Limping Pullet *Update Babs made it!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Squeaky, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Help!!!

    My RIR pullet Babs, aged about 28 weeks, is limping. There's no sign of injury as per a predator attack although the past couple days she's been roosting on the low perch. Right now the leg can't support her weight.

    She's been eating and drinking lightly, not as voraciously as the other two of the same age. Her poo appears normal. She's never laid an egg (none of my girls have) and does not show most of the signs of maturity; her comb is undersized and she has little in the way of wattles. I have examined her for mites and found none. She is clean and fully feathered.

    It appears to me that her leg is getting worse. Is she sick? Can she infect my other birds?

    Thanks,

    Squeaky
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  2. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Also: Babs is bright-eyed, she is not sneezing or choking, and there is no discharge from her nostrils. While her crop is not full it isn't empty either.
     
  3. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Take a hard look at her bad leg -- when one of my girls couldn't put weight on one leg I noticed that it was turning green. I didn't see any open wounds and couldn't figure out the source of the infection initially. It wasn't until she was back on both feet that I was able to see she had lost a toenail, which probably enabled the infection to get in. It took a week for the infection to heal, and about 2 weeks for her to be able to go back out with the rest of the flock.
     
  4. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Quote:Thanks! All toenails are present and accounted for. No breaks in the skin that I can see. There seems to be little response in the foot itself: the toes don't flex and bend, or she isn't flexing and bending them like a chicken usually does. On the other leg, when I move it around there's some resistance, but not this leg. It's like the whole leg is asleep from the thigh down.
     
  5. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Poor little Babs couldn't get into the henhouse to roost. She was all huddled under the ramp trying to stay warm, and snuggled next to the wall trying to stay close to her sisters who were on the other side of the wall in the hen house.

    I picked her up and tucked her into the nest box area and put the heat lamp on her. I hope she makes it.

    She can't use that leg at all, and she doesn't much flap the wing on that side. Poor little Babs. Perching isn't an option for her tonight and so I'm *really* worried.

    Does anyone know what this might be? Should I bring her inside the house with me? Is there anything I can do for her here that would justify the stress of being in a strange place?
     
  6. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    any ill or injured bird should be somewhere warm and protected..
    and since she has trouble moving around food and water should be close to her.

    please say what all you feed..
    check back/hip/leg areas for any heat or swelling.

    look closely at her eyes..are they clear? is there any gray?

    aspirin can help with any inflammation:
    1 (1mg) pill crushed into 1 quart of water.

    you can try this:

    http://happyhenhouse.proboards43.com/index.cgi?board=natural&action=display&thread=5248

    the treatment recipe calls for poultry vitamins..if you don't have any on hand and can't get some quickly..you can use Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins..Enfamil brand preferably..no iron..
    give 2 drops on beak once a day for a week, tapering off for another week..
    in the meantime..try to get some poultry vitamins.

    another possibility is that she might have Mereks Disease.
    some birds can survive Mereks with extra TLC and good nutrition and an anti-inflammatory.
    if she continues to decline and shows more signs of spreading weakness..humane culling might be considered.

    it's also possible that she has something, such as an egg, is effecting a nerve.

    hopefully, the treatment in the link will help.

    fingers crossed for the hen.
     
  7. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Quote:Thanks Sammi!

    I've been giving vitamins and she's hopping around. I don't know how she's been getting up the ramp and out of the coop but she refuses to stay put and insists on hanging out with the others. Some movement has come back into the leg and she's moving her wing again. At the moment she's power-slamming the layer pellets (which is what she usually eats) and shoving them in as fast as her little beak can operate, so whatever it is, it hasn't affected her appetite. She's more vigorous and last night I even saw her stand on the affected leg.

    There's still no sign of heat or swelling in the leg or thigh so far as I can tell. I may not know what to look for.

    I'll keep you updated!

    Thanks.
     
  8. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

    227
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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Update: it's her knee. There's a sore spot there and she burbles when I press on it. She must have somehow landed on it badly or gotten hung up on something.

    The good news is that she seems to be getting better. Babs is hopping around, eating voraciously as if to make up for lost meals, and using the leg occasionally. She moves it more normally but won't put weight on it yet. It's not sticking out to the side any more. I've had her and the girls cooped up (sorry about the pun) for a couple days while it was cold. Her flock instinct is stronger than her common sense, and if I let the others out she'll follow them and just hurt her leg some more. Today I let the other girls out for some dust bathing. Babs was having conniptions. So I gently took her out to set her in the pen, and she launched herself off me, FLAPPING her way over. She's got the full use of both wings now and she's not in as much pain as she was before.

    She's still the bottom bird, of course she always was, but she's full of vigor and definitely thinks she's a going concern, so she may be right and I think I should give her a chance. She's not in constant pain, but she's using her wings to get around. Unless there's a very good reason to cull her, I'm going to see if she can get better and let her wing feathers grow out so she can get around.

    The other awesome thing is that the other two are taking care of her. They don't bring her food, but they don't shove her aside either which is unusual since she's not the top bird. Instead of the high perch they sleep on the low perch while she's on the floor (which is covered with fresh hay) so they can be near her. Today they were dust bathing her and grooming her, although she's doing a good job of grooming herself.

    I could tie her foot up if it were her hock, but how do I immobilize a knee?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  9. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

    227
    3
    121
    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Great news! Little Babs made it. She's walking, bokking, jumping and even roosting on her low roost. Her knee is slowly healing and amazingly the others haven't been picking on her for not being able to keep up. Like I said, they've been chilling out with her and even sleeping on a low perch to be next to her.

    For several nights when she was unable to walk up the ramp to the coop I picked her up and put her in, then she was able to limp up if I put her on the ramp but couldn't figure out how to get to the bottom of it if she happened to be on the side. She's dumber than a bag of hammers, the poor thing, but that wasn't caused by the knee injury.

    Now she flaps right on in. She started using her wings to support herself, almost like an extra leg for a while there, but the leg is getting stronger and she can put her whole weight on it now. She's a lot more cuddly since she's more used to being handled now, but all three of my RIR girls come up for treats and loving.

    Since she got less limpy the other girls have gone back to the high perch. I think they're trying to tell me she's out of the woods and will be OK now.
     
  10. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    good news...
    make sure she's getting her share of food and water..

    and that recipe in the link won't hurt either.
     

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