Hen with Difficulty Walking

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
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133
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Tail up. Bright eyed this morning. Drinking water out of a dish now. This is day 6 after we noted she had difficulty walking. About 4 days without use of her legs. Documenting so it hopefully helps someone in the future as well.
 

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LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
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Germany
Hi Megger2 :)

How is your girl doing, what did the vet find out, any results and according treament he recommended?
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Hi Megger2 :)

How is your girl doing, what did the vet find out, any results and according treament he recommended?
Oh boy. She got to see the vet - he has some livestock experience which is great. But no clear answers for Pepper. He did an X-ray (didn’t charge us which was amazing!) and there was no egg and no metal. Also no signs of injury. Her right leg has no feeling in it and her left leg has some response. He felt this is likely some virus - may be EEE? He could not rule out Mareks of course but was not convinced that was very likely as she had no other clinical signs and the rest of my flock is healthy. (Although mentioned we could send her to the state lab here in NY if another chicken fell ill.). Also did not feel that this was botulism because of how clearly intact her central nervous system was.

So…overall he said she’s alert, really interested in eating and that is a very good sign. He said given he doesn’t know what’s going on he gives her a 50% chance of survival.

I’m going to continue B supplementation as I don’t think that can hurt. Finish the deworming protocol. And figure out how best to care for her now. She’s trying to move around on her wings. And very into eating. But I’d love to get her in some kind of sling or something to help her eat better? My daughters want to bring her into our house to keep better company. Now seeking experience for caring for special needs chickens. And praying the rest of my flock stays well…
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
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Well, at least you know now that she is not egg-bound and can stop the calcium supplementation.
You know, I like this vet as he has no issues with admitting that he does not know what is going on. I agree with your daughter taking her into the house seems the best now since she needs company for stimulation and wellbeing.

There are several threads with good pictures and even articles about chicken sling chairs here on BYC to help you with the best construction.

Wishing her a speedy and full recovery! :fl
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Well, at least you know now that she is not egg-bound and can stop the calcium supplementation.
You know, I like this vet as he has no issues with admitting that he does not know what is going on. I agree with your daughter taking her into the house seems the best now since she needs company for stimulation and wellbeing.

There are several threads with good pictures and even articles about chicken sling chairs here on BYC to help you with the best construction.

Wishing her a speedy and full recovery! :fl
Thank you so much for all your help those first couple days! I felt so much better taking some action and having great advice. We are going to bring her in - but now she has some diarrhea. Very watery and a bit smelly. Could this be the dewormer finally working? Or likely just part of her disease process?

She’s still eating and drinking great. Moving around and exercising her wings. I’m hoping she hangs with us a bit more in the house.

I’ll check out the great articles on here. Will post a pic of new set ups too to help someone else in the future.
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Well, at least you know now that she is not egg-bound and can stop the calcium supplementation.
You know, I like this vet as he has no issues with admitting that he does not know what is going on. I agree with your daughter taking her into the house seems the best now since she needs company for stimulation and wellbeing.

There are several threads with good pictures and even articles about chicken sling chairs here on BYC to help you with the best construction.

Wishing her a speedy and full recovery! :fl
And I liked that about the vet too. Made me feel better that sometimes caring for chickens is just tough!
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Day 8 after symptom onset was a good day. Pepper got a much-needed bath today. Loved the hair dryer. Hung out in a basket in the house and ate normally - really enjoyed the heck out of a strawberry today. I’m going to build a sling for her next as cecal poop in a paralyzed chicken is no joke.

No more diarrhea and she looks so good after her bath. Her right leg is totally atrophied however. Her left leg has may be more movement than before. I went off vitamins and just supplemented a little probiotic/electrolytes after the runs yesterday. Having trouble deciding on a regimen. Thinking about a B complex and then vitamin E/selenium as that seems to be called for in Mareks? She’s really into her dry food the most (with oyster shell and grit offered too).

Ok hoping to post next a pic of Pepper in her sling…darn job getting in the way of my chicken care ;)
 

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LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
Having trouble deciding on a regimen. Thinking about a B complex and then vitamin E/selenium as that seems to be called for in Mareks? She’s really into her dry food the most (with oyster shell and grit offered too).
You can try it and hopefully she will get better. As there is no real diagnosis to work with, all you can do is the trial and error method.
And apart from her leg she looks bright and healthy, even better than a broody hen.

As for the "atrophied leg": could you post some good pictures of it?
It might be beneficial to carefully apply some physical therapy to prevent further shrinking of tendons and muscles. Maybe also feed her some silica gel.
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
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Pepper is a bit more lethargic today. But still interested in eating and drinking. Got her up in a sling but she is not moving either leg now. But at least she can be in the sun with food and water close at hand. Failed at getting leg pics. Will try again when I have my daughter to help me.
 

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