Possible Leg Injury? Bumblefoot Unlikely

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wingleader, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey all! I haven't had any chicken emergencies for a good long while, thank goodness, but yesterday one of my favorite gals, Flourbum, was limping quite hard when we let the flock out to free range for the day. She was hatched this March and, up until this point, has been one of the most healthy and energetic of any of my chickens. We have 24 total birds in a large coop (4 mature roosters included), they're locked up at night and released in the morning, anywhere from 8 am to 11 am depending on when we get up.

    She's favoring her right leg and seems not to be able to move it or her foot very well. I've stretched it, and done a thorough check of her leg and her foot and don't see anything out of the ordinary except a magenta discoloration which I'm assuming is just the juice from a berry she stepped on near a berry bush in the yard.

    I know what to look for with bumblefoot, but there's no "plug" or even a scab. No swollen areas, either. :( Birds don't like to let on that they're in pain, so even if she is, she didn't let on when I gently squeezed or prodded any areas of her foot. It looks like she sprained her foot somehow.

    We have her separated from the flock in a private area of the coop and we brought her into our patio last night so she wouldn't freeze to death since she can't feed off the warmth of the rest of the flock and it is getting near freezing outside at night. We're probably going to keep her inside our sunporch in a cage until she heals up if there's no improvements by this evening. And if this doesn't work, she'll be going to the vet. She's a beloved pet, not "just a chicken" so we're definitely willing to foot the bill.

    Either way, if this can be resolved without a vet, that would be better for us monetarily. Any ideas or thoughts? Something I should be doing different?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,734
    5,088
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would think she may have a sprain in her leg. There also could be a break. Resting it for a week in a crate in the coop with the other birds, and then testing it week by week would be a good idea. I would also put some vitamins in her water. Did your chickens have Mareks vaccines?
     
  3. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    They did not, but I've been vigilant for any signs of that disease since my bantams all passed from a mysterious illness that I think may have been Mareks last year and early this year. They all lost motor control in their legs and then slowly in the rest of their bodies before passing quietly. The process of having a necropsy done in my area is ridiculously complicated and expensive as far as I could discover, so I was unfortunately unable to have one done on any of them. I did, of course, have them separated from the other birds immediately and we haven't had that kind of trouble since. The main issue has been the loss of feathers because an old rooster we had was way too aggressive with the treading and we rehomed him, so that's not a problem anymore.

    Vitamins are a good idea, though, and I didn't think to just keep the cage in the coop. Also a good idea and she'll probably be more comfortable. Thanks!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,734
    5,088
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Unfortunately once you have a chicken with Mareks disease, the disease is in your coop and dirt forever. The dust and danderspread everywhere, and it would be impossible to clean enough to get rid of it. Any chicks you get in the future should always be vaccinated, and isolated for at least 1 week to become immune. Hopefully, your hen doesn't have Mareks, but your property is contaminated if your other chickens had Mareks.
     
  5. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hrm, well, I've been looking more in-depth at that disease and I really don't think that was Marek's. Without a necropsy I can't be sure, but the symptoms the bantams possessed don't really jive up with any of the research I've done and, like I said, no other birds were affected. These were also birds that were purchased at a small animal auction (BAD IDEA, and I will NEVER do it again), so I have no idea as to their history before I got them. They were all from the same clutch and they were already about 3 months old. They were kept quarentined for about a week before introducing them to the other birds, too, and I do make it a point to do the same with new animals we're introducing to the coop each and every time we get some.

    Anyway! Update on the girlie. :) We brought her inside and she's been doing well. She's eating and drinking fine, though she needs some encouragement at times because this issue just so happened to coincide with us switching to a different layer crumble and I don't think she's happy about it. She uses her leg to prop herself up, though she doesn't walk with it very well and she can't always open her toes properly. She's the same friendly little hen she was before, except for the leg. :>
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,734
    5,088
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Good to hear she is doing alright. Maybe a leg splint might help her.
     
  7. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    How would you recommend doing a splint? She likes to try and stand when she's eating, but during most of the day she stays laying down. I also noticed she fidgets more when I gently stretch her entire leg at the knee and hip joints, but not when I stretch her foot or toes. Could this mean that she hurt one of those higher joints?
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,734
    5,088
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,101
    62
    231
    May 25, 2008
    Idaho/Utah
    Try checking to see if her Achilles Tendon might have slipped out of the hock groove on that leg. There are instructions on this on the Poultry Podiatry page linked in my sig below.
     
  10. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nah, it isn't that. I would have noticed something like that when I was checking her leg. Thanks for the info, though!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by