Lame leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by spicer5, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. spicer5

    spicer5 New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2016
    Just before Christmas we noticed that one hen was limping. We have separated her into a coop with copious shavings and given her baths in epsom salts (which she enjoys). At first we thought it was bumble foot (there was a small sore) but it has since healed. She appears to be limping more today (it did cool off overnight, so maybe she is just stiff). Her toes are flacid and don't grip on that foot, but they are straight. There appears to be no swelling or broken bones. Otherwise, she seems happy. She has visits from the rest of the flock, eats, drinks, and lays eggs. Any suggestions??
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How old is the hen? Do you know if she was vaccinated for Marek's Disease? Since the foot can't grip, I would suspect some neurological damage/problem. This might have been caused by injury or be due to Marek's Disease, which can cause (among other things), paralysis of various parts of the body.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How old is she? Do you know if she was vaccinated for Mareks disease? An injury may be the problem, but the flaccid foot sounds abnormal. I would make sure that she can reach her food and water in a pen if she cannot stand well. Start some poultry vitamins in her water. She may need to rest her leg for a few days, and just watch for any changes in her ability to walk or paralysis in her leg. Hopefully, it is not Mareks, but it tends to show up more in the wintertime in chickens hatched in the past spring. Here is some reading about Mareks:
    https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  4. spicer5

    spicer5 New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2016
    She is 10 months. No idea if she was vaccinated, I'm guessing not. This is her first winter. We have kept her food and water low and accessible. Also didn't see any difference in her when we gave her half a baby aspirin, which makes me think it's more neurological than pain. I'll go get some poultry vitamins and keep an eye on her. Thanks.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Well, there can be many different reasoms for the leg problem, and the only reason I suggested the possibility of Mareks is just to read about it to help decide or rule it out. I think it could be an injury, hopefully, but keep track of any new symptoms. She might eat and feel better with another chicken around, so you might try some supervised visits or place her pen in with the others so she can feel part of the flock.
     
  6. spicer5

    spicer5 New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2016
    I definitely can't rule Mareks out at this point, though it is not the whole leg. It doesn't drag, she can pull it up and stretch it out. She just seems hesitant to put her weight on it. We do also have a rooster who is becoming more aggressive by the day. So it is very possible that he is responsible for the injury as he loves to show off to the ladies.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Well, keep us posted onhow she is doing. It may take some time to figure out the problem.
     
  8. spicer5

    spicer5 New Egg

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    I'm thinking she is injured. Her 'knee' is swollen and hot today. Also the joint feels wiggly side to side compared to the working leg. She is still greeting me in the morning when it is warm. We've been giving her the B-12. But with the warmth, I'm thinking infection...so what now?
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Has she been resting the leg since you noticed it? Can you show a pic of her footpad? I would take her to a vet if possible, to rule out an injury versus infection or arthritis. They could take an Xray to rule out a broken bone. Sprains can also be a problem. Some diseases such as mycoplasma synovitis (MS,) or other bacterial infection, such as Stap or E.coli, in her joints could cause heat and swelling. Gout could be another possible cause.MS can affect one or both legs. MS symptoms can be treated with injectable Tylan 50 given orally or as a shot for 5 days. A staph or other bacterial infection may require other antibiotics only available through a vet. The FDA recently removed most oral antibiotics from feed stores without a vet prescription. If it were a staph infection from bumblefoot, I would think there would be a very reddened leg. Here is some info about joint arthritis:
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/mycoplasmosis/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-in-poultry
    http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/staphylococcus-infections
     
  10. spicer5

    spicer5 New Egg

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    [​IMG]this is the injured foot/leg. The spot on the footpad near the toe I'm holding up had a scab on it last week. The whole foot looks a bit swollen compared to the other one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Another view of the swollen joint. I think she's starting to pick at it, hence the bald spot. I don't think it's just due to her bath.

    [​IMG]The foreground is the healthy foot, but the injured one is in focus. She wasn't really cooperating.


    [​IMG]Another one of the healthy foot.


    [​IMG]the injured foot from the top. Looks swollen around the main part of the foot/ankle compared to the other one.


    [​IMG]Just because.

    She is really liking her baths, though it's quite the production trying to get the dog out so he's not barking the entire time or making her uncomfortable or trying to jump on her. BTW, how do I find a vet for chickens?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

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