Lame chicken ... help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kberndtson, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. kberndtson

    kberndtson Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2010
    I have a Buff Orpington hen that is 10 months old. Two weeks ago I noticed she was lame so I brought her in hoping her leg would heal. Unfortunately there seems to be no improvement. She walks on her hock. She has no noticeable injuries or ailments, other than she's limping. She had been eating and drinking great up until this weekend, however now she doesn't seem interested in her food. I've been giving her yogurt and she still likes sunflowers and scratch so I've been feeding her that. I'm quite certain she's lonely, but am hesitant to put her out with the rest of the birds in case she has something communicable.

    Any ideas? I've been reading a bit about Marek's but she's been this way for two weeks and doesn't seem to have any other symptoms.
     
  2. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

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    Need ALOT more info to help you.....She has been hopping on one leg now for two weeks??? First of all it is very stressful for the bird to exert all that extra energy just for the act of hopping.....
    Swelling anywhere?
    Feeling in her lower leg?
    Tendon out of place? {my first thought}....

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  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If it were Marek's , there will be deterioration .

    I think bringing her in was good. I would supply a little heat, maybe 1/4 aspirin. Is there any resistance in her leg when you gently pull on it?
    It could be a number of things.

    broken leg
    sprained hock
    hip injury

    If she is walking on her hock, I would think the injury is lower than her hock? Maybe?
    You may want to make her a sling out of a t-shirt.

    I would not jump to Marek's right now. There are other good possibilities.
     
  4. kberndtson

    kberndtson Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2010
    Thanks so much for the responses!

    froggiesheins ... How do I tell if it's a problem with a tendon? She doesn't appear to have any swelling or anything. Her leg looks normal. She stands on it, but just can't use it for walking. As soon as she tries to walk on it, her leg gives way and she falls to her hock and limps. She does move her toes, but they don't curl like the ones on her other leg. When I hold my finger out, she curls her toes on her good leg, but doesn't on her bad one, yet everything looks normal.

    seminolewind ... If it were Mareks how soon would deterioration occur? Would it take this long? Also, how do I give her the aspirin? Mix it with food? Water? And when you say heat, I do have her under a heat lamp in the garage since we live in Wisconsin. Is that what you meant by supply her with heat? She doesn't really seem to care when I pull on her leg. I'd say there's probably a bit more resistance on her good leg than her bad one.
     
  5. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

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    OK, from what you say, it might be a pinched/ damaged nerve problem if she is not curling the toes. As for checking the tendon..visualize an eating drumstick [KFC], notice the end you would hold has two bumps and a groove on it? OK, the tendon would fit in that groove on your hen. Feel her hock area [where the feathers and scales meet] and see if you can feel that tendon in that groove. [if you were to gently wiggle the hock area you can feel the tendon moving.[ would feel like a small rope] The tendon should be riding in that groove NOT to one side. IF it is to one side you can GENTLY manipulate it back into the groove. Give it a check.....[​IMG]

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  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    The lameness would advance to paralysis probably in a few days. It does not really sound like Marek's. There's just not enough symptoms to go on yet. I would treat for an injury. I give my aspirin in a piece of bread .
     

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