Need help please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by erinkwilliams, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. erinkwilliams

    erinkwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    My hen has been in distress for a few hours. She was fine all day, layed an egg this morning. Found her lying in coop, unable to stand and struggling to breathe.. She can't hold her head up. Her chest had swollen up like a huge water balloon, gave her some olive oil, massaged a little. There is a hard spit in her neck, not sure if it's impacted crop. Just gave her a warm bath to get poo cleaned off, she has been in a crate last few hours. Her legs are sticking straight out, like she can't bend them, she can't put any weight on them and her head has been twitching to the right side. Her breathing is slow but steady now.

    Her body is stiff but she is breathing, eyes are open. When I touch her stomach or move her, she screeches, a sound she has never made before.
    Also just noticed when lying with her on her side, there is a pronounced bone down her middle, I don't recall it being like that before, it's exposed.

    Please help.

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  2. erinkwilliams

    erinkwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
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    It's almost like she is paralyzed.....
     
  3. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    I see that you live in Arizona, and I was just wondering what the temperature there has been, over the last 2 days or so? Has it been over 88? I'm leaning towards a stroke if it's been pretty warm over your way. I've seen chickens before that were free ranged all day, in the beating down sun, with no shade available to them at all. A lot of them suffered heat stroke. We just tried to keep them as comfortable as possible, out of drafts, out of the sun and with water available to them at all times. We would even stick their beaks into the water for them just so they'd get a little liquid in them. Some of them were apparently too far gone to be saved and unfortunately those were the ones that usually went into shock first. So the moral of the story is this...it might be time to call a Vet.
    It may turn out to be nothing. Or you may find out the chicken has Marek's (with almost paralyzed legs and the head bobbing, I wouldn't rule it out just yet...IMO.
    I hope things turn around for you and your birds real soon! Keep us posted.
     
  4. erinkwilliams

    erinkwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you for your reply.
    Yes, we are in AZ and it is hot. The girls have lots of shade, water, fans, etc. they have done really well wih the heat, they don't free range during the hot part of the day, they hang out on the covered patio by the house.

    Just checked on her now, she has been laying in cage all night in exact same position, sometime in the night she layed a soft, jelly egg. Her head still jerks to one side. She is awake, eyes open, but no movement. Breathing seems ok. Legs still straight out.

    So sad for her, wish I could help. Taking her to a vet isn't an option.
     
  5. erinkwilliams

    erinkwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Why is her bone protruding like this???


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  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    The protruding keel or breastbone is a sign that she is very underweight. I suspect Mareks disease, although botulism or other poisoning should be considered. In Mareks there can be paralysis of one or both legs or wings, and sometimes the neck is affected. Weight loss and green poops are common, along with a slow full crop. Most important is getting her to drink some vitamins and electrolyte water, then feeding her. Scrambled egg along with her normal feed wet with water may get her to eat some. Botulism is caused by eating a toxin produced by animal or plant matter that has been underground or without air. If chickens live for 48 hours with botulism, they may live with supportive care. I would look for any signs of dead animals or fish, or some other poison, such as lead or other in the environment. Sorry that you are dealing with this, and I hope she gets better. Here are some links to read:

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  8. erinkwilliams

    erinkwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you both for the replies.

    Would Mareks come on so suddenly? She has been eating, drinking, laying, walking, totally fine until yesterday afternoon. It is very sudden. She is not underweight, I would say she is average weight.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Yes, Mareks can come on suddenly, and rarely the symptoms can disappear, then tumors can show up later on. It is a strange disease, and Nambroth, who put together the Mareks Faq article, is a good BYC source for info on the disease. Don't take this as a diagnosis because I am no expert. I would keep treating her for dehydration though, because electrolyte imbalance can cause neurological symptoms. Her keel bone may also be prominent because she is dehydrated or young. I really hope you see some improvement in her condition soon.
     
  10. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    Hi there!
    Just thought I'd check in with you to see how your hen is doing today. Any signs of improvement? I keep thinking abut her. Let us know how she is, ok. :sick
     

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