Paralyzed leg? Dragging, not bending


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
I posted on an old thread from almost a month ago, but thought the title didn't fit what I am dealing with now, so thought I would try again. This injury started back in mid August with a slight limp. Suspected bumblefoot other than it was not really swollen and there wasn't a scab. Her scales were slightly raised, but I do not believe little Gizmo (bantam cochin frizzle) had scaly leg. Here is the previous post with pictures We went through the process of treating it just in case, but none of our other 12 chickens show any sign and she has not healed. We prepared for bumblefoot surgery, but she does not appear to have bumblefoot. She was getting worse, dragging her leg behind her now until it was bleeding. Can no longer have any weight on her leg and it is always curled behind her, causing her to be off balance and falling over. We brought her inside in a dog crate for 4 days to rest and kept her leg wrapped, but when we re-introduced her to the flock today a few of the other chickens tried to attack her. She cannot put weight on that foot and it will not curl around my hand. It is like it is paralyzed. On the foot she is walking on, the scales turned dark and they are peeling off...sort of like a snake losing its skin, or like scabs coming off. Never dealt with this before. She went under the coop to avoid the other chickens and I kept checking on her, but I just went out and couldn't find her. My dog loves her, so I sent her out to look and she found little Gizmo hiding under a crate. I think the other chickens chased her under there. She is not doing well. I brought her back to the dog crate, but her spirit has been broken I am afraid. She is exhausted and not standing. Any suggestions? I am worried she might not make it through the night now after what she went through today.
That sounds so sad. Put her on some vitamins in the morning. If you have a multi-B tablet, dissolve 1 in her water today. Later, get some PolyVisol baby vitamins and give them 2-3 drops a day by mouth or in her food. That may help her foot. Could she have Mareks disease? I think I would start her on an antibiotic like Tylan 50, erythromycin, chlorotetracycline, spectinomycin, or lincomycin just in case she has mycoplasma synoviae or something else going on. You may have to re-introduce her more slowly next time if she makes it. Good luck with her.
She made it through the night thankfully, but she hardly opens her eyes. She is drinking if I hold her to the dish, but she is not eating. I am not familiar with Marek's so I guess I better start reading up. I realize there is probably a lot of info on here regarding the disease, but can she survive if that is what she has? Will her feet ever start working properly with the right treatment? I have never culled a chicken before. She is my favorite out of our 15. I don't know if I have it in me :(
I have not dealt with Mareks, but I know there are several types of symptoms. Not all chickens will show lameness, and some do recover from lameness, but some then later develop tumors. Some are affected with blindness. Some live without too many problems. Some chickens are just immune to it. Reading up on the different types of the disease would be helpful. Click for these links: and
There is also a thread on here called mareks in flock, not an emergency, that has a lot of others that have it in their flocks and has a ton of info and very kind helpful people on there, if you are looking for more info on mareks?

If you do head there, start at the end, as that is where the new posts are and be patient, as everyone there is dealing with lots of issues, as you could imagine. Someone will answer you.

The only way to tell if you have mareks, or another disease is an expensive blood test or a necropsy...would highly recommend a necropsy if you do lose your bird, as, if it's mareks, there is lots you will have to do, with your other chickens and with biosecurity, so you aren't infecting other flocks.

Sooo very sorry your bird is so sick. Best of luck and hope you can get to the bottom of this!!!
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Off to do lots of research reading up on those links! Just found some pedialite at the store. She loves it so it makes me feel a little better she is at least getting some nutrients, but she has only eaten a couple raspberries. Won't touch her favorite foods :(

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