hyperextended leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by svalentine, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. svalentine

    svalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    I saw a post about a hen with a hyperextended leg. I am pretty sure that is what has happened to mine. She must have fallen from the egg hatch. About 4 ft. The leg sort of hangs there.

    Will she ever get use of it? or will she hop for the rest of her life? She is only 18 mos. old.

    Right now I have her resting in the basement. Yesterday I took her out for a visit. She started hopping around. I don't know if this is good for her. Also, there is the ramp up into the hen house. She attempted it. Got half way. Then sat down. I was afraid she'd fall. So put her in. She hopped to a nesting box and spent the afternoon sitting on the eggs.


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    When it happened to one of my hens, I brought her into the house for 3-4 days, gave her some liquid painkillers and babied her basically and she was fine by the end of it. Before that, she was hopping around and wouldn't put weight on it at all. The key is to see if there is any damage to the tendons/ligaments (whatever chickens have in their "knee" joint and go from there. You can do that with a simple range of motion test to see what actions are actually causing her pain...or you could take her to a bird Vet to do all this.


    You should also check to see if its a break instead of a strain/sprain/hyperextension. If she broke her leg (which can happen from hopping down from a high perch, landing wrong, having a rooster be extra aggressive, etc etc), its a bit more serious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  3. svalentine

    svalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    Nothing feels broken. And she doesn't mind it being moved or when I put pressure anywhere. It feels just like the other one. I guess. This is my first experience feeling of a chicken. How do I tell if it's broken?
    It moves freely. Almost too much so.
    I've had her on bed rest since Sat. afternoon. Yesterday I took her over to the run to visit. I was so surprised to see her hopping around balancing herself with her wing. The other 10 seemed fine with her being there. They might have looked at her a bit odd at first. But there was no aggression. I stayed over there though.
    It seems a miserable way for a chicken to live if she never gets any better. I need a crystal ball.
    There certainly isn't a lot of resources for us chicken owners.
     
  4. Dutchess

    Dutchess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Davian, What did you give her for the "liquid painkillers?"
     
  5. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    Quote:Davian, What did you give her for the "liquid painkillers?"

    I'd have to check if I still have the prescription bag when I get home. It was given to us by the Vet and we had to hand feed it to her. It was surprisingly easy to do as we just used the syringe (a worming type syringe) to pour a bit out on her beak at a time and she basically licked it up.
     
  6. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    Okay...after a little internet searching (to try and jog my memory), I'm 99% sure it was a liquid form of Deramaxx...at a very small dosage level. We got 1 big dosage for the first day and 3 much smaller dosages from the Vet. The big dosage being only a couple cc.
     
  7. AngryHummingbird

    AngryHummingbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Warning: Not the most optimistic post!

    We had a pullet with a severe leg injury from day one. I don't think it's the same injury, we suspect our girl got fallen on or roughed up during transit. Essentially she liked to keep her leg bent backwards at the hock. Had full range of motion, no pain, but seemed to lack the ability to use the leg properly. My guess was tendon issue. We tried for a month or two to fix things with splints, rest, everything we could think of. (Vet was no help, sadly) The constant fussing made her miserable though, and it was decided to let her be and live out with the rest of the flock. She lived with the others for a while and was always able to get around well enough for food/water. Sadly she met her end earlier this week at the hands of a particularly violent roo. Frankly, had it been my choice, I would have let her go as a chick. Her quality of life was never good, she was never a happy chicken. After the fact, it is now the unanimous decision that it would have been kinder to have let her go as a chick.

    That, in a nutshell, has been my experience with long term leg damage.

    This is her at 1 1/2 weeks, her first time out of her splint. We had had the leg splinted into the correct position from an hour or so after we got her in the mail. As you can see, splinting did not help. Her bad leg did get worse .
    [​IMG]

    I'm no help with identifying your girls injury, your best bet would likely be to contact a vet. However I would advise keeping her off her injured leg as much as possible. Chickens don't understand the concept of favoring limbs and she will likely cause herself furthur harm.
     
  8. svalentine

    svalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    So maybe I shouldn't have put her outside? I thought she was probably lonely sitting in the basement alone.
    She is still just sitting there next to the food/water. Never tries to put any weight on it. If she moves it is hopping with assistance from her wings.
    If she is to live out her days here she's going to have to make it up and down the ramp to the hen house. After a few days of being penned, I'm going to widen the ramp so that when she puts her wing down for balance she won't fall off.
    Can a chicken adapt to being one legged with the other one just hanging there?

    I just wish someone could tell me what the prognosis is. If she's miserable or never going to be able to use it, maybe it would be better to cull her.

    How to know what to do?
     
  9. AngryHummingbird

    AngryHummingbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    If your girl is lonely, I would bring the gentlest hen you have to her, as opposed to putting her out with the rest. Keeping her still will give her a chance to heal, and will help most injuries even if you haven't figured out what happened to her leg.

    I would hazard a yes, a chicken could live well with one leg -provided that they were of a calm demeanour, had decent mobility, good flock mates, and a little extra TLC. The real problem we had was that our girl would never stay still and ended up getting banged up all the time due to falling over, off things, ect. Simply wasn't happy with not being able to move about all the time.

    Again, take everything I say with a grain of salt. We weren't exactly successful.
     
  10. svalentine

    svalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    So how many days do you think she needs to rest before letting her be outside in an area fenced off from the rest? It's been 5 days of not using the leg.
    She doesn't even attempt to put any weight on it. She uses her wing for balance and just hops. But today she hasn't even done that. Only yesterday when she wanted in the hen house. She hopped straight into a nesting box and just sat there for a couple hours. I finally had to get her out to take her in the basement. Back to her little nest.
    I sure don't want to make her worse to make myself feel better about her being lonely. If that's even possible for a chicken.
    I also don't know whether she should be in the henhouse over night.
     

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