Not an emergency, but surely a concern for us.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SilkiesForEver, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a 4 year old Orpington hen that I purchased those 4 years ago at our local feestore. Nothing seemed wrong until last year, and now, this year her issues are much, much worse. She stares blankly at you, and when she moves away she stumbles and falls almost every 5 seconds. She is molting right now, but doesn't seem to be regrowing her feathers. She does not have discharge from her eyes or nose, and her breathing is just fine. She laid an egg every day until she started her molt. I haven't seperated her, because she doesn't seem to have an illness. It's almost like it is neurological. [​IMG] She was never really normal as a chick.

    Does anyone else have a bird like this, or know what the issue is?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Do her eyes look unusual, like grey, cloudy, or with irregular shaped pupils? Is she just not good at walking, or does it seem that there is something wrong with her legs? Does she have any reddness or scabs on her legs or feet?

    Trouble walking can be caused by vitamin deficiencies or neurological problems, like those caused by Marek's Disease. Four years old is an age when birds usually don't get Marek's, so this may not be the problem. Did this come on suddenly (like within the last day or two), or over a longer period of time? Trouble walking that happens suddenly can often be attributed to Botulism, but vitamin deficiencies will become noticeable over time.

    If you have any other birds, I'd isolate her from them. Start giving her some vitamins, and keep her in a small cage/crate so she can't injure herself walking around. Keep feed and water in easy range.

    To help her grow back feathers, try offering some higher-protein foods. Scrambled eggs, cat food, and mealworms are all good ideas.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I would also look at her eyes--it does sound as though she could be blind. Diseases that you may want to research that cause neurological problems in chickens are vitamin deficiencies, Mareks disease, botulism, aspergillosis, equine encephalomyelitis, spirochetosis, and others. Mareks disease has many forms--some which affect the eyes, the skin, cause paralysis, and tumors. It can be contagious from poultry shows and can be brought into the home area easily. Here are a couple of links:
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
     
  4. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for your input. I'll take a closer look at her tomorrow and let you know what I find.

    @Wyandottes7 : This has been going on for almost 2 years. Only this year it is 2X worse.
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    2 years? I think you should also think about when she has no quality of life. I think whatever she has was not a sudden illness but a long deterioration maybe? It's most likely something that you can't help. You may want to think about a necropsy afterward.
     
  6. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    She gets around just fine. She has no problem with the use of her legs, she takes regular dirt baths and cares for herself quite well. I'm not worried about the quality of her life. I'm thinking it might either be nuerological, or she may be blind.
     
  7. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry I haven't updated. Life's been busy.

    Her eyes are clear, and she's growing feathers back. She's been more responsive, and eating quite well. Hopefully after we get out of this cold spell, she'll act better.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Glad to hear it!
     
  9. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    Miss Goldie is going downhill. She seemed to be on the way to good health, when just a few days ago, she started gasping. I've checked her for gape worm, and even treated her just to be sure. I just don't know what could be the issue. It's upsetting me greatly.
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If she has Marek's and she's gasping, it's affecting the nerves that causes breathing. A lot of mine have done it near the end. [​IMG]
     

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