Limping and hopping - just started this afternoon

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Therr, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    My hen "Ginger" just started limping and hopping like this today. This morning she was fine, so whatever happened happen in the last couple of hours. Laid a beautiful egg this morning. Seems like it may be upper leg as she is keeping her right foot forward.

    Upon inspecting I do not see any signs of physical injury. Anyone have advice as to what this could be and what I should do? I'd like to help her as soon as possible so it doesn't become a longer term problem.

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  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a black dot on the bottom of her foot?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How is your hen doing today? Leg and foot sprains are very common, but I would as MOC suggested, look for dark scabs on her foot pad that might indicate bumblefoot. Does she have any swelling in the foot or leg joints? Is she moving her toes normally?
    Your cuckoo Marans (or barred hen) looks to have a big crop. I would check it to see if it is hard, or if she has just overeaten. The crop should be mostly empty in early morning before they eat or drink.
     
  4. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    She has no signs of bumblefoot, but I will continue to check as a scab likely wouldn't have developed in such a short period. She was fine on Saturday morning, then 3 hours later she was limping. The injury seems to be higher on her leg. She continues to limp, but I do not see any swelling. Her injured leg is warm/hot compared to the other, so there is definitely inflammation, but I am not visibly seeing anything other than her walk.

    She is walking but seems to drag her right foot forward, then puts it pretty far forward before limping or taking a hop to move. I am starting to think it is a sprain or possibly broken. However, she doesn't seem to mind me examining or feeling the leg.

    The video was late in the day, so the Maran was full. She (as well as my injured Egger) is a big eater and full by late afternoon. She looks a lot less full in the morning. A few weeks ago she had sour crop (balloon feel to her crop) but that cleared up. Since you mention it, I will double check her to make sure she is not impacted. I've been focused on my injured leg, so probably haven't paid attention to her. Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    While I still figure that she probably injured her leg, you might want to watch her for increasing lameness, walking on her hocks, or drooping wings. Mareks disease is one thing that can cause paralysis in a leg or wing. It usually is seen in chickens who are younger and haven't been vaccinated. If she continues limping, make sure that she can get to her food and water, and sometimes forced rest in a dog crate or small pen will help. Poultry vitamins in the water or B Complex tablets crushed into the feed may be of help if there is a riboflavin deficiency, whose symptoms include curled toe paralysis and walking on hocks.
     
  6. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    So she continues to be lame, I am not sure it is worse. I have ruled out bumblefoot. It seems the injury may be above her hock or on the thigh. Her feet do seem more curled and when she sits, she seems to have trouble adjusting the leg, eventually she will thrust it forward to sit.

    She continues to lay eggs. And she will climb up to roost.

    Today I built a smaller dog size enclosure that fits inside the coop. My thinking is to keep her near the other 2 hens, but limit her mobility. She has 20 inch x 18 in. This allowed me to get her water and food inside with minimal hassle. I crushed a baby aspirin in about a quart of water (81 mg). I also cut a Centrum Multivitamin into 1/3rds then crushed it into her food. I am also giving her plenty of greens which I hope will help with inflammation.

    With regards to Mareks. She was hatched last April, so she isn't even a year old. I doubt she was vaccinated, but I will check into that. She is only "splitting" with one leg. Pushing her right one forward. However, she is still walking under it. She only pushed forward to sit down. She has no problem eating, her eyes look fine. I haven't seen anything in the poop, but now that she is more isolated, i will be able to distinguish her poop from the rest. When I pick her up she will initially splay out her wing feathers but this seems to be a normal reaction with most of the hens I've owned. She very quickly relaxes and the wing goes back against her body.

    In reading through everything, I believe she either has a high sprain, minor bone fracture or Mareks.

    UNRELATED:
    Eggcessive noted that my Maran had a large/odd crop. I have been paying attention to her and see is fully emptying at night and looks normal in the morning. As she fills up during the day, her crop gets larger and sinks to the right. I've made up the diagnoses "Crooked Crop" for her. Curious if anyone has ever seen this with their hens?
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The Marans may just have a big appetite. I wouldn't worry as long as it is mostly empty by the next morning. Some chickens can be a little piggy. There is really not a way to rule out Mareks until after death. The test nowadays requires feathers or tissue collected from organs. Riboflavin is the most important vitamin for curled toe paralysis, and is found in many foods including beef liver, lamb, plain yogurt, mushrooms, and ground almonds which can be mixed into a little food. Not much is needed. What state do you live in? Most state vets will do necropsies or autopsies to look for Mareks in the event that you would lose her. Odds are that it is probably an injury though. Keep us posted on how she is getting along.
     
  8. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    So today she is still eating well, but she appears to be having more problems with her leg. She seems to be having trouble standing, but she can still get up and move. I googled videos of Live chickens with Mareks and I am increasingly thinking that is the issue. Which per virtually every online source says that means the rest of the flock does as well. It also says there is no treatment and a high mortality rate. Also says sometimes they recover, but it seems to be less than 50/50. I am thinking if it was a sprain, she would likely show signs of recovery.

    I didn't remove her from the coop, but built a little cage area within it. My thinking is that it keeps her close to the flock, but separates her so she can't walk around and aggravate her injury. If it's a sprain then there no risk the the rest of the flock, if Mareks, virtually every sources says it is too late to keep her from infecting the other hens.

    This is one of my favorite girls. She has also been the most friendly. I plan to keep her separate cage area within the coop and give her some TLC, but I am not hopeful for her future. Hopefully she'll snap back this week. I will watch her and report back.
     
  9. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    I've read through this and I don't think it is a vitamin deficiency. They get a good layer feed and greens daily. I've examined her several times and there is no indication of a break.or other injury. Her joints move freely and her feet look ok (other than the curled toes.)

    I've kept her isolated to keep her from moving around and give the leg a rest. Her toes are curled and she has pretty much lost use of her leg from the hock down. She continues to eat well, poop looks normal and she continues to lay eggs. Today I took her out of isolation to see if she wants to move around and get some fresh air. She hobbled around some. the other hens just hung out with her then she decided to go off to a corner of the coop and relax. She burrowed in the ground a little and their she sits.

    I spoke to a friend with 80+ chickens and she said that once the toes curl under, it is simply a matter of time. She declared that my hen was pretty much done and that I should cull her once she starts to show discomfort or if the flock starts to isolate or attack her.

    I'm torn on keeping her isolated another week or two, just let her back into the flock to move around freely or culling her. I think I will keep her isolated another week, but from what I have been told birds heal relatively quickly and there is no indication she is improving at all.
     

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