Limping Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jburd, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. jburd

    jburd Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012
    Hello. I've got a 8 month old RIR pullet who has been limping for a little over a week. I took her to work (at the vet) and x-rayed her the day after I saw her limping and we could see no fractures. The doctor I work with examined her and could find no palpable injuries, wounds, bumblefoot, or even stimulate a pain response. He recommended pain meds and cage rest until she recovered so I've done that for 8 days now but she has shown little improvement.

    Sometimes I see her limping obviously and other times I see her putting weight on the leg and even perching! The doctor has done some research and found that kidney disease can be a cause of limping in chickens . . . one that often goes undiagnosed. This freaked me out a bit because this pullet's sister (probably not biologically related, but the other RIR in our flock :) ) died three months ago from kidney failure of unknown causes . . . probably congenital.

    I don't want to over-react though, so I put this pullet back in the coop with the others. She eats and drinks like a champ, but just sits around all day in her little cage. I don't want her leg to get weak from lack of use, so I think tomorrow I may let her be outside for half a day with the flock and see how she does. Does anyone else have any experience with young pullets coming up lame with no improvement? What did you do to help your girl (or guy . . . i suppose the roo's can get a limp as well, eh) =)?

    Thanks y'all! Happy Holidays! =D
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  2. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Gosh, I have no words of wisdom for you....I hope she gets better...:hugs
  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Hate droppin' my suspicions on Christmas, but ... look into the possiblity of avian leukosis. It's a virus that doesn't live well outside of the birds, but spread at similar speeds w/in flocks (and possibly by those mites you mentioned )-;~
  4. ninjagirl

    ninjagirl Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2012
    Maybe some sort of vitamin deficiency.
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Its good that you went to the vet. Limping is not enough symptoms to even guess for me. I think your care is right on for now.
  6. jburd

    jburd Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012
    Happy Holidays folks! Thanks so much for responding to my post! [​IMG] Hmm . . . I didn't mention anything about mites. I haven't had that problem yet, thank goodness! [​IMG]

    Leukosis/sarcoma is definitely on my list of panic-situation differentials. I am slightly (very slightly) encouraged because no abnormalities were noted on x-ray or palpation. Also the other RIR showed no sign of cancer either. She actually showed no sign of Marek's, NC, IBV, or any other clinical problem besides flacid, pale, rubbery, failed kidneys. It was so strange! The doctor who performed the necropsy and analysis of the tissues/cultures had only seen this once before in a young partridge. Poor Emma, I miss her. :'(

    I feed my girls . . . and guy [​IMG] . . . Purina Layena (in crumble form). I also supplement with free-choice pullet-sized oyster shell that I mix into the feed along with this powder. I also top-dress their feed with Probiotics once weekly. I certainly hope it's not due to some nutritional problem, but I wouldn't rule it out either. Omega-3 supplementation was recommended on VIN (the veterinary information network) to support kidney health in poultry which is why I add it on a daily basis to their feed . . . could that be rendering some vital vitamin inaccessible in their bodies? Is this not a good diet for my layers?

    At least Jeanette is still eating and drinking like a horse! She is also quite active, and is still my most consistent layer. She might be losing a little weight, but I put her out with the others today (after giving her some Torb. for pain) and she did quite well! Limping all the time though, poor thing =/. I gave her a little warm oatmeal to try to cheer her up (it is Christmas, after all [​IMG]) and she snarfed it down with gusto! [​IMG]

    Thanks again, y'all! I would love to hear all your thoughts!

    *Edited for spelling . . . and punctuation . . . and for making things make sense - doh!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    I've been gettin' my wires crossed like *crazy* on here lately -- coulda sworn there was another death from an earlier time ... sorry.

    Double-check 'n make sure none of the products their diets have been based on have been recalled, for either too much of one thing, or none of another. Also, when the essential oils in foods oxidize, the Vitamin E the labels claim to be in there become biologically unavailable.

    I've run into a few situations here lately where diets have appeared to be 'too much of a good thing' in that some commercially available feeds use products that already head in the same direction as the supplements do ... for example, feeds higher in soybean and the additions of flaxseed, supplemented by products that include the same ingredients.

    hang on .. I'll see if I can find some more on that from a PM I recently sent ...
    And, I actually found my way back, and w/o losin' what I'd already typed:

    Snippet from that PM:

    I've pasted an snippet of another conversation, in which a question about a Vitamin A deficiency led to the most likely explanation for the sudden death of your own bird.

    I've a strong suspicion that your flock should receive iodine supplementation, so as to offset the goitrogenic substances contained w/in modern feeds themselves, and the ground flax seed you've been providing, as they block the production of thyroxine, despite the presence of what would otherwise appear to be sufficient levels of iodine ...

    "In areas where iodine deficiency is known to exist or birds are fed goitrogenic substances, iodine supplementation is recommended. Providing one drop of dilute Lugol's solution in 1 oz. of fresh drinking water once a week is the suggested preventative."

    I've no experience w/ "Lugol's solution" but plan to supplement my flocks as well. I've been experimenting a bit w/ their diets, and now see the need -- even for the wildlife on this farm, due to the acres of turnip greens everything's been feedin' on (great source of nutrients/vitamins, save for the goitrogenic substances I was previously unaware of ~'-)

    And, should my suspicions prove true? Know that there are no perfect answers, and that we're all learnin' as we continue to try 'n do the best we can ... good flock management is a fluid process of constant adjustments and change, based upon current circumstances.

    SoOo ... as you can see? I've been fumblin' around w/ this sorta thing for a while now, and I'm still not gettin' it right. It's as if I work so hard to do certain things, only to find that I've offset/upset another, w/in the bigger scheme of things ~'-)
    1 person likes this.
  8. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    Some times chickens hurt their legs/knees/ankles/feet just like us humans. She could have landed wrong getting off the roost. The roo might have gotten on her a little crooked and hurt her, who knows. Sorry she has a limp, it may go away, it may not. We have a girl that we think had a fracture last year. We isolated her and made sure she ate and drank until she was on both feet again then turned her back in with her flock and she still limps but never lost her head chicken ranking. She even breaks up the Roo fights occasionally. Since her we have had two different girls limp for short periods at different times and that passed and they are fine now. If you have ruled out every thing that you can see, you have to go with what you can't see; sprains, strains, bruises due to every day chicken life.

    Good luck and I hope she recovers quickly. Merry Christmas. [​IMG]

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