hen limping on one foot

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by asteria01, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone, I have a hen that is limping pretty obviously on one foot. At first I thought her bumblefoot was getting worse, since she does have a dark speck on her left foot that I have been eyeing.

    However, it seems to be the right foot that shes raising. She doesnt want to put pressure on it, and instead her bumblefoot doesnt seem to be bothering her at all now. I did a quick swelling/heat check, and all seems fine. I poked and prodded around her leg/hip, compared both legs and they look fine also. She doesnt react from pain to any pressure I put on the legs. Asides from the fact that she cant really get around as well and is otherwise impaired she is acting normal. As of now Ive added some vitamins to their water to see if it helps, but other than that I dont know if theres anything else I can do.

    Should I just keep an eye on it? What worries me is that I dont know the cause of her limp.[​IMG] If it was her left foot I could say it was just bumblefoot and treat it, but its her other foot instead? Any help is appreciated, thanks! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  2. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bump
    still limping
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  3. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish i had something helpful to say but i am as without a clue as you on this one.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old is she?

    Does she look like she is lame because of pain/discomfort or unable to coordinate that leg due to numbness/partial paralysis? I know it's not easy to tell the difference unless you really think about it.

    If she is a young bird then it may be Marek's Disease which is caused by a Herpes type virus that can exhibit as partial or full paralysis of a leg, wing, neck or tail as well as many other possible symptoms. Check her over for body condition. Marek's is a wasting disease. Birds often eat well but don't put weight on or lose condition and their keel bone becomes very sharp under their skin as the flesh on the breast bone diminishes.

    If it looks to be a proper limp due to pain, then perhaps a slipped tendon, dislocation or sprain.

    I have Marek's in my flock and until recently I had only seen birds lame as a result of it. Recently I have had two older birds injure themselves and once you see a properly lame bird, you realise that the Marek's lameness is uncoordinated by comparison. Not sure if that makes sense... you maybe have to see both to understand.

    Anyway, let's hope it is a physical injury that is causing the problem and not Marek's.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  5. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shes about 1.5 years old. She looks like shes pretty coordinated not paralyzed, just one foot is constantly raised and she wont step on it for long. In terms of wieght she feels about the same as before. I have seen pics of Mareks and I dont believe shes got it.. it seems that a lot of times they drag their feet around, but she seems to just want to rest it. Shes still foraging with the rest of them, but she cant dig and sometimes instead of walking she will rest in an area and pick at a place while sitting lol.

    Is there anything I can do for a physical injury like a sprain. slipped tendon, or dislocation? I dont feel anything out of place, but how do I know if its a sprain or slipped tendon? Thanks!
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    Good to hear that it looks more like a physical injury. Rest and time are probably the best treatment for sprains and breaks even but not always easy with chickens as they don't like being isolated and confined if they are otherwise.well. If she is getting about and able to eat and drink without assistance then I would just give it time. If she is really struggling to get to food and water or being bullied then a cage within the run/coop may be best. If she were unable to support herself in an upright position then a chicken sling/hammock might help, but it sounds like she is happier just pottering on and working through it at the moment. If you can't feel or see any obvious injury other than her limping, I would suspect a sprain. A daily soak in a warm Epsom salt bath may help but she would need to be blow dried each time unless your climate is warm. If she panics being handled then the stress and struggle of being caught may offset any benefit from the soak, even though she will probably relax in the bath itself.

    The important thing is to monitor the situation closely for any change of behaviour either from her or the flock and adapt your plan accordingly.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  7. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see. Thanks! Is there a general timespan for healing leg injuries? Like are we talking a couple months or weeks?

    It might be that Im paranoid and Im noticing a lot more since Im home today, but her limp hasnt improved, and I feel like she walks around a bit less and rests more, maybe shes not really letting it heal by walking? I picked her up today to check the foot and it really is limp. Even while shes picked up, she doesnt resist when I push it in towards her body, whereas the other one will resist more. The claws dont really grab when i touch the foot specifically, but they will lay flat when the leg is extended on the ground and curl when lifted as they should when they walk. If I shake the lower section of the leg, the area of the leg minus the fluff, will just flop the foot around. Maybe the leg is just weak? Foot is still raised for the most part unless shes walking, which she will quickly set it down and hop/step with it, and raise it back up again.

    Still eating and foraging though (lol gotta get all the corn and grapes!), and all orifices look clear. Also no balance issues other than her limp.

    So....... I dont really know what this means. Im not sure if this is normal or not in a leg injury.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  8. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: her leg is healing slowly, shes starting to put more weight on it and more willing to walk with it! Its looking better, except for the fact that we noticed shes got some scales raised and flaking at the joint, and just on the injured leg.

    However, we think shes molting? Shes losing a lot of feathers and not laying anymore, but shes also losing weight?? Its her first molt. she may have diahhrea as we are seeing some wet greenish poop on the floor. Dont know whos doing it, but I suspect it might be her. Shes otherwise doing well, comb is red and still active and eating. Does anyone know what might be going on?
     

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