Paralysed Hen. What is her diagnosis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jagamurra, May 11, 2008.

  1. Jagamurra

    Jagamurra Hatching

    May 11, 2008
    Three weeks ago I 'rescued' a 7 month hen from my neighbour. She was laying on her side (it was raining at the time) and I thought that she was dead. When I walked up to her, she opened an eye and made very feeble kicking movements with one leg.
    When I picked her up, I thought her bones would pierce her skin. I have never known skin to be stretched so tightly over bones and I have seen some shocking cases of malnutrition in varios species of animals.
    Something about the look in her eye made me decide to give her a chance and to not put her out of her misery.
    She could not even sit normally and I had to support her just to stop her falling onto her side. I force fed her mash and water and after 2 days she did the most vile black diarrhea that was the consistency of water and left me gagging. She then didn't pass anything until another 36 hours, then it was again black diarrhea. After that she has had normal poo.
    After one week she was able to feed herself, but not stand. At the two week mark I thought she was strong enough to worm and almost instantly her appetite improved. Now, she can stand and walk and during her outdoor exercise today she even attempted to flap her wings.
    She is still a little shaky on her right leg and is not anywhere near ready to go in with my hens (my neighbour having realised that in all probability she will not be returning).
    My neighbour has lost about 30-40 hens, roosters, ducks and drakes in the last few months, all of them being dramaticcaly under weight, staggering around before eventually laying on their side, unabe to rise.
    Does anyone have any idea on what could be wrong? I did suspect out right starvation, but her continued wobbliness in her right leg has me wondering. Yet she has come back from the brink of death without any medication. Is there any disease that can be cured with just pallative care, or can malnutrition cause lingering lameness in one leg.

    Any ideas?? She was hatched with some of my hens and roosters, but raised seperately from about one week of age. All of mine have grown up happy and healthy, the only losses being through accident in the form of a Jack Russell Terrier.

    If anyone has ideas on what was wrong with her, if her paralysis will totally disappear, and if she will ever be able to be put in with my lot I would be very grateful.

    Thanks You,

  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    To start, your neighbour's a butthead...leaving the animals to starve...
    With malnutrition comes rickets, which makes the bones soft, and all osrts of other things..
    I'm wondering if it wasn't something like botulism with all the animals 'going down"...
    She may always be weak in that leg, but if she's doing okay in other areas, I'd feel like I'd be able to out her in the general population eventually.
    Thanks for taking the poor girl in.
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    after such debilitating illness (whatever the cause) and the malnutrition (whateever the cause) getting all back in order will take some time ( even months) and malabsorption of nutrients to one degree or the other will occur for some time after which is why you should give a supplement like AVIA CHARGE 2000 (you can purchase online from McMurry or Strombergs)...
    I couldnt even begin to guess what may have caused the problem with your neighbors birds but when you loose so many birds like that you really should call the state vet and have a necropsy and proper diagnosis done .
    I would also offer this bird a good quality live culture yogurt (plain not flavored ) free choice daily for a few months.
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thank you so very much for helping that poor little soul - she will reward you greatly when you can see her experience joy.

    As to your "neighbor", they should be relieved of all living beings in their "care" post haste. Starving beings? Sounds like this may well be animal cruelty - from what you've described so far, I'd call in the Humane Society or equivalent, anonymously if that is easier. The losses you describe are dreadful and no doubt more to come given the cconditions. I hope you can keep us posted - I'd like to see those folks "shut down" lickety split. Why on earth do they have all these wondrous beings they're not going to feed/care for them. ERG! Some people think they can get what they want in this world without any effort expended - they are not going to get good food (if that's why they have them) if they don't make any investment.

    Malnourished beings get all sorts of health problems so it's hard to sort out exactly what is going on here - illness plus malnourishment or malnourishment causing illness - it's chicken egg, no pun intended. But I'd bet that if they were well nourished, there wouldn't be such dieoffs. JJ

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