Neurological, dislocation, or? Need help with chick please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SoFluffy!, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. SoFluffy!

    SoFluffy! Chirping

    Nov 15, 2017
    I just got home after a 2 vacation, and of course Murphy’s
    Law had to punish me for it with a broken chick. That will teach me to leave the farm!

    This little guy was apparently fine until 2-3 days ago when s/he stopped being able to walk. It is the smallest of 3- much smaller than its two “siblings” and the last to hatch. Wondering if it might’ve been stepped on or fallen. There are no obvious injuries. The chick seems to be able to move both legs when I turn it over on it’s back. It can’t seem to get control over its legs enough to walk while right side up. Its legs will go straight out behind it, and it can’t grip with its feet. It either nose dives or flips to the side. It’s eating and drinking very well, behavior seems normal. I’ve obviously separated it in a smallish crate and take it out several times a day to encourage movement. I made a harness to support its body and encourage the use of its legs.

    Any ideas about what could be causing this? Anything to try? Lost cause? I’m willing to try anything, but don’t want to keep an animal alive just to perpetuate suffering.

    163BCFBE-3131-4D65-8797-112B3BA6ECF3.jpeg 289C6C0C-3D55-4C70-A676-BDD8D45E4C57.jpeg

    Attached Files:

  2. nchls school

    nchls school Crowing

    Apr 22, 2015
    Was the chick with much bigger birds or something else that could have hurt her legs and back. I have seen what you describe in my own flock-a small bird being crushed by a bigger bird or a falling object. If the chick is eating/drinking well I'd give it a few days-continue what you are doing and you may see improvement. I will say that this kind of injury may not get better and she may have to be euthanized. Such a nice looking chick. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. Good luck.

    It is also possible that the chick has neurological Marek's disease. I urge you to read up on this.
  3. SoFluffy!

    SoFluffy! Chirping

    Nov 15, 2017
    Thank you!
    The chick was with a couple of older chicks and the hen, and was starting to have limited time out with the older hens. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was injured by one of the larger birds, or was attempting to get pt to the roost and fell. Fingers crossed it’s not Mareks! I just added some nutri drench and will give her some more time. She is trying to move more today, and is getting frustrated, which might actually be a positive sign. At least she is trying!
    Sequel likes this.
  4. annaBsChick

    annaBsChick Songster

    Nov 24, 2014
    Herndon, VA
    Skippersnh likes this.
  5. SoFluffy!

    SoFluffy! Chirping

    Nov 15, 2017
    No. Unfortunately the only vet in my area that will see poultry is an emergency veterinary office- $75 to walk in the door and goes up rapidly from there. Costs as much to have my mobile equine vet out to see 3 horses.

    I’m guessing that no matter what the diagnosis is, the treatment will be the same. Isolation, hydration, nutrition and time or they will suggest euthanasia. I don’t like the idea of taking a fragile chick in the car for a 30 minute drive and then into a stressful and alien environment- I think that would do more harm than good. Poor thing probably wouldn’t make it through the experience and has a better chance here. I do thank you for the suggestion though and understand it. My horses/dogs/cat see the vet for every bump/scratch- just can’t justify it in this case
  6. Kiki

    Kiki Quail Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    What exactly have you been feeding this chick?
    Sequel likes this.
  7. SoFluffy!

    SoFluffy! Chirping

    Nov 15, 2017
    Medicated chick starter supplemented with a small amount of my own custom blended scratch grains and a little bit of scrambled egg. Just started a small dose of nutri drench to provide support. Any recommendations?
    Sequel and Texas Kiki like this.
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Could you hold the chick at a standing position supporting it, and get a picture from the front or back? If it was walking normally before, it sounds more like an injury to the legs or the back. But there are several common leg bone deformities that can affect one or both legs. A tendon injury or slipped tendon might also be possible.
    Sequel, coach723 and aart like this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What are the nutrient values for this mix?
    Are you providing granite digestive grit?
    I'd stick with only the starter feed.
    What is the protein level and 'medication' in it?
    Sequel and Texas Kiki like this.
  10. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    I would also get some B complex and grind up the tablet and mix into some feed to feed it. Possible since it's the smallest it was keep from feed more and is deficient. Thiamine(B1) and Riboflavin(B2) deficiencies in particular can cause neuromuscular symptoms that can be confused with Marek's. There is no risk of overdosing the B's. It may help, it definitely won't hurt. How old is the chick?
    Eggcessive, Sequel and aart like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: