Knock-kneed at 3 months

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Khavilah, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I have a three month old Araucana that I've raised from a chick. I noticed her legs were a little off last week, and yesterday she was not able to get up.

    I've been reading http://www.poulvet.com/poultry/articles/lameness_nutrition.php but I can't quite distinguish the symptoms enough to narrow it down.

    Everyone free ranges and gets a mix of Purina Omega 3 feed and goat feed (because, sigh, they all think it's a salad bar out there). I have recently changed to organic feed so some of that is mixed in too.

    Possible causes I've thought of: goat-related injury, nutrient deficiency, and bad genetics.

    Here are some pictures.
    [​IMG]

    The leg stretched all the way out - you can see how the leg twists.
    [​IMG]

    Both feet. She can still grip my finger slightly but she doesn't seem to want to.
    [​IMG]

    Up close foot and twisty leg.
    [​IMG]

    When I examined her, she didn't seem injured. No squawking or struggling. Nothing feels broken.

    When she lays down (which is all the time now) her feet stick out in front of her.

    I'll be trying more nutrients but I wondered if there was anything else I needed to do.
     
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Phoenix, AZ
    Are your birds vaccinated against Mareks? Are the leg deformities something new or has she had that for a while now?

    What has me concerned is that it sounds like she is laying with her legs stretched out in front of her, which is quite abnormal. A lot of vitamin deficiencies also tend to be associated with torticollis (Upturned or twisted position of the head). I know vitamin B and I think E deficiencies are characterized by this, along with uncoordinated or complete lack of mobility.

    If the legs have been that way for a while, it is possible that the bird is suffering from some congenital abnormality and it has caught up with her and she is no longer able to walk. Is she eating and drinking? Does she look "dizzy" at all.

    It is difficult to tell what is going on without seeing her myself, but at this time I would recommend keeping her separated with some food and water and seeing if it resolves or gets worse over the next few days.

    It is possible she has a fracture of her back as well, but that is usually not associated with leg deformities like what she seems to show. It is quite common for birds to break their backs at one particular point between the vertebrae attached to the ribcage and what is called the synsacrum. That can cause paralysis in otherwise normal birds.
     
  3. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Thanks for your reply...

    Unfortunately, no, the new chicks are not vaccinated against Mareks.

    I noticed one of the chicks was kind of knock-kneed about a month ago, if I remember right, but the chick didn't have any issues walking or running. (I don't know for sure if it was this one in particular because she looks similar to three others and we haven't named them all yet.) I didn't think much of it until now. I had one other chick with twisted legs that kept stepping on her own feet; I kept her inside for a few days and she got up and ran when I took her back outside after she stood up in the Hospital Box.

    I have a Hospital Box in my bathroom just for things like this. It's a laundry basket with a sheet and straw and two heavy bottomed bowls (food and water). She eats and drinks plenty (and then poops normally) and she doesn't look dizzy.

    As of this morning she's still laying with her legs funny, like she's laying on her knees. And trying to walk on her knees. I'll see if I have a picture of that.
     
  4. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    This was in the Backup Hospital Box that I was using while I cleaned out the regular one.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  5. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    My neighbor suggested it might be nightshade poisoning since we have it around here. Some of the symptoms match up.
     
  6. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    In anticipation of what may have potentially been her last night on Earth, I put her back into the main pen with everyone else, but in a safe, unused nesting box. I gave her food and her own water dish and let her stay the night in with everyone else.

    This morning when I went in to check on her, she wasn't in the box. I had to look for her - she was still in the chicken house but was all the way outside the chicken enclosure and just kind of toddling around on her knees. When she saw me, I guess I startled her because she kneed her way (very easily) into the enclosure and hid in the corner. I checked her out from about two feet away and it looked like her legs were more under her than yesterday, and when she moved, she curled her toes. She wasn't doing that yesterday.

    I made sure she had easy access to food and water and I think I'll let her stay out there today. She is protected from the goats' hooves in there, not in direct sun, and she's got lots of straw and bedding to flop around in. I like the fact that she's with her mates, because I would hate to think she was lonely or scared in the days prior to her death if I have to put her down. And, if she has Mareks, everyone else has breathed in the dander for months by this point, so...
     
  8. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    NiNi (knee-knee) has been pretty active. She has been coming to me for food and water when I enter the coop... until tonight.

    Tonight I fed everybody and went in to look for her and I couldn't find her. Then I did the headcount again and what do you know, she was out with the rest of the gang.

    I might make her little leg boots for her knees. They're not bloody or bruised, but I'd imagine they're sore.
     
  9. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Here's NiNi (or should it be NeeNee?) out with the crowd.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Soooooo... I have been thinking of trying physical therapy. I can stretch her legs out and extend them without her seeming to be in pain, but I don't know if she will ever walk on those feet again. I need to keep working those leg muscles so they stay fit even with being under her all day.

    Any suggestions?
     

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