Panting From Pain / Ever dealt w/serious injuries?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by whiteybird, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    Do chickens really pant from pain, along with other reasons? I haven't found a lot of info on that here.

    I noticed yesterday, maybe the day before, that shes been panting. Just doesn't really seem hot enough even in FL to cause other grown birds aren't doing it, though my young pullets do when they sit in my (warm) hand.

    This past week or two I've let her roam outside during the day after being fed, then I bring her back inside at night to be fed and go to sleep. This eve when I brought her back to her box, she'd sit down, pant for 30secs or so, get up and move a couple steps, sit back down, pant, then move again. By the third time her wings were clearly not held up against her body - another sign of overheating, right? - and she stayed put by the fifth time or so. She stops panting to swallow or wet her mouth, then starts panting again.

    - RIR, weighed 4lb 10oz this morn
    - attacked by raccoon in early sep, really bad neck and leg injury

    - been healing well
    - been tube fed baby bird food for a month now
    - scabs have almost all fallen off
    - good behavior, other than lack of appetite
    - in the middle of molting

    - her bum leg is colder to the touch than the other
    - kept inside almost exclusively until past week - day trips roaming our yard, inside at night
    - up until this eve, has been putting more and more weight on bad leg
    - never been wormed...think shes a hatchery product

    Why the bad leg all of a sudden?
    Why is she panting?
    Could she be dealing with chronic pain the rest of her life?

    thanks all
  2. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    and if anyone can tell me why when i copy and paste stuff it somehow enlarges the text?
  3. Shabana

    Shabana Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm interested in seeing folks' answers to your question as I'm experiencing the same thing.

    My young pullet was attacked by a rat approx 5/6 weeks ago and pants when she has been overdoing it I think . She broke her leg and had a puncture wound.
    She's been in the house and garden up to this week and has started to roost with the flock at night then after an hour I take her back home. I'm just trying to let her do thinks very gradually as her limp is still bad and she needs to sit a lot.
    I've noticed the panting occasionally and wondered about pain, or at times in the house whether she's a bit too warm.

    She's fast asleep in my cats bed currently. I think roosting and the bit of time with the flock might be a bit much for her.

    I'm unsure why your girls leg feels colder, can only think of circulation issue perhaps from simply not using it as much ?

    It makes me feel awful to think they might be in pain or have to live with chronic pain. I'm just hoping the progress she's making, however slowly continues.

    Hope your girl gets better soon and that someone more experienced than me comes along with some positive insight :)
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Chickens pant to regulate body temperature, from stress, pain and cardiac issues. Since you hen is recovering from an attack, I would suspect she is experiencing pain. Her injured leg is cold because circulation to the leg is compromised either from the injury or an immune response to infection. She needs to be on an antibiotic and pain medications that can not be bought over the counter. In other words a vet visit might be advisable. I've used torbugesic, valium and injectable baytril on severely injured hens with success. These medications are available only through a veterinarian.

    I'm sure some folks will suggest tylan and aspirin and I'll let them discuss that. I can suggest warm baths for your hen on a daily basis. Warm water soaks can do wonders for soothing damaged muscles. If she still has open wounds you can add 2 tablespoons of betadine to a gallon of warm water. Make sure she is completely dry after each bath. Often TLC can do wonders on patients with these type of injuries.

    Good luck!
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    When you say leg injury,are you referring to a fracture? Has her leg always felt cold? My concern is b/c leg is cold there may be muscle damage surrounding break or break did not unite properly and now there is circulation issues. This could be serious. Have you been tube feeding her for over a month,if so something is wrong,she should be eating on her own by now. Based on your descriptions,i believe her panting may be related to pain. If panting and leg issue have just started,it is possible she may have injured leg again.

    You could try an epsom salt soak for pain/swelling and aspirin for pain relief,but i believe as Theoldchick already stated,a vet visit might be advisable.
  6. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    Thanks for your answers...

    Vet isn't really in the budget.

    I had her on tetracycline for almost a month before i was advised that it was too strong/damaging for that long of an administration.

    I have not seen anything that would point to an infection, except she sometimes has pink looking areas on her feet - mostly on her bad leg around the toes, but also on her good leg - kind of like a light rash. I figured that was because she had stepped in her poop and it was irritating her skin. When I've seen the rash flare up I've put her in the bath with warm water, only enough to cover her feet, so I could wash the poop off etc. She seems to enjoy it a little and the pink areas subside. Was not in love with the hair dryer, though she tolerated it.

    I did figure the colder leg temp had to do with poor circulation after the attack, but wanted to see if anyone else thought that, or differently.

    Honestly didn't even consider a fracture...or a broken leg. I don't think it was actually broken though, because when I did gently feel the area after a week went by it felt solid.

    I never really did see the extent of the leg the beginning I was afraid of killing her from the stress of checking out her wounds. A scab fell off a couple days ago, maybe 2" inches x 1/2 - 3/4", not very substantial (like her neck scabs, which were quite thick).

    I did flush her neck with betadyne the day after it happened...used non-pain neosporin after the flush but on suggestion of my bf's mother (nurse-practitioner) I left it alone after that, hoping the tetyracycline would do all the work.

    No open wounds left, one scab left on back of her neck that is still attached to a tiny piece of skin. Majority of the neck and leg scabs have fallen off already.

    I did think that a month was longer than normal for tube feeding, but I also tried weaning her off twice too early, so she lost several ounces and I had to make them up. This past week she has gained about 6 ounces. A friend who has raised birds (not chickens) for a long time thought that her lack of appetite may have to do with being attacked while eating, but, no offense to them, are they that smart or have that long of a memory? I also thought that if I fed her long enough she'd get over whatever it was and eat again.

    I really hope I am not just prolonging the inevitable...that would kill me way more than losing her :-/
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  7. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    Shabana I'm so sorry to hear about your young bird, dealing with this kind of things is NO. FUN. I really hope she gets better and is strutting around with her sisters!
  8. Shabana

    Shabana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks hun for your good wishes, I hope your lady recovers soon as well.
    Yup no fun at all....
    My little pullet (called pudding black maran) will eat everything that's put in front if her, but won't go get it if it's more than a necks stretch away so like you I'm worrying over feeding and pain etc :(
    I would give anything to see her limp to get a drink or eat rather than wait for me to give in and put it in front of her. Little monkey !

    She's doing well with the flock (she's getting a peck or two but nothing nasty) and at the weekend I thought if the weather's decent enough I might spend the day with them and see if she will cope. We'll see.
    When I took pudding to the vet they gave me 2 different antibiotics because they said one was for her wounds and the other was for possible infections in the bone/joint. One was tylan and the other I forget the name, I will try to find out but maybe it's worth considering.

    Very best wishes and lots of luck to you, it's so hard to know what's right. I think she's certainly lucky to have you x:hugs
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Baytril and many other antibiotics and medications *can* be purchased without a prescription *very* easily. So far I've found:
    • Enrofloxacin (Baytril)
    • Clavamox/Augmentin
    • Amoxicillin
    • Cipro
    • Cephalexin
    • Metronidazole
    • Doxycycline
    • Ampicillin
    • Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim
    • Predisolone
    • Fluconazole

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  10. Shabana

    Shabana Chillin' With My Peeps

    About the pink on her legs and feet, I was thinking about her today and I think I've heard that some birds can get that when coming out if a molt. I also thought about the weather and wondered whether it's cold where you are as my friend says his chickens sometimes get that if it's exceptionally cold.

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