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listless--???--PLEASE HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dixiechick, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    My prized sweetheart, Elvis (see avatar), seems to have completely lost the ability to walk/stand. He will drink and struggles with the strength to eat, but tries.

    We noticed a couple of days ago that he would flap his wings when walking up the ramp to his box....

    I noticed since then that he lays around a lot under the bushes.

    Today, he is toppling over on his head and side. He is super thin around the breast bone.

    No obvious signs of injury, eyes are clear, nose is clear, breaths well. ????

    Two days ago I put vitamins and electrolytes in his water.

    What else can I do?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Flapping to get up the ramp, and laying around alot- he sounds weak. Weakness is a non-specific sign, but he does not sound like he has a respiratory problem. Being a rooster, we can rule out the egg related problems.
    How old is he? Is everyone else ok? What does he eat?
    Roosters often forget to take care of themselves- check him closely around the vent and under the wings for heavy lice load. Roosters often get them BAD as they do not dust bathe as often. Do you dust them or inspect for lice regularly? They can get them so bad they can die from anemia.

    If he is old (over 7), he can have any number of age related problems- heart, kidney, cancer.

    Marek's is a possibility- is can cause leg paralysis.

    Heavy internal parasite load can also cause weakness.

    Being kept away from food/water by another rooster can make him weak.

    You have 3 options IMO 1) supportive care including bring inside for warmth, protection from other chickens, good nutrition & supplements, deworming, delicing- see if he gets better. Inspect for crop impaction, external parasites, wounds ect.
    2) take to a vet and let them sort it out, bring a poop sample.
    3) cull if you cannot do option 1) or 2) do not leave him outside in this condition.
  3. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    He is VERY weak. I wormed everyone around September. Checked for lice/mites..and we're clear. We only have one other roo and Elvis was the top of the pecking order...plus, the other roo has his own pen and girls. They don't roost together...are only around each other when immediately turned out and dominate separate parts of the yard.

    The age thing is the only thing it could be. I bought him last year at the Florida Sunshine Classic. Since then, we've shown him and all the judges will say is that he is old.

    For now, he's in an elevated cage in the garage with plenty of water and food. He is eating Purina Flock Raiser (and bits of bread when offered).

    I dunno what else I can do my old guy...[​IMG]
  4. Denee, I agree that he sounds anemic for some reason. The other possibility is a heart issue. I would give him a lot of protein...boiled, chopped eggs, peanut butter on bread, etc. Perhaps you could put one of his babes beside him in another cage so he can have the company but not have to "give" his food away. If he is anemic his oxygen carrying capacity is diminished which gives way to imbalance, shortness of breath, general weakness and even diminished appetite.

    I think keeping him in a quiet and warm place for a while and doing exactly what you're doing now. If he's anemic, the least bit of cold will also bother him more, so a nearby heater would probably help.

    If he's had some sudden heart damage, sometimes resting for some time will help the heart muscle to heal. It's difficult to say. If it's truly something like heart failure due to aging, you can just make him comfortable.
  5. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    Brought him in for the night and put him beside the new babies, hopefully the "nursery" will provide him some comfort...he ate some of his boiled egg (I ran it through the food processor).

    I really doubt he'll make it thru this...but maybe. He didn't get like this in one day so it'll take more than one to turn him around.
  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Option 1) it is then, I hope he does well, but it sounds rather grim. He looks like a beautiful roo. Give him time, and time will tell. If he does not improve with your help after a week or so, and you cannot take him in to a vet, I would probably cull, as sad as that is.
  7. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    I will call the vet tomorrow if we don't see SOME improvement. I am not sure how to humanely cull if I had to..... [​IMG]
  8. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Quote:I know how, but I can't do it myself. The vet can do this with drugs, or you can seek out another local knowledgeable chicken person who has experience with this. There are many methods, from those used to kill before home processing meat birds/decapitation, shovels, twisting, cervical dislocation (breaking neck), car exhaust, ether ect. I could never bring myself to actually do the deed except the one time I found a barely alive raccoon victim, and didn't feel it was humane to drive to the vet's office with her like that.
  9. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    My DH just walked by and has vehemently refused to be the grimm reaper. It'll have be a vet's call and doing if it is to be done....
  10. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    how are his droppings? (color and consistency)

    is the comb pale or bluish?

    some vitamins wouldn't hurt..
    Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins..Enfamil brand if possible..no iron..2-3 drops once a day on beak for a week, tapering off for another week.

    listen closely..especially when he's at roost..try not to disturb him..
    listen for any wheezing..

    I might also try mixing up a small amount of feed, water cooked oatmeal, plain yogurt, cooked egg yolk..make puffy not soupy.
    maybe along with the vitamins he'll perk up.

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