Paralysed chicken - help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by holly1987, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone,

    We keep a flock of fourteen chickens, various breeds, one little girl (she is a hybrid of some sort) is showing signs of paralysis.

    A few weeks ago she was a little wobbly on her feet, we assumed she was a little lame untill she started lying down, legs splayed out in front of her and using her wings to balance herself when walking, about two weeks ago she really perked up, she was keeping up with the rest of the flock, walking and attempting to run - albeit a little on the wobbly side! Two days ago she has gone completely downhill, she is finding it really difficult to stand up, just falling forwards if i don't support her. She has a really good appetite and seems alert. Not good on chicken anatomy but there is some swelling on what i would call her hocks?!

    I think it might be marecks (sp?) after some research but the chicken is from a reputable place where they were supposed to be vaccinated (against what i am not sure).

    Any help is much appreciated as we are not chicken experts!

    Thanks!
     
  2. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Forgot to mention she is fed layers pellets, and that since she cannot roost she sleeps on a thick bed of shavings!
     
  3. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

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    when you pick her up.. how does her breast feel? can you feel nothing but bone. Fat, little meat/fat and some bone etc? she maybe wormy.. and not being able to stand is due to being weak..if she is a HUGE hybrid.. maybe her legs are breaking or something... been known in Cornish crosses. not sure about others. i dont think it would be mareks, have had it before and they lose appetite. they basically go "dead"... they just sit there for a few days. loss of balance (will fall over and basically flop around until their straight up again), and happens over night.. comes from eating some kind of beetle but cant remember which, and can catch it from you (if you handled or got near a chicken with mareks and brought it home). Other people... wild birds.. etc are there any other symptoms?.. whats her "poo" look like? Thanks

    -Daniel
     
  4. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    She has a little fat but is light and quite skinny compared to the other hens, her poo is normal, she definatily hasn't lost her appetite but was struggling to get to the food with the other hens before we isolated her!

    We have been worming the hens, using the wormer that you put in their feed but if she hasn't been eating it then worms are a possibility! Not sure what sort of hybrid she is, I think a rhode island red and sussex hybrid, a silvery white neck with a black body! She is not particularly big though!

    The only other thing we noticed was that she is very immature, her comb has not grown much at all in the three months or so we have had her and she is not laying.

    Thanks, Holly
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  5. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    update on fearn: we have noticed her left wing is a bit droopy, should we encourage her to walk and move her legs or just let her lie down? Really worried [​IMG]
     
  6. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Any possiblity it got into something it shouldn't? Botulism will show those symptoms. Look around for stagnant water, bad feed, maybe feed has dropped on floor and got moldy. Dead carcasses in the area that insects are feeding on might pose a problem as the chicken may eat those insects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  7. LaLady

    LaLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry your girl isn't feeling well. My ten week old hen has been acting the same way, though still getting around ok (wobbly). I took her to the vet today and he gave me a five day supply of baytril to try on her. He wasn't sure what was wrong with her, but he wanted to see if the baytril helped before trying anything else, as long as she didn't go downhill. He didn't seem to think it was Marek's (she was also vaccinated). Like your hen my little Chip has a good appetite and seems alert, just wobbly.
     
  8. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2008
    UK
    Thanks everyone, we keep horses so have a muck heap that the chickens sometimes scratch around on and eat the little insects, not sure if that could cause botulism, there were some grass cuttings on there too recently, although the hen in question hasn't really gone near there.

    Sorry about your little hen lalady, hope she is okay - that's hopeful your vet didn't think it was marecks, is baytril an antibiotic of some sort?

    Fearn is looking bright this morning, she is in a pet carry cage in a spare stable and attemped to make her own way out and towards the food this morning, she is still unbalanced and there is nothing happening in that left leg, but at least she hasn't given up the fight just yet!

    Thanks again!
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    but was struggling to get to the food with the other hens before we isolated her!

    can you get some Avia Charge 2000? (available online to order from McMurry) This is a complete general nutritional-vitamin supplement all in the correct ratios to each other ... often a vitamin/nutritional imbalance will set off a downward spiral and weaken the bird, leaving it open to other problems.
    Wheatgerm oil (thru the feed)and live culture yogurt (free choice) is also good to give alongside the supplemented feed and get her back on track.​
     
  10. holly1987

    holly1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I am in the UK, is there anything similar available over here that you know off that would help her out?

    I will get some yoghurt, and try to get hold of some wheatgerm oil today and try that.

    Sorry about all the questions but should I be moving the 'paralysed' leg at all to promote circulation or encouraging her to stand or just let her rest?

    Thanks for all the help!
     

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