Older hen with lame leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mschickiemama, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. mschickiemama

    mschickiemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My six-year-old hen has a lame leg. It came on quite suddenly. I let her out then checked on her a few minutes later & she was laying down with one leg not working. When I noticed this I inspected her and saw she had little light orange bugs in her feathers. Mites? Fleas? Dusted her with diatomaceous earth and used some herbal liquid on her skin. The bugs appear to be gone now.
    But her leg is still not working.

    A couple weeks prior to this I noticed she would scratch her head when she was out and about. I figured she just had a few mites or something and would dust bathe them away.

    I'm wondering what to do here or what caused all this. Could those bugs have caused the leg issue? Also wondering what those bugs were.
    I want her to be able to walk around and chicken around again. [​IMG]
    She is otherwise perky and laying eggs still. She even manages to jump up into the nesting box. She also is eating and drinking. Her other leg is strong.

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Lice or mites can be found on chickens. Lice are fast-moving, while mites are slowermoving. Lice eggs can usually be found as white clumps at the base of feathers. Permethrin spray or garden dust, as well as Sevin dust will treat both lice and mites. I would do some research to find out which one it is,since lice need retreatment in 10 days, while mites need it in 7 days to get the hatching larvae. The coop, nest boxes need treatment, and bedding replaced.

    As far as the limping, can she move her toes or leg at all? Can she stand or walk at all? Wherher she holds the leg up, tries to walk on it, or drags it would help. Is there any swelling in the joints or a dark scab on the foot pad? Have you added any new birds ro your flock recently?
     
  3. mschickiemama

    mschickiemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for replying. She mostly just lays down. When I pick her up that leg just hangs. Honestly her leg feels "dead" or something. I can flop it side to side. It's like she doesn't feel anything there. I noticed some of her skin is green also, at the base of the leg. Her body also trembles hen I hold her.

    She just lays down but still alert and eating and drinking if I offer. To balance she puts her strong foot on top of the lame foot.

    As for the bugs, I think it was lice. But maybe early infestation since I didn't see nits/eggs.

    What do I do? [​IMG] Hope she can walk again!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  4. chickengr

    chickengr Overrun With Chickens

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    I have 4 hens like that. they are recovering from canker. I read somewhere that canker is not in the mouth only and if it gets into some organs chickens cannot walk properly. so, check her mouth for canker first. if she has no canker then watch for other symptoms. good luck.
     
  5. mschickiemama

    mschickiemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Canker hm. Her mouth looks normal.
     
  6. chickengr

    chickengr Overrun With Chickens

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    it might be some injury that will pass within a few days. just watch her and keep feed and water near her.
     
  7. mschickiemama

    mschickiemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I'm doing. Thanks for the help. She seems stronger today. :) fingers crossed
     

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