. Tonight she's been walking around on her elbow only.

    Is it possible that this is some sort of nutritional problem? We use a pre-mixed layer feed and none of the other chickens are having similar issues. Though Nina hasn't been eating as much since her initial injury, so maybe it's due to that? We had a problem earlier in all of this where she couldn't hardly walk at all, and realized she was deficient in calcium. We gave her a calcium supplement, and she perked right up and was back to her regular (limping) self. But we've been giving more calcium the last couple days and it hasn't seemed to make much difference to her new problem in her right leg.

    Could it be Marek's? It causes paralysis. But she doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. Her eyes are clear.

    We also noticed that most of Nina's poops lately have had small chunks of intestinal lining in them. How frequently do chickens normally shed their intestinal linings? Does greater frequency mean she might have worms or other intestinal problems? Would yogurt help with this?

    Or do you think that her leg is just physically injured, and she just needs to rest a little more? It doesn't seem like she could have possibly injured it. She couldn't really move around much at all in the cage.

    Here's a picture of her resting on her elbow:
    [​IMG]

    How can we best help Nina?

    Thanks so much in advance,
    Eric
     
  2. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I'm not much help here, but I'll give you a bump and perhaps someone more experienced will respond.
     
  3. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    I hadthe same problem with one of mine back in late October. She was a flyer so I thought maybe she had hurt herself somehow flyer over the fence. The second day of her limping I put her in a rabbit hutch that I use for "sick bay" to give her a rest and limited movement. 4 weeks later went to vet and did a round of cortizone. Vet did X-rays nothing wrong. After the cortizone was done there was no improvement so I decided to put her back with the flock and well sink or swim sort of thing. She now has a knob like thing on the knee and hobbles around very well. She flys in and out of the coop and to the gate to meet me. And the rooster has taken special attention to her and does the scratching!
     
  4. ericfreese

    ericfreese New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. It was nice to hear about your girl's recovery, and that she's still living a good life despite her injury! How long after you put her out with the other chickens did it take for her to develop the knob and recover to the point where she could move around reasonably well?

    We're still a bit concerned about the intestinal lining and potential nutritional deficiencies because we don't want the situation to get any worse. Can anyone shed some light on those issues?

    Thanks!
     
  5. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    There is a "poop" chart on here somewhere or google for it. My girl has been in the main coop now for about 6 weeks. She delevolp this pad thing in about 10 days to 2 weeks. She has a crate on the floor with shavings inside it, that is turned on it's side - so that it has a "roof" and a blanket over that that drapes down in front and when I close up for the night I put her in there. She can come out when she wants and she can even go in by herself. I did that to try to keep her a little warmer at night since my coop is raise with an expanded metal floor. She was pecked on for about 3 days and I kinda took up her cause and bullied back for her. Now she is very strong and stands her ground. She does fly but is still learning how to land.

    Hope this helps and good luck with her. I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do or not as did not think she would have a normal chicken life but she did prove me wrong and I am so glad I gave her the chance to do it!
     
  6. ericfreese

    ericfreese New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2010
    Thanks for the response. I used your suggestion for a box to keep her warm and she loves it!

    Her leg still hasn't gotten any better, and she's still resting on her elbow (which I've now realized is technically called the hock joint).

    I've also done a bit more research and found a few threads mentioning a slipped tendon (aka perosis), which sounds likely to be Nina's problem.

    Here are a few informative links on perosis that others might find useful:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/30/chondrodystrophy-slipped-tendon-or-perosis
    http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/gastroc_rupture.htm
    http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/forum/index.php?id=5998

    My guess is that the combination of malnutrition and over-use of her right leg caused the tendon to slip.

    I will probably bring her into the vet again tomorrow and hopefully we can find out what's really going on and how to fix it.
     
  7. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    Yes, I would be very interested in what you find out. My vet thought a slipped tendon but ruled that out.
     

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