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limping pullet, otherwise healthy *update: now with peeling skin*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bibliophile birds, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    2 days ago we got our first snow of the winter. the chickens seemed to love it, so i let them out to range in the yard. i always stay out and watch them as we have lots of local farm dogs that just wander into the yard sometimes. they were out for about an hour and i never noticed anything unusual in any of them. as i was rounding them up to go back in the run, i noticed one of my Wyandotte pullets (9 weeks old) was limping. i checked her foot but didn't find anything wrong. i sat her down to check the feeders and then noticed she was laying down. i brought her inside to check over better and still found no injury. i went ahead and made her a hospital cage so i could keep an eye on her.

    since then she's gotten neither worse nor better. other than the limp, she seems completely fine. she uses the foot but with a prominent limp. she has a healthy appetite. her eyes and nostrils are clear and she doesn't seem to be feverish or distressed. my worry, obviously, was Marek's. she does hold the leg out in front of her some but not in a way i would call paralyzed. like i said, she still uses it and she can curl her toes, but she doesn't put weight on it much. as of today, none of the other birds seem to be limping or sick at all.

    i did notice today that her good leg is thicker than the bad one. not significantly so, but enough that i noticed it. also, the ankle joint of the bad leg seems to be slightly discolored with a light gray tinge. when i examine her, she doesn't seem bothered by my poking and bending. i made her roost on my finger and both feet wrapped around it but the bad one was a very lite grip.

    i'm just wondering if anyone has any insights. does this sound like the beginning stages of Marek's? something else entirely? are there certain things i should be looking for (i know to watch for wing paralysis and crusty eyes)? any information or advice would be appreciate
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    It's possible that she could have just sprained it, with the snow and slippery surfaces. No black spot on the bottom or between the toes to suggest bumblefoot?
    When my Lilith sprained a leg jumping down from too high a spot, I just isolated her in a small crate for a few days. This encouraged her to lay still, since there wasn't much room for her to move around. The leg was better in a few days.
     
  3. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    no black spot that i notice and no apparent swelling between the toes. (does the swelling always happen with bumblefoot?)

    i thought/hoped it was a simple injury since i didn't notice it on our way into the yard. but, of course, i got on here and got myself all worked up about the evil possibilities. i made myself wait until tonight to post to see if she improved. like i said, nothing yet, but it's early still. i'll just keep an eye on her.

    thanks for the calming words. sometimes all you really need is someone (who has been there) to say it's fine.

    i think the dogs are going to be sad to see her go back out with the rest of the flock. they sit in front of her crate and just stare in wonder. when i got her out tonight to check her, they all sat politely and watched. i'm not naive enough to think they'd never snack on her given the chance, but with the cage between them, it's like their own personal reality show.
     
  4. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    just for future reference, the leg paralysis that comes with Marek's, is it what i'm thinking of as true paralysis? as in no function?
     
  5. staceyl

    staceyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got the exact same thing going on. No clue. I had another chicken owner look at her and neither of us can find a darn thing wrong with her. So I'm just giving it time.
    Not that I helped, but misery loves company, right?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I am no expert on Marek's disease - thank goodness - so please take my words with a grain of salt. I believe the paralysis you will see with Marek's is just that, a paralysis and not a limping. You said she's using the leg some, right?
    There's an old saying in (human) medicine and I'm going to butcher it here: If you hear hoof beats, think horses¬ónot zebras. To put it another way, odds are good that it's the common thing and not the unusual.
    I would still keep a very vigilant eye on your girl for any other symptoms, but as long as there are no other signs I would treat it as a sprain.
    Good luck to you! Please let us know how your girl does.
     
  7. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    again, thanks gritsar! i too am glad you aren't a Marek's expert!

    staceyl- while in theory that is true, i'd rather neither of us have to deal with this! but it is good to know you aren't alone.
     
  8. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    here's some pictures

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Really? To me it looks like she's sprained it. Maybe someone else can see something I don't, but she's holding it just like Lilith did.
    Pretty bird! Hope she gets better soon. [​IMG]
     
  10. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same thing happened to my 9(?) week old EE pullet, she was limping since yesterday so I brought her in the house this morning.

    She's isolated in a small dog crate (carry-on plastic type) and has been sleeping like a log all day.

    I too hope it's just a sprain and that a few day's rest will have her back to normal... poor little thing. She's had a very rough start to life and now this!! Plus we're FREEZING the next 10 days, I mean way below average with snowstorms and blizzards, she would freeze to death in the coop. Everyone pecks on her, too.

    Good luck with your girl, please keep us posted - she is gorgeous!
     

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