Please help...my white leghorn girl can't walk...she seems paralyzed...???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by countrycakelady, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a white leghorn, who up until the past week, has been fine...she is still eating,drinking, pooping and laid her eggs this past week....we have had brutal temps here in Eastern NC.....she seems to be the only one who can not tolerate them...I am talking beyond freezing.....she started out last week limping....now has gone to total can not walk whatsoever.....what has happened? She is sitting on floor of the coop by the front pop door...where she was all night.....is working on laying her egg this morning......I am clueless....we have got food and water close enough for her to reach it....

    I am so worried about her.......it's like she's almost paralyzed (sp).......could she have gotten too cold? We have had temps in the low teens at night...and during the day has been around 25-35*....with major winds everday/night....their coop is very secure and well made........I am just lost as to what to do for her.....will get a pic of her later on and post it....I appreciate any help......
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Did she have a Mareks vaccine? Diseases such as Mareks and botulism can cause weakness or paralysis in the legs. Could she have any frostbite? I would either bring her inside or at least put her in a crate, to observe her more closely. With Mareks, one side may be affected more, but they will use their wings to balance, and the toes can also curl. In botulism which comes from eating anaerobic vegetation, rotting fish or animal carcasses, or even maggots, will affect the feet and legs, and the paralysis will progress upward in the body, affecting the wings, then neck. Inability to lift the neck up or having the 3 rd eyelid showing is fairly classic. If you suspect botulism, an epsom salt or molasses flsuh is sometimes used, but don't do this unless you are certain it is botulism. Here is some info about these 2 diseases: http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://www.avianweb.com/botulism.html
     
  3. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :( I don't know about the Marek's vaccine...I got her from TSC last spring....as far as I know, she has always been quite healthy...she is drinking water right now....I have scrambled her an egg....am going to give that to her in a while. She doesn't act like she's sick... just paralyzed? :( I don't see any signs of frostbite, will get a pic of her when I can get dd to hold her this afternoon...she's at church right now....

    I just have thought of something....I had 2 Golden comets who were limping a little this past week.....they are now walking like they should......very confused....could they have all gotten way too cold being outside in our frigid temps? The ground has been frozen for almost a week.....really so confusing to try to sort this out..........
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would suspect Marek's disease, as that is the most common cause of paralysis. Unfortunately, there is not 100% effective treatment for Marek's; most birds gradually get worse and die. However, if you want to try to save her, there are a few remedies you can try, including St. Johns Wort/hypericum, turmeric, black walnut extract/oil, and colloidal silver. Here is a thread on the topic: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/135247/st-johns-wort
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Sounds like it could be Mareks disease. Mareks can appear as subtle as a limp or as vigorous as full blown paralysis . what happens with Mareks disease is it creates tumors and those tumors sit on nerve endings causing the symptoms. Mareks is a highly contagious air borne disease that can live on the land for years. Having Mareks does not necessarily mean the rest of the flock will become symptomatic but it DOES mean they are now carriers and can infect other birds.if new birds are brought in they must be vaccinated AND kept from exposure (outside and adult birds) at the very least 14 days for the antibodies and immunity to develop from the vaccine.if this time is not given they will catch the virus because the antibodies had not had a chance to develop before exposure. The vaccine is NOT 100% effective sadly but is all we have in the lines of defense as of now. If the birds were purchased from Tractor supply or such they have NOT been vaccinated.the only way to positively confirm Mareks is through testing. However if the bird is displaying classic symptoms such as paralysis it's extremely likely the bird has Mareks. Mareks is litterly EVERYWHERE and no one is really safe from exposure to the virus.this is why vaccination is SO important. Not only vaccination but time given after vaccination to develop antibodies and immunity BEFORE they go outside or are around adult birds. Mareks is so prevalent that we all need to treat our land as if it is Mareks positive and vaccinate. As I said Mareks can travel miles in the wind. I highly recommend doing some extensive research on Mareks because knowledge is power and will be very helpful. I really hope this post helps and wish you the very best. They're is a great thread in this forum called not a emergency Mareks in the flock. I suggest you visit that thread because everyone there is going through Mareks and are extremely knowledgeable about the disease and can help you move forward in a positive direction. They can answer your questions and really be a big help. I wish you the best. God bless.
     
  6. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    realsis, I am reading thru the huge thread on Marek's.....which of these should I try first...the hypericum (st. john's wort) or the collodial silver? I am willing to really try anything now....btw, she's eating and drinking still....and also working on laying her egg for the day....seems a little more bright today than yesterday....also gave her some oats and some scrambled egg, which she scarfed down.........
     
  7. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you describe definitely sounds like classic Marek's to me. I used to lose a bird or two each year; I had a lab confirm it was Marek's I was seeing. I started breeding from older birds so I could breed for resistance. I have written about Marek's on other threads. The last two cases I had were in 2011. One cockerel and one pullet. Both survived. Just when I was about to put down the pullet because she could not stand, I looked out and she was standing up; in another day or two she could walk again (and had not done so for several days - same with the cockerel). All other times before, I would have to put down the bird because they become paralyzed and cannot reach food or water. Otherwise, they act normal; they will eat, drink if they can reach it. Be prepared to have to put her down as recovery is not likely. There is nothing you can do except continue to feed her and give her water until you are ready. To recover is rare. Good luck to you.
     
  8. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!! She has somehow managed to get from the front pop door to a nesting box! :/ I am not sure how....we have checked her out...she has eaten her food, crop is full...and looks like she may have either A) a broken egg inside???....I have clipped away some yellow yolky mess from her backside....all clumped in with the feathers....B) had some 'greenish' in with it...??? She is drinking a lot.....both wings are stretched out to the sides.....she is clucking, and talking for her...... her belly is bare, no feathers there....I can see pink skin, and feel the 'bone' along her underside? So not sure what I am doing.... :(
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If she had an egg break inside her, you might want glove up and take a lubricated finger to feel inside the vent for any egg membrane or egg shell left behind. It wouldn't hurt to take some white vinegar 1/4 ounce and add it to 3/4 ounce of water. Then take a syringe and squirt up to 5 ml of that into her vent to cleanse it. Infection can set in from the broken egg. It does sounds more like Mareks if some of the others have been limping. The remedies you mentioned do not cure Mareks, but many are trying some of them to see if they will help.
     
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Sadly as I know of their is no cure for Mareks disease. Herbal remedies will not hurt but they might not help either. I've heard some try hypericum and some have sweared it helped but as far as I understand as of now Mareks can not be cured. There are things you can do to keep her comfortable and vitamins might help give her things to try and keep her weight up. I say try what your comfortable with doing. I'm very sorry about your bird and Mareks. I wish you the very best.
     

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