Leg injury completely numb from elbow down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crissy1079, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. crissy1079

    crissy1079 Chirping

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    Just curious how did you care for the nest bound one. Did she eat and drink and releave herself in the box? Also do you leave them out with the rest of the flock when they start to show signs or do you ever bring them inside or separate them? Just like to be prepared in case any of mine get that bad.
     
  2. crissy1079

    crissy1079 Chirping

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    Sorry for all the questions. But I have more questions and need suggestions. So I caught my young rooster trying to mate with my poor limping chicken. So for now I put him in a large dog crate in the coop so he is still around the other chickens. So my question is should I leave him separated and if so for how long? Or should I put my limping chicken is the dog crate and leave my young rooster out with the rest. Also she is now dragging the foot on the ground so I’m not sure if she will get sores on that foot and what to do.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    @rebrascora is more suited to answer your questions about caring for a bird with Marek's.
    But, if she were mine and I decided I might try to help her recover instead of cull, then I would crate her instead of the cockerel. This will hopefully reduce her stress and since it sounds like she is declining, it will allow her to rest.
     
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  4. crissy1079

    crissy1079 Chirping

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    I’m don’t think she is declining, well I hope not. She still eats and drinks normal and came hopping out eating treats with the rest but she is just not holding the leg up as much so the foot is dragging. My son had an idea of letting them take turns so 1 day the rooster is crated next day her. Then they both get out and are not always locked up in the coop. Any thoughts on that? Tomorrow I put her in the crate and let him out since I’m gone all day and can’t check on her as much. Maybe the rest will help
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Try that and see how it works out.
     
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    That sounds like a good compromise. My Marek's girl that learned to lift her leg up out of the way and hop everywhere started off with a numb lower leg and she would stand on her own toes and trip over, then the toes curled underneath and she started to drag her "knuckles" on the ground and they stared to get sores. I tried to strap a little boot to the foot to keep the toes flat but it made her trip even more so I left her to it and she figured out that she could pull it up out of the way and just hop. It probably took about 2 weeks for her to figure it out. You could get some Vet Wrap or other cohesive bandage and cut it into half inch strips and lightly wrap her foot so that she doesn't get sores, but I do wonder if the sores were part of helping her figuring out that she needed to lift it. Having said that, it the lower leg and foot were numb she would be unlikely to feel the sores. Some birds with Marek's seem to have feeling but are unable to coordinate a limb/muscle etc and others appear to have no sensation. There is such a huge variation with it, it is very individual in how it affects each bird and you really just have to play it by ear and go with your gut instinct.
    The ones that I have had that have become incapacitated have been kept in an old sideboard that I use as infirmary and broody hen bay, which is within the coop. During the day when the weather is fine I put them out on grass in a large cage and encourage the other birds to forage around them by scattering a bit of scratch. This helps ensure the birds remain part of the flock for at least part of the day and get some sunshine and grass which I have found to be key factors in helping them fight it. The bird that was nest bound for months needed regular cleaning up and food and water were clipped to the side of the nest. Outside she would crawl using her wings and gradually she learned to walk again. I would open the cage at dusk and allow her to try to make her own way back to the coop. It was not pretty watching her crawl and initially I would pick her up and carry her but over time I let her make her own way and slowly but surely she figured out how to get her legs working again or the nerve inflammation subsided and feeling returned although she retained a slight limp. Her and the one that learned to hop were best buddies and I do think the two of them being incapacitated at the same time helped them both to recover. Isolating a sick Marek's bird usually causes it to get depressed and lose interest in food and then they go down hill.
     
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  7. crissy1079

    crissy1079 Chirping

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    The way your describing her walking with curled toes and dragging her knuckles is exactly how mine is walking now. I feel bad crating her when I open the door to feed her treats she tried to get out. Same with the young rooster when I crate him he stands at the door waiting to get out. He usually doesn’t like being picked up. But when my son open the door yesterday he just stood there and let him pick him up to get out. They look pathetic. Just not sure want to do with these 2 they can’t both be out together unless I’m watching. The young rooster is at the bottom of the pecking order so the other hens peck at him and he runs off. He only got along with my limping hen cuz they hatched at the same time and were raised together. But she has become his target now he is maturing and she is limping.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    The worst of it is that if it is Marek's you can't responsibly rehome either of them as a possible solution.

    I understand that neither of them will be happy about being caged. How about creating another pen and small coop and placing a low ranking hen in with the lame bird and leaving the young cockerel with the remaining flock. Make sure the two girls get extra special treats first and allow occasional free range when the others are penned.

    Unfortunately this is one of the problems of hatching ie that you have to be prepared to deal with surplus cockerels and whilst things go so smoothly when they are little, once those hormones kick in it changes the dynamics of the flock in a very short space of time. Even without her being lame, he would have rapidly made her life a misery because she would likely be the only one he would be able or allowed to mate and she would have been overmated as a result.
     
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  9. crissy1079

    crissy1079 Chirping

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    So if I build them another pen/coop will this be permanent or temporarily? Once he is past his adolescent stage will I be able to put them all together again?
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Maybe but possibly not. He is still going to want to mate and if his Dad is not prepared to share hens then he may always go after her. It depends how she gets on. If she makes a full and dramatic recovery then you could try but you probably still have two few females to keep your two males happy. Then again the little lad might go down with Marek's himself tomorrow. There is just no saying how these things will play out.
     
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