Hen laying on side / feet paddle

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JimmyFurPants, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. JimmyFurPants

    JimmyFurPants New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2008
    I went out to feed and collect eggs about 1 week ago and found my black silkie hen sort of laying sort of to one side, head not held up and her feet sort of paddle or scratch at nothing from time to time. She will not move around and she will not eat unless I give it to her from a syringe. (I have raised wild infant birds so I am somewhat aware of how to do this and not drown her..yet it risky I know but she would certainly die if I didn't. She is happy to eat whatever I put in her mouth but I have to put it there). I also started her on antibiotic injections about 3 days ago. She is not sneezing or coughing, she does not have runny poop...No one else is sick in my coup. After I feed her she will often lay with her head up like a normal chicken but she'll grow tired after a few minutes and lay it back down again. She won;t stand at all..legs go straight out in front of her like she's putting on the breaks. Her feet work, she can feel them, her wings work....I can not figure out what is wrong with her! (Got thumped on the head maybe?). Anyone have any ideas what is wrong with her?
     
  2. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I would be at the vet not waiting for a responce here on line. Laying on side.. kicking feet is the next step before death.
     
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    could be head trauma, toxin, viral infection, many possibilities. Bacterial infection would be unlikely- your antibiotic injections are probably not doing anything except stressing the bird. IMO your 3 options are

    1) Intensive supportive care- protected 'hospital cage', ie warm clean padded box, flipping to prevent pressure sores, hand feed and water as often and as much as you can- chickens eat and drink alot. Weight her everyday on a kitchen scale- if she loses weight you are not feeding her enough. Keep her vent area clean, feel her crop and make sure the food she eats is actually going somewhere. If she has head trauma, she may get better. Crop feeding (gavage) if you know how & have the tools will let you get more food into her.

    2) Bring her to a vet and let them try to figure out what is wrong with her, and give you supportive care help, treatment help or humane euth. If the vet thinks her head got bonked, they may give her steroids.

    3) Cull/euth- she may get better, she may not- can you do intensive care for a few days, weeks or longer? If you cannot commit, then cull. It sounds like she is hungry and is trying to stand (paddling), but cannot- this is probably very stressful for her.
     
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Maybe she has a head injury. Silkies don't see that well and their vaulted skulls leave them more vulnerable to injury. Maybe she banged her head.
     
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:or even gotten thumped in the midst of pecking order. Vaulted brain can be sudden death, wry neck, or like any head injury it may act like this. We have strokes and stuff like that, perhaps she has had this. Either way, good luck to you.
     
  6. thkosan

    thkosan Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2008
    Hempstead, TX
    Was your Silkie vaccinated against Marek's? I had a Frizzle a while back with Marek's -- although it is not typical to have the legs out front like that (usually presents as splayed legs) my Frizzle had that ans all of the other symptoms you are describing. I fed her with a syringe and she eventually died peacfully in her sleep (according to my vet it is apparently a painless death.) I know of birds who eventually recovered from Marek's paralysis, but, alas, mine did not. I hope the best for yours whatever the cause!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  7. JimmyFurPants

    JimmyFurPants New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Well, we've already been to the vet which is how/why the antibiotics came into play (of course....I think every vets answer to everything is antibiotics). She is indoors and I have her in a basket lined with lots of bedding and topped with paper towels so I can keep it clean. I feed her about 4 times a day so she is getting moved often. I am starting to strongly suspect head trauma. It's just very stressful to see her this way. I am not opposed to nursing this hen for a long time but i am worried that she might be suffering. She bites at her bedding and shakes her head (kind of like how a bird flicks off something stuck to her beak).

    It's just very frustrating to feel helpless like this and I love this little bird. Thaks all for your ideas and suggstions.
     
  8. thkosan

    thkosan Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2008
    Hempstead, TX
    Heartbreaking! I hope she recovers.
     
  9. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Sounds like you're doing everything you can. I hope she recovers.
     
  10. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hang in there! With either choice that you have, I'd wait and do what I could too.
    When vets give antibiotics, often its a last chance try for the loved ones involved, making you feel like your doing something positive. To me, you are doing everything remotely possible and that right there says a lot about who you are. She is a very fortunate bird to have you, when so many just cull- not that that isn't right either.
     

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