Lame chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hendshens75, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Hendshens75

    Hendshens75 New Egg

    Dec 27, 2013
    Hi, one of my lovely brown rangers started limping about a month ago out of the blue, one minute she was free ranging in the garden with the other chickens and the next minute we noticed that she could not walk properly. This has got gradually worse over the weeks, and she started shaking her leg backwards as if to get rid of something but was able to walk around with a pronounced limp until about a week ago she started using her wing to support her as she couldn't stand up at all. We took her to the vet who diagnosed a nerve inflammation in the thigh and prescribed metacam. She has been taking this for the last four days and there has been a slight improvement in that she now can stand up without using her wing but she is still shaking her leg backwards although a bit less. She is still not moving around a lot. We are keeping her indoors in the warmth, and she is eating and drinking well and looks very alert. Any ideas of what we could do to help her recover? Has somebody else had a similar experience? Thanks in advance for any advise as we do not want to cull her, she is a very much loved pet.
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I have old Bobwhite quail that have exact same condition, shaking the leg backwards when trying to walk forward. I have seen this before in my geriatric group of old quail. LOL Arthritis.

    I have found that a few things that can help, although none of these completely cure them....

    I offer up an infra-red heat lamp for about 15-30 mins a day. The wavelength of infra-red has healing qualities. Europe has been using it in their saunas for arthritis patients for a long time. It is a penetrating light, increases circulation and really helps heal. I use it in all hospital cages. My arthritic quail all snuggle in close to the heat first thing in the morning to get their bones limbered up for the day.

    Next, I have been adding a supplement to their diet that contains fish meal. Similar to Glucosamine, fish meal has properties to help lubricate the joints. Farmers Helper Ultra Kibble. It also contains essential minerals and amino acids that help the joints as well. Egg food supplements are also available, Kaytee Egg-cite Egg Food Supplement, which I have recently started using, that contains amino acids and fatty acids that help with arthritis.

    Finally I have been adding apple cider vinegar to the water. 1 to 2 tablespoons acv per gallon of water, changed daily. ACV can help with inflammation and is recommended for people with arthritis.

    While I can not cure any of my birds completely, I have relieved much of the pain and swelling in the hips and foot joints.

    I don't know if this is what your bird is suffering from, but some of this may help your bird as well. :)

    Oh and welcome to BYC!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. I would suspect Mareks disease, although something else could be going on. Mareks causes leg weakness, and using the wings to maneuver around is common. Sciatic nerve inflammation is the cause of this symptom. I would start poultry vitamins as soon as possible just in case it could be a vitamin deficiency. Here is some info on the 4 different types of Mareks , and the varying symptoms:
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. Hendshens75

    Hendshens75 New Egg

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thank you TwoCrows and Eggcessive for your advice and welcome to this great website. I'll check if we can get the Kaytee eggcite supplement or equivalent here in the UK. We will also try the cider vinegar from tomorrow, we tried to give it to the girls before but they didn't like it very much. The vet confirmed that it wasn't Marek, which was a big relief. She reckons that Coco got her leg trapped somewhere in the garden and pulled it out the wrong way. None of the other chickens show any sign of illness and they all look great. What we find worrying is that the limping and mobility got worse. But we will start with the vitamins and cider vinegar to see if it helps.

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