Hen with leg injury and "open mouth" breathing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mtn Laurel, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 15 mo. old hen - "Shirley" - that injured her leg in February. I asked about that incident in this thread> https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853967/leg-injury-how-to-handle

    She recovered from the injury and has been back with the flock doing fine since then. Last week I thought I saw her limp again. A few hours later and she seemed fine. Seemed like it had stiffened up on her but she was better after she got moving around. Then the limp got worse and it was obvious to me that it was keeping her from scratching about and from getting her fair share of food as the other girls were beating her to it and then shoving her out of the way.

    I brought her back inside to confine her about three days ago. She's still hobbling about, even in the cage. I've checked her foot for bumblefoot and find no sign of it. She can flex her toes. Like last time, whatever is bothering her appears to be higher up in the thigh. I'm guessing she re-injured the same spot.

    She's eating and pooping in the cage but what's different this time is that she's "open mouth" breathing. It doesn't seem to be a full-fledged "pant" but is certainly close to it and it's something I've not seen her do before. It's warm in that bathroom so we moved in fans. Even with it being warmer than the rest of the house, it's no more than 80 degrees and is far cooler than outside. This morning it's almost cool in there but she's still got that mouth open. She has plenty of water available. I'm not seeing any signs of respiratory problems, no snotty nose, no sneezing, no bubbles.

    Wondering what this could be indicative of. Stress? Pain? Something else entirely? Whatever it is didn't keep her from laying an egg yesterday. Something very odd about fetching eggs in the bathroom.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is she just limping or is she having trouble using her leg?

    Does she have balance issues, walk on top of her foot or rest with her leg out from under her?

    Does her urates (the white part of her droppings) look green or yellowish? Or her droppings more liquid than usual?
     
  3. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like any of these pics of our SPW Pepper?

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I can see, it's just limping. She's protective of that leg, being cautious when she steps out with it.

    No walking on top of foot. She can flex her toes. No balance issues that I've seen but she's not moving about as much. I've not noticed her resting with her leg out from under her.

    She did have loose droppings yesterday but I'd given her some greens and her stool reflected that she'd eaten them. Today her droppings appear normal.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Not posistive, but I think they pant when in pain, so to me, open mouth breathing could mean something else.
    -Kathy
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Is she vaccinated for Marek's?

    -Kathy
     
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, she doesn't have the extended neck and doesn't appear to be straining. She'll be sitting normally breathing with her mouth open, which isn't something I'd noticed her doing before. Her urates are white and well formed - with the exception of yesterday when she ate a bunch of greens.

    I have seen her stand with her toes "under" similar to what your Pepper is doing in the one pic but I've seen each of my girls do that at one time or another. She's not doing it any more than usual and straightens out her food when she applies pressure to it.

    What was going on with Pepper?
     
  8. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No. Purchased at farm store and they told me there were no vaccines.
     
  9. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is a more positive sign.

    The bird I posted had similar symptoms to your first post, but also the ones in my first post. She was diagnosed by the vet as having Marek's Disease. A horrible experience to deal with.

    We did have some success with a B Vitamin supplement, I had read that it helps with many issues. We tried it when our GLW showed signs, but it did not fix our issue long term.

    I really hope you don't have to deal with it and it's something else. Brace yourself for a lot of research if it is. There is a lot to take in.

    Hopefully it's more like a slipped hock, can google that and see if the symptoms match up.
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    In the photos I see pale comb, limping, curled toes, yellow urates, open mouth breathing and a hen that looks unwell.

    -Kathy
     

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