It's not "Spraddle Leg"... Thoughts???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LallyBrochFarm, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. LallyBrochFarm

    LallyBrochFarm In the Brooder

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    I am linking this entry to the posts I have already written about our week old chick, Rudy. We have tried to set Rudy's legs with make shift casting and bandaging, shoes, physical therapy, EVERYTHING we can think of... The bottom line is that Rudy is not getting better. He/She is not getting worse, either. The other chicks do occasionally peck at him/her, but are not bullying the chick. I understand that euthanasia is a possibility, but Rudy does not seem to be in pain. He/She is eating, drinking, eliminating regularly. I want to give this chick every chance to live and have the best life it can have.

    The main problem is that the knee joint is fused into a laying down position. Does anyone have any suggestions/idea on what more we could do?

    Secondary concern is that the only pain the chick seems to feel is when we are trying to help it by adding bracing, changing bracing, and manipulating its legs. Perhaps, it is time to stop trying to repair the defect and to just let Rudy continue to learn to "swim" instead of walking???

    Additional concern is that even if Rudy lives and manages to "swim" its way through life, the risk of infection due to sitting on the ground in waste or mud, and the toll this will take physically on its legs (not being created to be walked on all the time) will take. Once he/she is larger, a cushioned velcro brace could be fashioned to protect the leg from elements and the like, but...

    Please, follow the links and read what we have done so far. I would appreciate any thoughts of anything else that might be of use.

    http://lallybrochfarms.blogspot.com/2012/07/poultry-physical-therapy.html First efforts to correct issue

    http://lallybrochfarms.blogspot.com/2012/07/rudy-gets-cast-and-shoes.html Second efforts.

    As of last night, we tried flexistraws cut to size and then slit length-wise to fit. This was secured with tape and did make effective braces, but since Rudy cannot support its own wieght and cannot balance on them, he/she spent the next few hours laying on its side with its legs sticking out peeping madly. I removed them. I left all the bracing off for the night. This morning, Rudy was alive, alert and able to swim his/her way to the water and feeding containers on her/his own. I left them off while I had to go to work.

    Thanks for the help,
    Sonja of Lally Broch Farm
     
  2. Reurra

    Reurra Crowing

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    Apr 11, 2012
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    Hi Sonja

    My chicks Stumpy cant walk properly. He waddles only very short distances. He has made it to 13 weeks this week.

    His lower legs are about a third of the length of a normal chicks. Because of weakness in the legs, he has laid on them from the beginning. He still does. His leaning over on his wing has warped the bone and he cant use it properly. His calf and thigh muscles are atropied. (sp) I feed him every morning and leave a dish he can eat from through out the day. He shuffle around well enough without help. As he is getting bigger it is getting harder for him to moved about. I keep his litter cleaned every day too. He is in a brooder, and I wont put him outside. The other birds would harass him or as you said, mud would be an issue. I ahve accepted that his long term care will always be in his brooder. He will always require special attention. he is not in pain, but you have to ask yourself, does your chick have quality of life? I sometimes do.

    Now I ahve a very sick silkie, who was meant to be Stumpys brooder mate. I certainly hope that he does not get sick too.

    This is Stumpy at 13 weeks being fed on my lap this morning.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  3. suki'smom

    suki'smom Songster

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    I had several chicks hatch with the same (and other) symptoms due my incubator temperature having drastic swings. They could not straighten their legs and a couple had curled toes. People also kept mentioning "spraddled leg" which did not fit the symptoms. I ended up culling the worst of them and tried to save the one that wasn't so bad. Sadly he had to be culled as he seemed to be ok at first but got worse and worse. When I finally culled him at 7 weeks he was so bad I deeply regretted not culling him in the beginning. Now I don't hesitate. Perhaps your situation will be different, I wish you luck.
     
  4. LallyBrochFarm

    LallyBrochFarm In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the input. I recognize that we may need to cull him/her. But, we also live on a very dysfunctional farm. Our hens all live out their days until they die of old age or a disease that couldn't be cured. They are pets as much as they are livestock. So, for us, all of the animals that live on our farm are a lifetime commitment. As long as the chick is not in pain, we will let it attempt to live and help it cope in whatever way we can.

    I think that the incubator had been compromised, since there was an extended power outage during one week, while we were on vacation. Our critter sitter thought that all was well, but... well, who knows.

    Sometimes, these things happen. If the day comes where Rudy is in pain, then, we will reevaluate and do the merciful thing. I am not ashamed to admit, I keep hoping that someone will post a comment regarding the miraculous recovery of a chick with a similar situation, though. [​IMG]

    Sonja
     
  5. FlyHigher

    FlyHigher Chirping

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    Jul 15, 2012
    Have you ever checked MD?
     
  6. Reurra

    Reurra Crowing

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Nova Scotia
    There was a great article in the June issue of Backyard Poultry. It was about a young ladye with a black silkie named Tank. The poor thing could not walk very well. She started excersing the bird every day several times a day. Now Tank is doing fine and thriving. So you jsut cant tell i guess! Good luck!
     
  7. sweety13

    sweety13 Chirping

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    Jun 23, 2012
    Well, I watched your video and made my Peanut shoes...so far it is helping, boy is she peeved though! She just needs one, but I am trying 2 to balance out her week side by putting her strong side at a disadvantage! She is so topheavy she needs some PT for balance! She hatched Friday and after an incubator tragedy is our sole survivor, and a fighter! Thanks for the idea and goodluck :)
     
  8. LallyBrochFarm

    LallyBrochFarm In the Brooder

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    MD? I am not sure what you mean.
    Sonja
     
  9. FlyHigher

    FlyHigher Chirping

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    Jul 15, 2012
    Sorry, I was wrong, It's not MD(Marek's disease) for sure, because he is too young to have MD(actually, too young to have any serious disease, for example, ND, IBD,etc).
    Good luck to your baby!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  10. LallyBrochFarm

    LallyBrochFarm In the Brooder

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    I am glad to be of help to someone else. Your post made me feel a little better. It is a tough call, isn't it? I am sorry for the loss of your other "possibles"- we had a HORRIBLE hatch rate this batch, with only 8 of the 30 hatching, too. I am planning on setting another batch this week and since I will not be away on vacation, I am hoping for a better success rate this time.

    I hope your Peanut recovers. Please, keep me posted about what you are doing and if it is working. I hope I never hatch another chick with this condition, but it is helpful to have some idea of what to do, if it were to happen again.

    Sonja :)
     

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