Polish cockerel paralyzed?

chicksinthailand

Chirping
Aug 26, 2021
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52
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Hello! I have a polish crested cockerel that is about 7 months old. Wednesday i found him sitting in the garden, not wanting to walk. His left foot was swollen, but there was no visible wound. The next day he was getting around better, going on the one good foot. Friday, he was having a hard time again, so i brought him inside with a friend, and since his foot was more swollen and hot, i started him on sulfamet. I do think it's an infection, but there's no obvious place for me cut into yet.
Saturday night he slept on to of a short cabinet about 1 foot off the ground and since Sunday, he is not using the other leg at all. I thought he was just tired of hobbling, but this morning i examined him and he has no perch reflex in the good foot, he is not able to extend our move the leg, and his tail is limp. It seems like he may have injured his back coming down from the cabinet. I felt all along the leg and spine, there is no tender spot or and swelling i can find. Here are pictures of the swollen for and the one that now doesn't work.
My only other guess would be that since i live in the tropics, it's possible he got bit by something, and the paralysis is from a toxin. But that would have been 4 days from now to paralysis.
Any suggestions of what to do for him would be appreciated.
 

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Sorry you're dealing with this, poor guy's foot is awfully swollen.

I went through something similar with a cockerel, and my guy never improved, I am assuming his case was injury or congenital. It is possible this could be Mareks or Mycoplasma. As I understand, both tend to make the bird's condition fade quickly and will spread among the flock.

If you're able to contain him it would be a good idea to let him rest. I have seen human B Complex vitamins recommended for leg issues. With my cockerel, I also added vitamin E which helps with spinal/neurological issues. I believe 2 weeks is long enough to get an idea if it's helping.

I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to give a couple suggestions based on my experience to assist and help make sure your thread isn't lost.

I'll tag a couple more experienced folks, but if you're able to provide a little more info that will help them help you:

  • Do you notice any nasal congestion, discharge or wheezing/crackling in the lungs?
  • Is there any facial swelling or eye discharge, or eye abnormality?
  • Is his crop full at night and empty in the morning?
  • Have you recently checked for, or treated for internal (worms) or external (lice/mites) parasites?
  • Are his droppings normal? Please include pics if abnormal.
@azygous @Wyorp Rock
 
Sorry you're dealing with this, poor guy's foot is awfully swollen.

I went through something similar with a cockerel, and my guy never improved, I am assuming his case was injury or congenital. It is possible this could be Mareks or Mycoplasma. As I understand, both tend to make the bird's condition fade quickly and will spread among the flock.

If you're able to contain him it would be a good idea to let him rest. I have seen human B Complex vitamins recommended for leg issues. With my cockerel, I also added vitamin E which helps with spinal/neurological issues. I believe 2 weeks is long enough to get an idea if it's helping.

I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to give a couple suggestions based on my experience to assist and help make sure your thread isn't lost.

I'll tag a couple more experienced folks, but if you're able to provide a little more info that will help them help you:

  • Do you notice any nasal congestion, discharge or wheezing/crackling in the lungs?
  • Is there any facial swelling or eye discharge, or eye abnormality?
  • Is his crop full at night and empty in the morning?
  • Have you recently checked for, or treated for internal (worms) or external (lice/mites) parasites?
  • Are his droppings normal? Please include pics if abnormal.
@azygous @Wyorp Rock
X2 :)
 
Sorry you're dealing with this, poor guy's foot is awfully swollen.

I went through something similar with a cockerel, and my guy never improved, I am assuming his case was injury or congenital. It is possible this could be Mareks or Mycoplasma. As I understand, both tend to make the bird's condition fade quickly and will spread among the flock.

If you're able to contain him it would be a good idea to let him rest. I have seen human B Complex vitamins recommended for leg issues. With my cockerel, I also added vitamin E which helps with spinal/neurological issues. I believe 2 weeks is long enough to get an idea if it's helping.

I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to give a couple suggestions based on my experience to assist and help make sure your thread isn't lost.

I'll tag a couple more experienced folks, but if you're able to provide a little more info that will help them help you:

  • Do you notice any nasal congestion, discharge or wheezing/crackling in the lungs?
  • Is there any facial swelling or eye discharge, or eye abnormality?
  • Is his crop full at night and empty in the morning?
  • Have you recently checked for, or treated for internal (worms) or external (lice/mites) parasites?
  • Are his droppings normal? Please include pics if abnormal.
@azygous @Wyorp Rock
Thanks for the reply!
1- no nasal discharge or rattling/rales.
2- no facial swelling, eye bubbles etc, although a month or more ago he had done sneezing as did a few of my birds.
3- Eating and pooping like a champ, with clear crop in the morning. Yesterday it was very hot and he went through a lot of water (with sulfamet) and today his poo had a decent amount of water with it.
4- about a month ago i found roundworms in some poop, so I wormed the entire flock with ivermectin pour on. No mites or lice going on right now. A couple weeks after that i had a couple hens with vent gleet and 2 with canker, so i gave metronidazole @ 200g/litre for a week to the whole flock.

A couple extras: i have had 3 juveniles over the last 5 months that have had issues with sudden worsening paralysis, 2 recovered after 3 days, one died. My guess was mycotoxins since it rains a lot here.
I have never had Marek's in the flock, and my cockerels eyes are bright and clear.
When i set him outside for a bit today, i found a tick on his ear. I live in Thailand, and i have no idea if paralysis ticks area thing here... Google didn't either...
On the swollen foot, he seems to be getting a more pronounced yellow area between the toes on top, so I'm thinking that will give me a good site for incision to clear the infection.
I can post poop pics tomorrow, it's night time here now.
Thanks again so much for responding. I use the resources here all the time since my local vet is scared of chickens- and foreigners :) fortunately i can get any medicine and every kind of surgical supply at the local pharmacy. Now they always ask if the stuff is for me or the chickens...
 
Thanks for the reply!
1- no nasal discharge or rattling/rales.
2- no facial swelling, eye bubbles etc, although a month or more ago he had done sneezing as did a few of my birds.
3- Eating and pooping like a champ, with clear crop in the morning. Yesterday it was very hot and he went through a lot of water (with sulfamet) and today his poo had a decent amount of water with it.
4- about a month ago i found roundworms in some poop, so I wormed the entire flock with ivermectin pour on. No mites or lice going on right now. A couple weeks after that i had a couple hens with vent gleet and 2 with canker, so i gave metronidazole @ 200g/litre for a week to the whole flock.

A couple extras: i have had 3 juveniles over the last 5 months that have had issues with sudden worsening paralysis, 2 recovered after 3 days, one died. My guess was mycotoxins since it rains a lot here.
I have never had Marek's in the flock, and my cockerels eyes are bright and clear.
When i set him outside for a bit today, i found a tick on his ear. I live in Thailand, and i have no idea if paralysis ticks area thing here... Google didn't either...
On the swollen foot, he seems to be getting a more pronounced yellow area between the toes on top, so I'm thinking that will give me a good site for incision to clear the infection.
I can post poop pics tomorrow, it's night time here now.
Thanks again so much for responding. I use the resources here all the time since my local vet is scared of chickens- and foreigners :) fortunately i can get any medicine and every kind of surgical supply at the local pharmacy. Now they always ask if the stuff is for me or the chickens...
Tick paralysis here in the States tends to be short term as I understand it, less than 48 hours. I can't say I've heard anything about tick borne illness outside of the US except the longhorn tick(?) recently introduced from Asia. But pretty par for the course that the US education system and media doesn't focus much on the rest of the world (sadly).
 
Do you have a needle syringe? Before cutting into the foot in search of pus, try using the needle syringe to withdraw possible fluid from the swollen area. You need only go skin deep. If this is fluid, it would point to M. synoviae, a respiratory disease.
 
I agree, I'd be hesitant to cut into the foot.
When you can, get some more photos.

Since you found one tick, I'd check him over really well for more. It may be worth giving him a dusting of Permethrin poultry dust too.
For some reason I'm not finding a lot of info about Tick toxicity in poultry. I do remember they can cause some issues in poultry though. I'd try to get rid of any more that you see.

Having previous losses, it's hard to say whether you are dealing with disease like Marek's, feed issue/molds/mycotoxins or parasites. There's not a lot you can do about Marek's. Feed can be hard to control sometimes too - even if you see no obvious mold or clumps in the feed there could still be mycotoxins, so...take action against what you may be able to control which is parasites.

I'm not sure what you have available to you. Permethrin can be used to treat birds and their housing, Ivermectin is also effective for external parasites.
 
I just checked on him since it's morning here, and the swelling in the foot has gone down. It's also not hot anymore. So maybe the sulfamet worked on that.
You can see from the pictures how his legs are just retracted to his body. I can extend them with resistance, but they go right back. He doesn't seem to be pulling them in, it's like the muscles just contract slowly. I can't get any movement from his toes. He can move his wings, neck, head. He's still drinking and eating. I got a picture of his droppings from overnight.
 

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There's a lot of urates in his poop, I'd really focus on hydration. Sulfa drugs can be hard on the kidneys, but I would finish the course of treatment.
I'm not sure what's going on with him. Hopefully the medication will make a difference.
 

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