1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Lame hen..is she doomed?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rcentner, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I have a hen (about 6 months old) that came up lame on her Left leg last week. I have separated her and have given her vitamins in her water. She is eating scratch grains and can cat food, but wont touch her water or her layena. I am worried...it seems like she is worse, but I have been busy at work and can better evaluate her tomorrow when I am home, but just from the 5 minutes I have seen her this morning it seems like she is having a terrible time standing. The poor girl is not a social chicken and is freaked out by all the handling of the food and water so clsoe to her. I have her in a dog crate, makes me feel bad that everytime I change the water and put more food in she tries to get away and just flops around more.

    So after reading...she could have Mareks. If she does how long would it take for her to pass away on her own? Is there anything I can do? I was reading about the st johns wart and will try that, but that just doesn't seem like it will do much but postpone the inevitable. I am just wondering more about the progression and duration of the disease. I want to be able to let her go if she does have mareks and reaches a point of no return

    I always thought mareks was a chick disease so I am surprised to see that is not the case. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    11/9/11 - Here is a video I just took of her, she doesn't really wanna move. She just got her metacam and ate some eggs for me. If this isn't mareks and she recovers I think this hen will learn to love me with all the hand feeding and care.
    She seems about the same as yesterday, I think the cage is making it harder for her when she moves so I let her out of the cage into the people area in my coop (where I keep all my feed and supplies) so then she can feel more free.

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

  2. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    Have you examined her leg and foot, and if so what did you find? If you haven't done an exam of her leg, take a close look and let us know if you find anything unusual. Any signs of swelling of her foot or leg or scab on the bottom of her foot that would indicate bumblefoot? Perhaps posting a picture or pictures of her would help folks on here figure out what is going on [​IMG] I don't have any experience with Mareks so perhaps someone else on here could answer your questions on that.
  3. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I have examined both feet, no sign of bumblefoot (which one of my other hens has). Nothing broken in the leg itself. she can move the leg it's just not easy for her to do. I examined her - eyes are fine (no mareks wierd eye thing), wings are normal, mouth looks normal, crop is mostly empty - feels like a little corn and some grit in there. her attitude is still normal - she still hates me and tries to get away from me and pecks at me when I pick her up. Today I will administer her metacam (meloxicam dose) and see if I can find any st johns wort (couldn't hurt I guess). I am afraid that the metacam could have a profound effect on her kidney function since she isn't drinking as far as I can tell. but maybe the metacam will get her feeling better and promote her to drink.

    Anyone on here ever give SQ fluids to a chicken? how much would you give? I will have to look and see if I can find the maintenance fluid intake for a chicken.

    I suppose she could have a spinal injury, but I would think a spinal would show up on both sides. idk! [​IMG]

    I can take a pic, but I don't think it will be helpful...will try a video of her moving and post it up.
  4. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI
    It could be Mareks Disease, but then it could also be an injury? Why don't you give her baby aspirin? I would keep her in the crate, and not let her move around too much on the leg. Not all Chickens who contract Mareks virus show blindness. It can manifest itself in several different ways:

    1) Lameness, which progresses to total paralysis on both legs and also can affect the wings

    2) Gray eye, which causes the pupil to become irregular in shape and the eyes turn gray - blindness

    3) Internal tumors which attach to internal organs

    Be sure to keep her separate from the other Chickens, because it is contagious. Wash your hands and don't hold other birds against your clothing if you've handled her. Oxine, diluted with water is a good antiviral to use, since it would kill any Mareks virus in the environment.

    Good luck and keep us up-dated on what is happening with her.
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Quote:I agree with Nonsuch. It can happen at any age, more common in younger chicks (6-25 weeks). She acts like my 2 year old roo did. He was the first to get Marek's, a Silkie. First he wouldn't move. Next I noticed he would lose his balance. He had paralysis. It went to his wings, then he had no control over his neck movements, and could not aim at his food. He got thinner. He got one gray eye. This took about 6 weeks. I finally had him put down. Would you believe he crowed right up till the end!

    You symptoms will depend on what part of the body is attacked first by the virus. If she looks like she's getting worse, I would euthanize. It's not a nice way to die. Sorry.

    That is my best guess.
  6. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    well, she is no better or worse. I put her out in the sun while I cleaned her cage and made arrangements to make her cage stay a little more permanent. I was hoping that the metacam would give her some relief, but it has not (as far as I can tell). She still wont eat layena, picks at the scratch grains but did eat the scrambled eggs. She will eat bread too. Her left leg gets left behind her when she tried to move and she ends up doing a split. I feel so bad watching her...I found some worms for her and she gobbled them right up. It doesn't seem to be progressing, but she made some noises today that made me believe she is uncomfortable.
    I wonder if I can sling that leg somehow and if that would make it easier for her to move, but idk cause she has such a hard time getting around I am not sure if hobbling a leg would make it better or worse.

    question: If it is mareks, would she still respond to stimuli with that leg? She can move it, but it's like she has no control over it. when I extend the leg she can pull it back in. When I palpated the leg it seemed like I got a reaction up at the hip joint.
  7. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    Just saw your post on the Paralized Chicken thread and linked here. I'm sorry I can't help with the sling, but you may want to check the 'car vs. rooster' thread for an idea about a sling for a broken leg. If she's still not drinking, something I read on that thread might help. Take pieces of whole grain bread and soak them in water. You'll get calories and liquids into her at the same time.
    Good luck - I really hope it's not Marek's...

  8. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal In the Brooder

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I just watched the video on your poor hen. I have one who is 9 months old who just began to limp one day about 4 days ago. In just that short a time, she went from that, to having her right leg out in front of her. Watching your girl trying to use her wings to stabilize herself is just what mine is doing. I went through this with a 4 month old roo 2 years ago, so I was pretty sure what it was, as there are no broken bones, etc. I put her in a small crate this afternoon, but will probably just have to put her down tomorrow, as I don't want her to suffer further. I hate this part of owning chickens!
  9. henney penny

    henney penny Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    I`ll be watching this thread to,I have a rooster that is lame and has been for four weeks now but eats and drinks fine,so not sure what is wrong with him,he is 5 months old
  10. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    Quote:LOL, this morning I was hand feeding her bread soaked with her vitamin water. I will check out the car vs rooster post.

    kansas gal - that's how she started too...limping and now can't use the leg. you said you went through this 2 years ago and knew what it was....so what is it? the dreaded mareks?

    I am getting hope from some people and doom from others....my DH would be upset at me if I gave up this soon, so I will keep nursing her until I see either improvement or decline. She is getting more used to the handling and being in the cage. She now knows I am not planning to eat her [​IMG] I hope she pulls through, such a pretty hen. Besides, have to put my horse down this week and dont need anymore sadness [​IMG] [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by