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Hen walking on hocks. Don't know what to do. Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ccclemm, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. ccclemm

    ccclemm New Egg

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    I'd really appreciate any advice anyone has to give. My chicken, Sassy, is now 20 weeks old. About 2 weeks ago she started having trouble putting weight on her left leg. She would kind of flop it when she walked like she had little control of it. The toes would all kind of curl, but would sometimes be straight and when standing still she would rest on her left hock while her right leg was straight. I separated her in a dog crate within the run because I thought it was a sprain and didn't want it to get worst by jumping from the roost or coop. A few days age she started having the same problem with the right leg. She is still eating normally and has normal poop but has a lot of trouble getting around. When she does attempt to walk she often steps on the other foot and stumbles. I started giving her riboflavin a few days ago but haven't seen any difference. I'm afraid she's suffering... It's my first time with chickens so I just don't know what else to try or if it would be most humane to put her down. [​IMG]

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you get some poultry vitamins that contain riboflavin (vitamin B2) to put in her water or give her some B Complex ground up into her food daily? Riboflavin deficiency can look like this. Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? Here is some info about riboflavin deficiency:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/217/vitamin-b2-deficiency/

    RIBOFLAVIN DEFICIENCY (from The Merck Veterinary Manual)

    Many tissues may be affected by riboflavin deficiency, although the epithelium and the myelin sheaths of some of the main nerves are major targets. Changes in the sciatic nerves produce “curled-toe” paralysis in growing chickens. Egg production is affected, and riboflavin-deficient eggs do not hatch. When the diet is inadvertently devoid of the entire spectrum of vitamins, it is signs of riboflavin deficiency that first appear. When chicks are fed a diet deficient in riboflavin, their appetite is fairly good but they grow slowly, become weak and emaciated, and develop diarrhea between the first and second weeks. Deficient chicks are reluctant to move unless forced and then frequently walk on their hocks with the aid of their wings. The leg muscles are atrophied and flabby, and the skin is dry and harsh. In advanced stages of deficiency, the chicks lie prostrate with their legs extended, sometimes in opposite directions. The characteristic sign of riboflavin deficiency is a marked enlargement of the sciatic and brachial nerve sheaths; sciatic nerves usually show the most pronounced effects. Histologic examination of the affected nerves shows degenerative changes in the myelin sheaths that, when severe, pinch the nerve. This produces a permanent stimulus, which causes the curled-toe paralysis.
    Chicks receiving diets only partially deficient in riboflavin may recover spontaneously, indicating that the requirement rapidly decreases with age. A 100-mcg dose should be sufficient for treatment of riboflavin-deficient chicks, followed by incorporation of an adequate level in the diet. However, when the curled-toe deformity is longstanding, irreparable damage occurs in the sciatic nerve, and the administration of riboflavin is no longer curative.
    Most diets contain up to 10 mg of riboflavin/kg. Treatment can be given as two sequential daily 100-mcg doses for chicks or poults, followed by an adequate amount of riboflavin in feed.
     
  3. ccclemm

    ccclemm New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2016
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    I've been giving her riboflavin since Friday but haven't seen much improvement. I'll keep at it. Any idea how long it might take?
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Any swelling of the hocks?
    What do the joints look like?
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Wyorp Rock has a good suggestion to check for swelling of the joints in case of injury or an infection. I have never had a riboflavin deficiency, but many report that they see results withing a few days. I would keep at it for a couple of weeks, and make sure they are getting a balanced fresh chicken feed. Hopefully, it is not symptoms of Mareks. Let us know how she gets along.
     
  6. ccclemm

    ccclemm New Egg

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    Thank you both for all of the suggestions. Her joints don't look swollen but they are warm. Her right foot seems to have gotten worse and is curled all the time.
     
  7. daniellea2912

    daniellea2912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What ended up happening with this hen? I have one that's showing very similar signs :(
     
  8. ccclemm

    ccclemm New Egg

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    Unfortunately she got much worse. She couldn't move at all, she was showing a lot of signs of stress, and her eating slowed significantly so we decided to cull her. It was a really hard decision but her quality of life was very poor at that point so we thought it was the most humane thing to do. I wish you luck with your girl. Make sure to check for sprains/breaks and bumble foot. You can also try the vitamins but unfortunately none of that worked for me. [​IMG]
     
  9. daniellea2912

    daniellea2912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry to hear that was the outcome :( thank you so much for responding! I'll check for those things and keep up with the vitamins.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. If any others get similar symptoms, I would get a necropsy by your state vet done if you lose one, to look for possible Mare,s disease.
     

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