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Is anything wrong?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cluckcluckgirl, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Today I went out and noticed that one of my 5 year old hen's ankles are a little swollen, and her abdomen is also slightly puffy. I don't know if there is any liquid or puss in either and we don't have a syringe to check if there is. She is acting normal and her comb and wattles are a healthy red. The ankles also did not feel hot when I touched them. She hasn't laid an egg in over a year, so I highly doubt these symptoms are the results of anything related to egg-laying. Is there anything wrong with her that needs attention, or what is it?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Some causes of swollen ankle joints are mycoplama synovitis (MS,) a respiratory disease that effects the joints, articular gout, and other types of viral or bacterrial arthritis. Bad cases of bumblefoot can lead to joint infections, so make sure there are no sores on the bottoms of the feet or toes. Another condition which is more rare is called osteopetrosis, where the lower legs can be thickened and hard like marble. Pictures are welcome. Is the puffy belly in her lower abdomen? It is tight or soft. Has she lost weight through her breast bone area? Do you have a vet that could see her?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  3. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Thank you for your response.

    The puffy belly is toward the egg-laying tract and vent. It was very soft when I saw her today. I did wonder if it could be bumblefoot, but I looked and she does not have any sores or the traditional scab. She's always been a very big-breasted girl, and I didn't notice if her breast area was smaller.
    Unfortunately there is no vet that sees chickens nearby and any vet around us would be closed tomorrow.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Watch her for some time when she walks to see if she seems like her feet hurt, or for limping. Some of us don't have vets who see chickens, or unable to get to one, but Tylan 50 injectable given by mouth 1 ml twice a day for a 5 pound hen is a good treatment for MS symptoms. Aspirin can be given for pain at 1/4 tablet of a 325 mg or an 81mg tablet twice a day in food. If staphylococcus from bumblefoot, penicil'in may work, but it depends on the bacteria causing the problem. E.coli or other colibacteria would require something different, probably from a vet.
     
  5. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    She will walk and stand just fine, but seems to be in pain if I touch the swollen joint. I will definitely give her some aspirin and get some Tylan ASAP. Thank you.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  7. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    I just checked on her today. She is doing really well, except for those two symptoms. I will get some pics hopefully later this afternoon to show the swelling of her ankles. The swelling has actually gone down today and she doesn't seem to be in pain when I touch her ankles. I did notice that her breast size is slightly smaller. It's puzzling me at this time because I would go so far as to say her behavior has improved from what it normally is, and I haven't given her any medication yet. She is very happy to eat, drink, walk, and follow me wherever I go (though I have her inside right now). She doesn't have any limp or trouble walking, no discharge from anywhere, and is certainly not showing any lameness. She stands with a normal stance as well. I looked at my other chickens' feet, and no one else's feet are swollen or abnormal.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Check her hock joints as well,for swelling. You may even post some pictures of her feet for us to look at. Here is a picture which could be MS or possibly gout:

    [​IMG]
    photo by bayareachick

    Gout can also be a cause of swollen feet. Read an interesting article on gout here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/550983/gout-in-birds-interesting-article

    Here is a picture of articular gout from ThePoultrySite:
    [​IMG]
    508.articular gout is characterized with periarticular urate deposits (tophi), especially around the joints of toes and the foot. The joints are enlarged and toes - malformed.

    Here is some reading with pictures from ThePoultrySite about MS:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    109.110.Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) infections could progress as either acute or a chronic systemic disease with symptoms of arthritis, synovitis and bursitis especially in hens and turkeys. The earliest signs are lameness, lying down and retarded growth. Often, oedemas of tibiotarsal joints and the drumstick are observed. The morbidity and death rates are moderate, under 10%. Young chickens at the age of 4-12 weeks and turkey poults at the age of 10-12 weeks are susceptible. Synovites are encountered all year round, but are prevalent during cold humid seasons or when the litter is wet.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    111.112.Affected birds get progressively exhausted. When the joints and tendon sheaths are open, a serofibrinous exudate is most commonly observed. The aetiological agent is M. synoviae. The microorganism shows a certain tropism to synovial structures as joints and tendon sheaths. An important route of dissemination of the agent is the transovarial trans¬mission. The distribution by a horizontal route via the respira¬tory tract is also possible. The commonly used means of diagnostics is ELISA. MS infections should be differentiated from staphylococcal infections, reoviral arthritis and RGT (see RGT).
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  9. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    The pictures of the feet above look like a much more serious version of what my hen's feet look like. Her swelling in her feet has gone down again today to where they are barely even swollen anymore. Her abdomen remains swollen, though.

    While examining her today I was trying to see the skin around her abdomen (which was slightly darker than usual), and there was some sort of parasite. It was yellow, very small, and very quick. She has had no loss of feathers. I've never had any problem with parasites in all the 6 years of owning chickens. Wild birds cannot get in the run, any added chickens are always checked and quarantined (and no new birds have been added in a year), and I examine my chickens for parasites. Mice can get into the coop, since they are a big problem where we live. Is it the parasites that might be doing this to her? This is the first sign of anything on my chickens EVER, and she does not have scaly legs. Also, are these creatures, whatever they may be, transferable to humans and our house? She is inside right now as I try to help her, and we really don't want whatever it is to infest us and our house.

    We have some DE, but it is rated for insects and not food grade. I'm hesitant to use it until I know if I can.
     
  10. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Just an update-

    The girl is doing alright. The swelling in her feet has almost disappeared without me doing anything to it. Her hock joints are not swollen. Her abdomen is still swollen, which I bought some syringes for. I have never had to drain anything out of the abdomen of a chicken, so I'll have to do some research and any advice is most certainly welcomed.

    I also bought some stuff to help combat the lice that she has, which luckily is not too bad right now.

    Her behavior remains wonderful, as does her appetite.
     

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