Injured leg in Pullett

Harley Chick

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Apr 4, 2018
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Unionville TN
Earlier this week I noticed the youngest of our flock (Lilly the white barred rock) limping when I let them out to free range. She lagged behind the others but she's the lowest in the pecking order so has always ran after them. Thursday she seemed little worse but I figured she hurt herself jumping off the roost. Thursday, went out to open up coop and she's bloody. Up till now the other girls had let her be but it looked like a blood bath. I isolated her in a large dog crate but still in the run with them for company. Her leg is progressively getting worse. Today, I gave her a bath (she had been sleeping on the poop board and the other girls have great aim) to clean the blood, her comb and try to get some of the poop from her feathers. She holds the bum leg forward? I've been giving her a half low dose aspirin for the last two days but it just doesn't see to be helping? I apologize for the blurry pic but the way she's holding her leg forward and kinda straight is pretty much how she sits. She tries to walk but is very off balance? Any suggestions? She's eating, drinking, pooping fine and actually laid me a little egg last night in the crate. What else should I be doing?
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Is there any swelling of the leg joints?
How old is she?
What type of food/treats do you feed?

With the way she is laying and your description, I would say she might have Marek's disease. Hopefully others will chime in as well.
Here's some reading for you http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

You can offer her supportive care with poultry vitamins, look for one that contains B2 (Riboflavin). A chicken sling can offer her a way to get up out of the poop and possibly exercise her legs. (example below, there are plenty of photos on google)

If it is Marek's, she may get better quickly, stay the same for a while or she could get worse - you never know what will happen. The disease can be confusing and frustrating. Depending on your goals, your time, etc. culling is always an option, if you go that route, it would be a good idea to have testing performed by your state lab so you get a definitive answer. https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/consumers/pets/animal-health-diagnostic-lab0.html

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azygous

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You can give her up to two whole baby aspirin per day for pain. If it's her comb that the others are bloodying, it has no connection to her leg issue other than chickens can be brutal to an incapacitated flock member. It's a signal you should keep her in protective custody until she can recover.

The position in which she has her leg points to Marek's. That's probably going to be the consensus here. Lameness can also be caused by toxins and vitamin deficiencies. These are somewhat less likely to be the cause in this case, but it's worthwhile to treat the symptoms just in case.

Vitamin E oil 400iu per day with a sliver of selenium could help, along with vitamin B complex.

Is this affecting both legs? Are her talons flexible or does she have them curled up? If it's affecting both legs and feet, it points even more strongly to Marek's. Look at her eyes. Is the pupil shrinking? Is the iris color fading? If so, it's Marek's. Look at her feather shafts. Are there any raised bumps around the follicles? If so, you have confirmation of Marek's disease.
 

Harley Chick

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Apr 4, 2018
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Unionville TN
You can give her up to two whole baby aspirin per day for pain. If it's her comb that the others are bloodying, it has no connection to her leg issue other than chickens can be brutal to an incapacitated flock member. It's a signal you should keep her in protective custody until she can recover.

The position in which she has her leg points to Marek's. That's probably going to be the consensus here. Lameness can also be caused by toxins and vitamin deficiencies. These are somewhat less likely to be the cause in this case, but it's worthwhile to treat the symptoms just in case.

Vitamin E oil 400iu per day with a sliver of selenium could help, along with vitamin B complex.

Is this affecting both legs? Are her talons flexible or does she have them curled up? If it's affecting both legs and feet, it points even more strongly to Marek's. Look at her eyes. Is the pupil shrinking? Is the iris color fading? If so, it's Marek's. Look at her feather shafts. Are there any raised bumps around the follicles? If so, you have confirmation of Marek's disease.
Thank you for your help, I will check her tonight for the things you asked about. If it is Mereks what do I do? Can she recover? What about the rest of the flock?
 

azygous

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If it is Marek's all the chickens have been exposed and would now carry the virus. But not all chickens get sick and die from it. So it's too early to panic.

There is no cure. But chickens can develop resistance.
 

Harley Chick

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Apr 4, 2018
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Unionville TN
If it is Marek's all the chickens have been exposed and would now carry the virus. But not all chickens get sick and die from it. So it's too early to panic.

There is no cure. But chickens can develop resistance.

Will the aspirin help with the Mareks once I determine it's more than likely she has it and if she has it, should I cull or can she recover? :hit
 

azygous

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The aspirin only helps reduce pain and inflammation. It won't kill viruses or bacteria. Even an antibiotic won't help get rid of Marek's. It's a virus, and viruses attach themselves to the cells in a chicken's body and remain there forever.

Some chickens can get better after having a Marek's attack. Others die of cancerous tumors it can cause.

Marek's will remain in a flock until all the chickens die or are culled. I urge you to take steps to identify what is making your chicken sick by having a necropsy done on her if she dies. I'm hoping she can pull through this. Other chickens have. But if she does die, refrigerate her body, do not freeze, and look for a lab to do the necropsy. Some states have a program that makes these tests free or cheap. Call your university extension office and they will tell you what to do.
 

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