Paralyzed pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ladyfish, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Ladyfish

    Ladyfish Out Of The Brooder

    11
    1
    26
    Sep 3, 2014
    Coastal Maine
    Hello,

    I've read a few similar posts that are older with no resolution, so I'm hoping there is someone out there with new information that can help.

    I have a barred rocks who is paralyzed. I found her in the run yesterday afternoon flopped over on her side. Her leg seems to be unable to withstand her weight. She can only move by flopping her wings with great effort and she will not eat or drink. She was fine in the morning and paralyzed by the afternoon. That evening I moved her into the coop in a shallow box to protect her from careless little feet. I put food and water in with her and she is wholly disinterested in both. I checked her for any signs of injury and found none. Stool is clean with nothing unusual to report. She has a little blood on her comb from rooster pecks. She is not swollen and her feet are warm.

    When returning her to the coop, I found an aracauna in the same condition. She was fine earlier in the day and progressed much quicker than the barred rocks. She died within 24 hours. These are both young birds, about 15 weeks old.

    Here are some ideas:

    1. Vitamin E deficiency. It was suggested to me by a friend who works at a farm clinic that this could be the cause. I've now administered the recommended amount by eye dropper in three doses to no effect.

    2. A rude rooster. We have a rooster of the same age who is aggressive with the pullets, pecking them hard on the head. Could this be actual paralysis?

    3. Egg binding. They are close to laying their first eggs. I was told that if they are not obviously swollen, then this is not the culprit. Thoughts?

    4. Marek's Disease. They have all been vaccinated, so I hope I can rule that out.

    If I can save my barred rocks, I of course want to do that. She is sleeping and breathing shallowly and refuses food and water. If she does not eat or drink soon, she will die of malnourishment. If I cannot save her, I do want to know what happened so I can protect my 40 other birds.

    Thank you. I've learned everything I know here, it's such a valuable resource.
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I would rule out 2 and 3. Odds are not good that a rooster would injure two in the same way and egg binding does not kill that fast that I have ever heard of...you would see them straining for some time before dying.
     
  3. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perhaps toxicity poisoning? They get into anything that may be toxic or moldy?
     
  4. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,887
    397
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Sound similar to botulism. Anything dead/decomposing they could have found and eaten? Check out the learning tab here, lots of info. Good luck, [​IMG]
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,373
    3,441
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would be suspecting either botulism or moldy feed, since 2 have been struck at once. Botulism is caused by eating a toxin contained in decaying animals or vegetation, fish or maggots from any of those. It can kill in 12-24 hours, but if a chicken lives 48 hours, they will probably survive with supportive care (feeding and watering.) Paralysis starts in the feet and legs, then progresses to wings, then causing neck paralysis, and death. Moldy feed can poison the whole flock pretty quick from aflatoxin poisoning. Check your feed, or if possible, get a new bag. Poisoning from other sources could also be possible. I certainly hope you can find out what is going on. Here is some reading:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
    http://birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mould_infections.html

    A necropsy can be done on a refrigerated body by your state vet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  6. Ladyfish

    Ladyfish Out Of The Brooder

    11
    1
    26
    Sep 3, 2014
    Coastal Maine
    Thank you all. I will replace the feed and check it closely.

    My Barred Rocks is hanging on. I am able to give her water with an eye dropper, but how do I feed her? She has no interest in eating. When the water hits her stomach it growls with hunger and it breaks my heart. How do I feed a hungry bird who won't eat? Her stomach has become quite bloated today and her breathing is labored.
     
  7. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,887
    397
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Try making a sloppy 'porridge' out of the feed - sloppy enough to be given by a large bore dropper, it will be time consuming, but hopefully she will come around.
     
  8. Ladyfish

    Ladyfish Out Of The Brooder

    11
    1
    26
    Sep 3, 2014
    Coastal Maine
    Thank you. I made an oatmeal and mash slurry and was able to get her to swallow about 10 drops late last night. I was very pleased to find her alive this morning. She's not showing signs of improvement but fights me a little bit on the eyedropper which must be a sign of increased strength, if only a little. I gave her a bath as the mites were building up on her skin with no way to clean herself.

    What do folks think of the Epsom Flush technique I'm reading about here? Is there an advantage to the Molasses Flush instead? I'm reading that it rids the body of toxicity, perhaps I should pursue this as well as feeding her by eyedropper?

    Thanks again to all.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,373
    3,441
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    The epsom salt flush is much more strong in clearing the digestive system of the poison than molasses flush. Both will give diarrhea and will dehydrate some, but epsom salt is more severe, but more effective if you think it is botulism. I would look around the ranging area for any dead animals in case the others get ahold of them. Here is a link with Gail Damerow's recipe for both flushes: http://books.google.com/books?id=Gx...om salt flush for botulism in poultry&f=false

    Tube feeding may be necessary for a few days if you can't get enough nutrition into her. A piece of aquarium tubing and a 35 or 60 ml syringe will work as a crop feeding device, and KayTee baby bird food can be used to tube feed. Liquids will be most important if you do a flush (do it only once.) Here is a link with info on tube feeding: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
     
  10. Ladyfish

    Ladyfish Out Of The Brooder

    11
    1
    26
    Sep 3, 2014
    Coastal Maine
    Ok folks, thanks for your advice. I have another piece of evidence I'd love some advice on. First, we named this girl Rockie, for her breed and the fact that she's truly a fighter. I'm attaching photos of her in her drawer cabana and a bit of a graphic closeup of her underside (I apologize, it's rather ugly). It's swollen and bald but there's something nasty in her feathers that I can't identify. Almost looks like tiny insect eggs. This is after bathing her last night.

    Could this all be a parasite problem? If it is, what can I do?

    Thank you!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by