Hen won't stand, trembling legs?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sable43140, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. sable43140

    sable43140 In the Brooder

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    Hey guys! So I have a beautiful
    25 week old lavender orpington named Chenelle that I noticed today wasn't standing with everyone else and was laying down on the floor in the coop. I figured she was just cold and coaxed her up, but she wouldn't stand. I thought maybe she was laying her first egg and just thought the floor would work, so figured I would give her an hour. When I checked on her again, she'd moved outside but still wasn't standing. I picked her up and put her on fresh grass and her legs gave out from underneath of her multiple times. I picked her up again and noticed her legs trembling horribly! They calmed down if I picked them up one at a time, but would still shake if I released them.

    We brought her inside and put her in a sling with vitamins in her water and food at head height for easy access. She's eating and drinking normally, so no loss of appetite and no signs of injury either!! Any thoughts on what I can do to help her?
     
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  2. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

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  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Photos of your pullet and her poop?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    How long have you had her?

    With those symptoms of trembling legs, I do agree with @PollyGirl21 it sounds like Marek's. Trembling, to me, is neurological, but I would still give her a going over to make sure there are no injuries or something else that can cause those symptoms.

    Look for lice/mites, feel the legs for any injury, examine her body for any wounds/evidence of injury (head too). Feel the abdomen for bloat/swelling or fluid and check the crop first thing in the morning to see if it's emptied.

    Think about whether she could have ingested anything toxic - rat poison, fertilizer, something rotten/dead, compost, etc.

    Is she being kept from food/water or being picked on - could dehydration or not getting to eat cause those symptoms.

    You are doing what you can for her. If you have vet care, that is always best.
     
  4. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

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    :goodpost:
    All good advice, as usual!
     
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  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Glad that Wyorp Rock has given such good advice. Sometimes it takes time to pinpoint the exact cause of something like lameness and trmebling legs. You have done well to make a sling and make sure thamt she can readh food and water. Let us know how she is getting along and if symptoms get worse or change.
     
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  6. sable43140

    sable43140 In the Brooder

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    Thank you so much for such an awesome reply! To answer your questions...

    We've had her since she was 3 weeks old, but she's always been on the small side. Her sister is big and beautiful, so I've always compared them to each other. She only gets treats once or twice a week and then it's just scratch with all of her adopted siblings (28 various hens and one too). She currently gets 16% protien layer feed. I switched her to 20% protien game feed while she's in the sling to help her gain some weight. Her legs show no sores or signs of bumble foot, but I will check for mites, I assume poultry dust would be fine for that?
    Her feet are normal looking in this picture, but usually she has them curled. She has fully movement of her wings, no paralysis so far.

    I read up on Mareks, if she survives, I know she's a carrier, does that mean she can't be put back with the others? And she doesn't seem to have any of the other symptoms so far besides being on the small side for quite a while.

    The girls have a very large covered run, we don't let them free range due to losing two hens to a coyote last year. I wouldn't think they'd have gotten any poison ingested, the only thing we've added to the coop is DE recently. We *possibly* have an opposum sneaking in at night due to the footprints in the snow we saw, but no visible injuries are on this hen that I would blame on that.

    It's very possible she's getting picked on, she's in a very large group of girls.

    Please ignore her water color, it has a supplement tab in it, it's not dirty.
    DSC_0107.JPG
    15430740037156761546794486770152.jpg DSC_0108.JPG
     
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  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Any way you can take a sample of poop to your vet for testing next week?
    I would continue to keep her hydrated and eating. A good poultry vitamin a couple of times a week won't hurt, look for one that has vitamin E and the B's.

    The sling is a good idea, but I worry about that piece of fabric so high up on her neck, is that to keep her neck stabilized - can she hold up her neck?
    You may want to try stretching a towel or piece of fabric across your tub, then cut holes for the legs and one for the vent so she stays cleaner.

    If it is Marek's, then all your birds have been exposed. If she recovers then that would be up to you whether to put her back with the flock or not. If you do that, integrate her slowly so hopefully that reduces stress. Stress can cause a relapse.

    Yes:) If you find any lice/mites, a Permethrin based poultry dust will be just fine.





    upload_2018-11-24_11-31-0.png
     
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  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I agree with Wyorp Rock that your sling needs to be redesigned. The simple 2 leg plus a poop hole design works well, so no pressure is applied to her neck or restricting her crop from expanding when she eats. If hanging the sling from above, you can also use an old TShirt like this:

    upload_2018-11-24_12-27-2.jpeg
     
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  9. sable43140

    sable43140 In the Brooder

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    That's an awesome tutorial, thank you! We adjusted her fairly quickly after you guys mentioned it, I didn't realize how much she was restricted.

    If she truly does have Mareks, which seems to be the case, I'm not sure how how long I want her to suffer. She's started having twitches from the neck up, almost like a sneeze but with no sneeze. How long would you give her to try to recover until you humanely take care of her? I know this answer may be all over the place, but I can't keep her in a tub forever, that just seems like no way to live.
     
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  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    That's a tough call:hugs
    Only you can make that decision whether to keep her going or not. Sometimes a bird can recover quickly, while other times it make take weeks or months to see any improvement. Some people have made progress only to have a bird quickly decline.
    If this is Marek's there is no way to know the chance of recovery or not - it's very frustrating.

    I do very much agree with you that living in a tub is not much of a life. The only thing I can suggest is to set a timeline that you are comfortable with and if you see no progress, then make your decision. You need to take into consideration how much time you can devote to her care - you have other chickens to tend to and I'm sure you have work/family/personal obligations that need to be fulfilled as well. All these things need to be thought through.
    I will tell you, I've never dealt with Marek's, but have babied a few birds along and it makes it even more difficult to let them go when you have been giving them extra attention.

    Whatever decision you make will be the correct one for your situation and for her too.
     
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