Leg injury, or something worse?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Swiftbow, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Hey everybody,

    One of our buckeyes has been having problems, seemingly with her right leg. She'd had a previous problem with it before Christmas that had seemed to get better (she'd occasionally limp a little, but could run and keep up with the others.) The local homestead supply store folks checked her out, but couldn't find a break (neither could I), and we figured it was probably a sprain.

    But this last month, it came back and seems worse. She gets around (slowly) and mostly has to flap to keep herself upright for short walks. She can't get into or out of the coop, we give her a lift both ways. As another side effect, she sleeps on the floor right now, as she can't get onto the roost or stay stable on it.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? One person suggested she might be egg bound (she hasn't started laying yet), or has back issues. The last one I don't think is likely, as she can definitely move her legs. But she does spend a lot of time lying on her side, presumably to rest them. Her wing feathers are getting a bit worn out on the pinions, too, from so much ground contact. I MAY have detected some swelling in her ankle joint, but I'm not certain. If it is swollen, it's only a little bit. And I still can't find any fracture. I rubbed some icy/hot into it the other night, but if it helped with any pain, it didn't do anything for her mobility. Other than her legs, she seems healthy and is eating.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hi[​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    Can you post some photos of her - how she lies down or a video of her actions would be good.

    How old is she?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Was she vaccinated for Marek's?

    It's hard to know what's going on. Loss of mobility can be a number of things, from vitamin/nutritional deficiencies, neurological/developmental disorders to diseases like Marek's.

    Offer her some poultry vitamins that contains Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and make sure she is drinking and eating.

    Let us know how she is doing.
     
  3. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Okay, we took some video and photos. I'll get them uploaded when I get back from work this evening

    She is eating. She is about 11 months old. We feed them Ranchway Laying Feed, 20% protein. They get scratch daily, and other, random treats periodically (meal worms, kale, apples, and other scraps).

    They have free range down our sideyard, though it's a little barren this time of year. On the weekends, we often let them into the whole backyard.

    I don't know if she's vaccinated or not. I'll e-mail the farm we bought them from. (We got them at about 3 months old.) I just read the symptoms, though, and I don't think it's Marek's. She's not paralyzed in any of her limbs (she can move both legs, just not well) and her wings work fine. The rest of her body seems fine (no tumors I can detect), and her eyes are normal color and properly dilated. She would likely have infected the other chickens by now, too, since they're all from the same farm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  4. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Our buckeye chicken, Khaleesi. She's been getting around (very slowly), but the last few days isn't really walking at all, but just flapping herself forward and then faceplanting before doing it again. We help her in and out of the coop.
    [​IMG]
    She periodically will flip herself over to her other side (or back to her stomach) by flailing a bit and flapping her wings.
    [​IMG]

    This is our other buckeye, her sister Nugget. They're the same age, but Nugget has more development in her comb and wattles. I'm not sure if that's related. Nugget started laying eggs pretty recently, Khaleesi hasn't started yet. (Our dominique, Lady Cluck, is in the background. She's been laying since September and is roughly the same age as the other two.)
    [​IMG]


    So, these two videos show how she's mostly been lying down recently. She flips herself over in the second one.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Thanks for the videos[​IMG]

    Poor girl. It could still be something something like Marek's or some other neurological disorder - leg tremors are concerning.
    If you can take a fecal sample to your vet for testing, then you may want to have them test for cocci. She's not as fluffed as I would think she would be if it's cocci, but some of her actions remind me of how chicks act.

    Unfortunately without testing, there's no way to know what's going on there.

    You may want to isolate her and give her some extra poultry vitamins. You may want to consider making a makeshift sling for her and put her in it for a few hours each day, this will get her upright and may help her eat/drink better - also may help her digest her foods better too - I'm sure it's hard for the crop and gizzard to function properly if she is laying on her side all day.

    I know this is a touchy subject, but it is reality. Give her and yourself a timeline to work with. If you don't see marked improvement within a set number of days (what you are comfortable with), then you may want to consider putting her down. None of us want to think about these things, but if she can't bounce back with supportive care and TLC, then look at her quality of life and access whether she is in discomfort or pain.

    If you do end up putting her down, then having a necropsy performed will hopefully give you some answers.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/546979/mareks-chicken-sling-pics-included
     
  6. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Okay, thanks. I actually started working on a sling seat last night, after my wife broached the idea.

    Don't really have a quarantine area to put her... I'd find it weird that she'd have anything the others hadn't already been exposed to. They've been together their whole lives, really. We need to find a vet that looks at chickens... but I think I know who to ask about that.

    (Just as a note, she does lay on her stomach, too.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    That's great that you are working on sling[​IMG]

    It's not unusual to have a bird that my have an illness/disease like Marek's or an overload of cocci or worms while the other remain asymptomatic. Each bird is unique, she may have a weaker immune system or a developmental disorder where she is just not able to fight it as well.

    FWIW vaccines do not always "take" - it depends on how and when they are administered. Marek's vaccination prevents tumor formation, it does not prevent infection by the virus.

    Here's a way to find avian vets in your area:
    http://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803
     
  8. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Well, I got it built, but I was testing it close to the time they like to go inside and I think she got impatient and then freaked out and managed to fly out of my arms. I think she's okay (at least, not any worse). I feel kind of stupid though.

    I did get a chance to examine her a bit more closely today, put her on her back and she stayed for a little while. She didn't react much to my feeling her legs until I got to the upper thigh of her right one (which seems to be troubled one. I had her on my lap and she was able to stand on her left leg if I held her right side). Then her eyelids closed and she started trying to turn back over. Can chicken legs get dislocated? That almost seems like the most likely scenario here if so.

    Thanks for the vet list... my wife actually slightly knows one of them, surprisingly! So that may work out well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Yes, they can have dislocations just like we do[​IMG]

    If you think she has a dislocation, then seeing a vet would be best - they can xray and hopefully fix it for you.

    Some chickens don't do well with slings, you may want to try it after she's had a good nights sleep and is refreshed. Close to roosting time, they all seem to get busy, so she may have been worried trying to get in with the other girls.

    I hope she recovers. Please keep us posted.
     
  10. Swiftbow

    Swiftbow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Colorado Springs, CO
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    She seems to like the chicken chair (right). She'll willingly stay in it a few hours at a time, though bedtime and treat excitements have made her jump out of it. She seems to be able to get out of it without too much trouble, though I haven't seen her do it yet.

    We've got a vet appointment tomorrow. Here's hoping for good news!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

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