Paralysed chicken - to bathe or not to bathe

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SarahHalliday, May 22, 2019.

  1. SarahHalliday

    SarahHalliday In the Brooder

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    Hello all!

    First I must say that I’ve been using backyard chickens for YEARS but this is my first time posting. Such a helpful forum, I’m so appreciative of all of you.

    A few days ago, I noticed that my polish girl was struggling to walk, kinda flopping around the garden. When she was a chick, it took her a couple of weeks to get mobile. She would sit around in her haunches but still ate and drank normally so we just let her do her thing but didn’t expect she would be long for this world.

    One day, she just learned how to chicken! And has been a happy healthy little bird up until now.

    First, I separated her from the rest of the flock, in case she was contagious, and gave her a chicken spa day: an Epsom salt bath, olive oily scrambled eggs, which she ate enthusiastically.

    In the morning she was even worse.

    I took her to the vet - first ever chicken to get that special treatment! Normally I’m pretty good at figuring out what they need.

    The vet said she might have an ear infection and gave her some medicine. After giving her the medicine and letting her sleep on it, she seemed even worse, only really able to move her beak and eyes. She can move about when she needs to poop and I’ve been force feeding her the rickets diet with her medicine crushed into it, plus hourly syringes of water.

    My question is, she’s getting pretty poopy not being able to stand and all. Should I bathe her? Or give her a sponge bath? Or wait to see if she regains mobility first?

    I’ve scoured every forum so I don’t expect to receive any indication as to what might be wrong with her, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I kinda don’t think it’s Mareks because she’s been through this before and everyone else is fine. Might just be a knock to her little polish vaulted skull, which I think the ear infection medication might help with.

    Thank you all for reading and for any advice!

    Xx.

    Sarah and Elvira
     
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  2. SarahHalliday

    SarahHalliday In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2019
    Here she is being a brave birdie at the vets
     

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  3. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

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    Are you handy with sewing? I've seen people sew a sling that legs and back end are free to dangle or poop that hangs from a frame, just high enough that the legs can touch if they want. Supports belly and breast area. Would keep her clear of the poop and relieve pressure points, maybe. Good luck
     
  4. SarahHalliday

    SarahHalliday In the Brooder

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    Hey TrudyG! Thanks for your reply and good suggestion! I’ve been thinking about making her a chicken sling. Might have to craft something a little haute couture, on account of her neck, but I’m sure I can make it work!
     
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  5. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    I have seen simple slings with just fabric with holes clipped above a large tote or sturdy box, too. I think they used office clips.

    In answer to your original I think you need to avoid adding issues on top of her strained condition so I'd vote to bathe off the poop. The last thing she needs is infected rump or blocked vent.

    I'd set her in shallow water and take a wash rag to her bum. I've used dawn dish soap without issue.

    Best of luck and I hope she recovers! You're doing a great job!!!:hugs
     
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  6. SarahHalliday

    SarahHalliday In the Brooder

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    Hey Henrietta! Good advice! I might double it up and try and create a chicken sling bath combination.

    Also, thought I’d give y’all an update on Elvira. The Rickets diet seems to be doing something. I haven’t been restraining her when I force feed her because she paralysed but today she jumped out of my lap and on to the floor! She was fine and I was proud. Haha. Also, she’s starting to get a little more movement in her wings and feet. I’ll keep everyone updated as I know there are a lot of threads about chicken paralysis but not many success stories. I’m not getting my hopes up but we’ll see! Xx.
     
    Henriettamom919 likes this.
  7. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

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    Please be sure to post what you found works for Elvira. Others in that situation will be sure to find it helpful.
     
  8. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    No matter the outcome, every improvement is a day she spends comfier and happier so HOORAY for her! :celebrate I SO hope she continues to improve and you're doing a great job!
     
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  9. SarahHalliday

    SarahHalliday In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2019
    Good point TrudyG! Elvira is even better than she was this morning. Now she can properly hold up her head and is shuffling around in her little basket. Both her feet are working and she's just had an Epsom salt bath to clean off that poopy little butt!

    The treatment so far is as follows:

    From the vet 8 (not sure the measurement but I was told up to number 8 on my little pipette thing) of Loxicom twice a day
    2x 50mg noroclav tabs twice a day

    I've been making a big batch of Rickets formula each morning and crushing her medication into it. I've amended the formula slightly just because I felt like it was too much food for her and I wanted to make sure she gets all of her medicine.

    1 cooked small egg yolk
    1 teaspoon of cod liver oil
    1 small drizzle of honey
    1 tablespoon of natural unsweetened yoghurt
    2 tablespoons of baby rice
    1 tablespoon of beef tin cat food (I got the fanciest kind that was in the supermarket because, why not?)
    A bit of a smashed up multi-vitamin (I crush it in the pestle and mortar first because small grains seem to get stuck in the grooves, then I do her pills over the top to make sure she gets as much as possible)
    A little bit of grated apple for texture

    Then I roll the mixture into teeny tiny balls, about the size of a pea. I put them all on a plate, count them out and divide them by 5, so that she gets fed 5 times a day so she doesn't have to eat forever and get all stressed out. Today, there were 71, so she gets 14 at each meal.

    I looked up how to force feed a chicken on YouTube and found a really good video. Basically, you just pop the balls into her mouth, not super far down but far enough so she can't force it out and then she just gives up and eats it. Before I start, I give her some pipettes of water (which she seems to hate even more than the Rickets food). When I'm half way through, so after 7 little balls, she gets more pipettes of water. Maybe three or so. Then she gets the final 7, then she gets a few more squirts of water to wash it all down.

    I've not had any problems with her choking yet, but I do make sure to give her rests in between to make sure it's all going down the right pipe.

    Wow, typing that all out makes me sound so crazy!! Haha! But when her medicine wasn't working I thought that if I took her to the vet she'd tell me to put her down and I was like NO! I can fix this!!!!

    So far so good!
     
    Henriettamom919 likes this.
  10. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    You're a dedicated mama and have officially joined the illustrious Crazy Chicken Lady Club! :woot

    I'm so glad she's improving! :love
     
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