Hen with lame leg update from vet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kelly FG, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know many others have encountered this problem and there's always a lot of speculation as to the cause.
    My 8.5 year old buff orpington started limping & having trouble using her right leg a few weeks ago.
    I assumed she injured it jumping from the higher roost she was sleeping on(I took that roost out). After asking for advice here and googling last week I examined her thoroughly and could not detect a problem or even signs of pain in the thigh, leg or foot. I started her on metacam for a few days to see if that would help.
    Virtually no change.
    She's a really good girl, very docile and sweet so I decided to splurge on a trip to the vet. I'm very fortunate that I have one right in my neighborhood.
    He did a physical examination and agreed, there's nothing wrong with her leg. He said he thinks its a pinched nerve of sorts caused by an internal tumor. We took an xray (which she was a perfect patient for).
    Sure enough she has a large tumor in/on her kidney that is making her leg feel like it's "asleep". The only thing we could do is continue the metacam, but I'm concerned it will fatigue the kidney more. The vet agrees she's NOT IN PAIN.
    So I will continue to monitor her condition and we'll see what happens. This will surely end her life at some point but the vet couldn't say when that might happen.
    The exam and x-ray was $218 (don't tell my DH, he'll have a stroke).

    I just wanted to share this info because I know we all do a lot of educated guessing in the care of our flocks. Any info we get from Veterinarians can be super helpful.
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Thanks for your post, very informative!

    -Kathy
     
  3. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Kathy! I hope it helps someone!
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I have two older hens that are limping, so cancer could be the cause, which never would have crossed my mind until your thread.

    -Kathy
     
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  5. shazzy

    shazzy New Egg

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  6. shazzy

    shazzy New Egg

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    I also have a rescue battery hen thats been hopping around for 2 weeks ( nothing wrong with the leg)... she was limping before this and recovered...but slowly over the weeks cannot put it down, it sits under her wing shaking... my little girl is eating & drinking well & cleaning herself. I am amazed how she has learned to balance on 1 leg... she manages to jump onto the bail of hay at night. I am keeping her seperate from my other hens in the day as they will pick on her.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with her Shazzy. It sounds like it might be something similar!
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    I have 3 young chickens <22 weeks that are similarly lame and one that I had to euthanize last week.... I did a post mortem and found a huge subcutaneous tumour on her abdomen and a smaller one in the muscle of her leg. After doing lots of research I have come to the conclusion this is Marek's disease as these are all home, broody reared chicks that were not vaccinated.
    The first one to go lame has not got any worse and she has been like that for 2 months now but she has lost confidence recently and hides as soon as I let her out with the others, so she is in the sideboard/brooder with a broody hen who is on day 3. She has crawled into the nest with the broody tonight and they are snuggled up together
    The other two (a cockerel that is one of 6 due to go to freezer camp) and a young pullet are still holding their own within the flock.

    Anyway, I am going to try giving them turmeric as it has been known to reduce/eradicate sarcoids (benign skin tumours) in horses. Haven't read anything about it's use in chickens but I don't think it can hurt to try. It needs to be used in conjunction with freshly ground black pepper which helps to activate it. I'm thinking of adding it to some scrambled egg.

    I doubt that your older hen with the tumour will be suffering from Mareks but that may be the cause of lameness with the other posters' hens, as it tends to affect younger birds. Might be worth trying the turmeric and black pepper (just a few turns of a pepper mill required each time) with your older hen though.

    I hope you are able to find something that helps her but she has obviously had a very good, well cared for life so far to get to that age.
    Never easy to make a decision to end the life of an animal we love, (I found it very hard last week) but important to do some research so that you know how to go about it when the time comes. Although my hen had no quality of life and was starting to have digestive problems as well as not being able to even lie down (she was rolling onto her side even in the nest) I have to say that it was a huge relief to find the huge tumours afterwards, so that I knew I had made the right decision to end her life and also to help me understand what was wrong with the other chickens.

    Best wishes to all of you and will post back on results of my turmeric trial.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
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  9. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for sharing your experience. I have read many lame leg/ mareks stories in young hens, I knew I could rule that out right away but it sure is scary scenario.
    I will try the turmeric/ pepper. It can't hurt!
     

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