Hen Possible Leg Injury: strange limp

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JessieLynn, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn Hatching

    Sep 6, 2014
    Our 6 month old gold-laced wyandotte looks to have injured her leg (roughly 3 weeks ago) but we can't figure out what is going on and it doesn't seem to be fixing itself.

    I wish I could get a good video of it, I'll keep trying, but it's hardly noticeable on camera and she's a flighty bird. Basically whenever she walks her right leg looks very stiff and her hock kind of jerks outward and she rolls a little on the pad of her foot. Her toes can still curl and flex and grab hold of my finger. But when she walks she doesn't really use her toes. Her toes kind of curl inward a little at the same time her hock jerks outward and then she quickly takes the weight off of it. Otherwise they don't grip the earth like they normally should. She doesn't hold the leg up or really favor it, but there is clearly something wrong.

    She's still eating, drinking, and laying eggs. Eyes are clear and poop is fine. We felt her legs and compared them but cannot find anything out of place, though truly we don't know what to look for. It still bends just fine and doing so doesn't seem to cause her any pain.

    We're hoping to see a vet as a last resort because her leg doesn't seem to bother her or show any sign of fatal injury, it's just hindering her. Is there anything we can do to help it along to correcting itself? We're thinking of giving her an epsom salt bath, maybe a little bit of kid's aspirin if the bath does nothing, to see if it is pain related or not. We've let her rest in confinement but she's showing no recovery.

    I guess what I'm asking, maybe to try and identify the injury, is do any of these symptoms relate to known injuries in the leg?
    Has she possibly rolled her ankle?
    Pulled a muscle?
    Sprain? There is no swelling or warmth though.
    Hurt a nerve?
    Something with the hock? I don't know anything outside of dislocation.
    She can still put weight on the other leg, so she couldn't have broken or dislocated something.

    Sorry everything is so vague, this is just all so strange and the only thing I can think of is take her to the vet but I'm the only one in favor of it.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. It could be an injury, a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or it could possibly be Mareks disease. I would start some good poultry vitamins, and make sure that she has calcium available in crushed oyster shell or egg shells. Also I would do some research about Mareks disease which can look different in each chicken that it affects since there are 4 different types, and most chickens just exhibit a few of many symptoms. If possible you can post a video when you can capture one. I really hope it is not Mareks, and I would not jump to conclusions, but just observe her and research. Here are 3 good links about Mareks disease:
  3. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn Hatching

    Sep 6, 2014
    I really hope it's not Mareks, she doesn't seem to have any of it's other symptoms except for the limp, but we'll keep an eye out all the same.
    Here's a video (I completely forgot to turn my phone, sorrysorry) and it is her right foot that is bothering her.
    Right around ~:50 you'll see the limp closely:

    I know it looks really subtle, but it's still heart breaking because she's our most active hen and she can't quite keep up with the others because of it. This is a video of when it looks it's worst - on a hard surface. On the grass she doesn't have as bad of a problem, but it's still there. Can you guys tell, if it is an injury, where that injury would be? We'd been originally thinking it was the foot and if that's the case then it might be tied to the fact that she was cured of bumblefoot a week a go. That's what we thought the limping was coming from, but it doesn't look like your typical limp? You can see she doesn't lift it, though she favors it a lot when she runs more so than walking. It's been like this for coming up on 4 weeks now, so if it was something minor I would think it'd be gone?

    And her comb has been floppy ever since it was big enough to do so, no discoloration or anything either. She still active and peppy with no signs of lethargy.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  4. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn Hatching

    Sep 6, 2014
    Just a bump, I added a link to a video of her limp in the message just above this one. Still no signs of recovery, but we have noticed that if she needs to reach something high up she'll only use her good leg to push herself up. This might indicate that she is some kind of pain?

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