Hen with sudden partial blindness appears drunken and uncoordinated

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brotherjustin, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. brotherjustin

    brotherjustin New Egg

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    Hello, I have a barred rock hen who is at least two years old exibiting some strange behavior. When I opened the coop Monday morning all of my hens came out but the barred rock who I found in the nesting box seemingly nesting to lay an egg (which I found out of character). When I returned home from work that evenig she was still in the nesting box and had layed an egg. Her head was close to her body like when sleeping but she was looking up at the ceiling of the box and twitching. I removed her from the nesting box and she walked around seemingly fine except that she walked with her head tilted to the side with her right eye up. She is eating fine but the alarm went off when she attempted to drink. When she lifted her head to swallow water she keeled right over backward! She is extremely uncoordinated and appears not to be able to see out of her left eye and seems at least partially paralyzed on the left side. She cannot step over anything without falling over and is contantly twitching her neck. She falls over when she tries to look left because she is trying to use her right eye (looks like a dog chasing its tail). After she falls she sits down and pulls her head close and looks up and twitches her head in a circular pattern.

    I sepparated her from the other hens and she continues to eat a protein boosted diet ( I understand vitamin deficiency can cause paralysis) but she has not regained coordination and still cannot drink without keeling over. She is the lowest hen in the pecking order so I was intially concered that she was not getting enough food/water. She has been wormed recently and also recieved a dose of sulmet antibotitcs for suspected coccidiosis before that (ended up not having it). Her eye does not appear damaged physically in any way. My birds have been molting. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. She is a good egg layer.

    I apprecaite all of your help.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I have no idea what is wrong, but there are quite a few neurological diseases in chickens. Mareks Disease, botulism, aspergillosis, lymphoid leukosis, and West Nile Virus and many more can all cause symptoms. Many times a necropsy on a dead bird is the only sure way to find what you are dealing with. Can you find out where in your state you can have that done. Sorry that you are dealing with this.
     
  3. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i am really not sure, but i am copying and pasting something i wrote yesterday:

    It sounds like you checked that she doesn't have an actual physical injury? Around her neck etc?

    Was she vaccinated for marek's disease?

    I have read that mites and lice can sometimes cause similar issues, as well as feed that has bad nutritional values (causing nutrients deficiency), also algae in the water (check and clean the waterer, add some apple cider vinegar, unprocessed, 1tbsp per gallon), spoiled feed (maybe water got in it?), spider bites, toxic plants. I don't think it's botulism if she is still eating and drinking. But is she eating enough? check that her crop is filling. You should isolate her.

    i would start her on vitamin B, E, selenium, and a general vitamin right away (no iron, i like nutridrench, or the baby vitamins like poli-vi-sol), look for skin parasites, and also get her poop tested ($25), so you can at least locate or narrow down the options. If you see parasites that are obvious on the skin, and you have some frontline handy, 3-4 drops would be a quick way to get them shed quickly. This can be a bit of a discussion, but it does work, and will bring full relief within 24 hours. Dog or cat kind both work.

    hopefully an expert will jump in with a more definitive idea.
     
  4. brotherjustin

    brotherjustin New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2012
    Thank you for your responses. I don't know if she was vaccinated for Mareks' but my flock has been together with no new introductions or exposures for their lifetime and they are over 2 years old so I feel that it would have come up sooner if that was the case, although I don't really know. I have added vitamins to her water yesterday and today but I don't think she is really drinking much on her own (because she falls). I will probably have to administer orally with a syringe...

    The local ag center will do a necropsy although I hope it doesn't come to that...
     
  5. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i hope it doesn't come to that either. So if she ate something bad, you should try flushing her;
    http://ultimatefowl.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/natural-organic-cures-and-remedies-for-poultry/
    look at the bottom of above link. Check in feeder, waterer and run and look for clumps of feed, mol, algae film in waterer

    The vitamin course is good, but i would strongly advise to test the poop at any local vet (will run you 20-30 dollars). You might find cocci or worms, which is could cause this (in fact it just happened to me, and if i hadn't tested the poop i was sure it was marek's.. and it was cocci instead!).

    Testing the poop would be good, because if she is positive for something, likely the rest of the team has it too and you can treat them all.

    Alternatively, you could try and just treat her with corid and deworm her and hope for the best. What did you worm her with? if you used wazine, it only treats roundworms. Also note sulmet treats limited strains of cocci and corid is way better. If you have a cocci issue, re-infection can occur after treatment.

    I really hope she pulls through! best of luck!
     
  6. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    One of my hens acted in a similar manner - she had eaten something toxic - she was ill for two months before she recovered, I spent an inordinate amount of time massaging her, feeding her and ensuring she had water.

    She was very ill but slowly recovered - luckily I had plenty of time to attend to her needs.

    Best of luck!

    Suzie
     
  7. brotherjustin

    brotherjustin New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2012
    Thank you all for your responses. I wormed with safeguard less than a month ago so I don't suspect worms, I think I will get some corrid today just to be sure.

    This http://ultimatefowl.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/natural-organic-cures-and-remedies-for-poultry/ was a great link thanks for that. I have bee using the epsom salt flush and syringe feeding a vitamin and electrolyte water mix. She is eating treats and greek yogurt but no feed. Thanks suzie it is good to know that recovery may be on horizon even if it takes a while. Im going to keep trying...
     
  8. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    I am so pleased to read that despite her problems you will keep trying to help your chicken - it may be hard work but worth the reward of seeing them flourish when they are well again!

    The reward is in the results!!!

    Your chicken is so lucky to have you!!! Trust she is well very soon!!!

    Suzie
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Their history does not sound like they have Marek's. I would do the vitamins mentioned above. It might be some sort of nerve damage or cancer. It would be hard to say. I think I would feed her whatever she wants just to keep her eating, and have water available and maybe mix stuff with water to eat, too. It may straighten itself out. I hope so.
     

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