Please help--chicken won't use legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by deatonchicks, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. deatonchicks

    deatonchicks In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    Last week I posted a thread about my 3 month old Aracauna rooster that had been jumped on by my 10 pound dog. The dog didn't get him in her mouth...she just wanted to play. At first he was completely paralyzed-wouldn't use his legs at all. He just laid in a box in our garage. He was definitely in shock. He started flapping his wings a few days later and then started scooting on his "knees" (for lack of a better term--I'm a newbie, forgive me). He doesn't use his lower legs or his toes at all. My husband does his "physical therapy" on the bird about three times a day. He moves his legs, puts them in the standing position, etc. He has made some progress, but still doesn't attempt to walk. If we pinch his toes, he doesn't pull away, but in the beginning he didn't pull away if we pinched the upper parts of his legs either.

    We've been feeding him his regular feed (plus a few treats) and giving him water with electrolytes. His poop is blood, regular consistency. My husband has examined his back and hasn't felt anything crunchy...I was afraid his back had been broken.

    So my questions. How long should we wait? A chicken can't just live without being able to walk. Has anyone ever heard of a chicken being paralyzed this long and still making a recovery? We want to be fair to him. He doesn't seem to be suffering, but we can't let him go on forever like this. Any suggestions?
  2. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    Is there any way of putting a small amount of really good treats like watermolon or cherries or even meal worms in a dish and then stand back so you are outta sight ans see what he does?...

    If I am hand feeding my girls they will refuse to eat the fallen treats until I am gone its just a thought...I am a new chicken mom too
  3. henmommy

    henmommy Songster

    Jul 17, 2008
    Upstate NY
    We had a similar situation with two of our young Buff Orphintons. After several weeks, both a doing fine. One walks with limp, but they are back on their feet. We are not sure what caused it. My husband wanted to put them down, but I insisted on nursing them back to health. Keep up the exercise, it seem to have helped ours. We also fed mediated chick feed since we had some left over. Good luck!
  4. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Do you think he might have a pinched nerve in his back? Maybe you could massage his back a little.

    If/When you think he is suffering and you can't stand it anymore than you will 'know'.

    Sounds like he is on the path to recovery though. Good Luck.
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Do a search on the forum for "Zane" there is quite a lot of material on the subject.
  6. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    is he able to eat and drink on his own?
    is he alert?

    I could be way off..but he could have some inflammation in his back that's pressing on a nerve..
    maybe some prednisone will relieve the inflammation, and help him recover.

    fingers crossed.
  7. deatonchicks

    deatonchicks In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    Well, he's about the same. I've been trying to give him treats that are a little out of reach...trying to make him work for it. My husband thought that he saw his toe move today, but it could have been wishful thinking, too. I did notice when I had him out in the yard that he was shifting his weight from one side to the other and that he was kind of moving himself around in circles. This was over a long time period, though.

    He'll definitely eat grass on his own. We don't know how much feed and water he eats on his own...we all know chickens don't have the best table manners. There's usually water and food scattered around his box, but we also know he flaps his wings to change position.

    Sammi suggested prednisone...where do I get prednisone without a prescription? I hope I don't offend the die hard chicken keepers out there, but I hate to pay a huge vet bill for a $4 chicken that may not ever walk again anyway.

    Please keep the suggestions coming.
  8. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    can you think of someone who might take it?
    prednisone itself is cheap..but vets sure aren't.

    you could try some aspirin..PLAIN aspirin..

    low dose..(81mg) crushed in a quart of water..
    give by drops on beak if he won't drink.
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

    May 25, 2008
    That's wonderful you and husband are trying to help him! It can be so rewarding to help out a hurt one. I sure hope he gets better. Best wishes with your efforts [​IMG]
  10. deatonchicks

    deatonchicks In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    ANy last minute advice? My husband says today is the day. It's been two weeks. THe chicken is eating on his own, but not making any progress with his legs. The toes seem to be "dead." We pinch them or poke them and he doesn't move. A chicken can't just live forever like this, can he? Any advice.

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