Possible neurological issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rudyroosmom, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. rudyroosmom

    rudyroosmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    Boonville, MO
    My 9 month old Rhode Island Red hen (Ruby) went down about 9 days ago. When I say "went down" I mean she suddenly stopped being capable of standing or walking...paralysis. I brought her inside immediately (as it is either freezing or below here in Missouri and thankfully got to her before the rest of my flock could start picking on her). I put her in a box and started doing extensive research on what the problem could be. I checked for broken bones, injuries, etc., nothing... and from what I can see she is not experiencing any pain. Then I treated her as being possibly egg-bound (warm bathes, feeling around stomach for lodged egg, olive oil around her vent, even went the extra mile and lubed up a gloved finger and checked the inside of her vent...ewww). Mareks is a possibility, but none of my other birds have any issues and from what I understand it mainly occurs in chicks 8wks and younger . I am currently treating her for a Vit B deficiency as her symptoms are paralysis of the legs/feet (one foot all toes try and stay curled) and she is "star gazing" constantly. I have been giving her 2 Vit B Complex tablets a day for 4 days now. She seems to have more mobility but not enough. Only one of her legs is stable at this point and she is closing her eyes and making "Stevie Wonder" movements with her head, slowly back and forth. I was giving her yogurt through a dropper up until 2 days ago at which point she has basically refused to eat and only drinks when I put the bowl directly in front of her. I have spoken with 2 veterinarians and employees at my local farm store as well as researching BYC threads. No one has any idea as to what this could be. I was told that it's probably "just one of those things". Unless Ruby shows some major improvement within the next 48 hours I will have to have my husband humanly cull her as this is no life for her.
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Mareks doesn't differentiate by age as much as folks think. I've lost chickens as much as a year old to it. So sad.
     
  3. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    At 9 months old, it most probably isn't a vitamin deficiency. I would treat anyways but it could very well be Marek's. How do her eyes look? Have they changed in anyway? Are any of the other birds showing any kind of symptoms? Not to get into a huge disscusion on what it could be, rule out what it can't be. Toxins? Either from moldy feed or something else? Possible injury to her spine or head?

    I'm so sorry I can't be of more help, I really wish I could. Keep her drinking if you can, but I wouldn't force her.

    Forgot something...I would take small pieces of bread and dip them into water mixed with vitamins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. rudyroosmom

    rudyroosmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    Boonville, MO
    Her eyes are fine (when open), I've been checking them several times a day. None of my other birds have ANY symptoms whatsoever and their feed/water is always clean. She drinks several times a day, as I am home and can present it to her often but I cannot leave it in her crate as she ends up sitting in it/spilling it. Last night she started acting as if she couldn't coordinate herself to even take a drink and a lot of the water she does get into her beak ends up on her chest. Unfortunately I think culling her is my only option and I am NOT one to put an animal down without a fight. Thank you for your help/suggestions...I will be very sad to lose her. [​IMG]
     
  5. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Maine
    I know how you feel and I am so very sorry. Sometimes there do not seem to be any answers for the things that happen. I think that sometimes they have things wrong from hatch that we can't see or know about until it is too late. You have done what you could and now the culling is probably the best for her as you have said.
     
  6. rudyroosmom

    rudyroosmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    Boonville, MO
    My Ruby was put down today. [​IMG] I know it was for the best...and my husband is a hero for "doing the deed" for me but it is a little disheartening looking around my living room and not seeing her sitting in her crate. I will take this as a learning experience in case any of my other chickens suddenly go down with paralysis. I actually learned a lot regarding chicken health and well-being during the last couple of weeks of my intensive research, so Ruby did not live or die in vain!
     
  7. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    I am so sorry. It is never easy to make the decision to put an animals down and my heart goes out to you. I am glad you have learned something from this and pray you will not have to use the information ever again.
     
  8. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    My condolences as well. It really sounds like you did the right thing, it's so sad to see them suffer when they're loved so much.
     
  9. rudyroosmom

    rudyroosmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    Boonville, MO
    Thank you for your words of condolence, they mean a lot and are very much appreciated. I haven't expressed my sadness over losing Ruby to many people. It seems that some do not have an understanding of how sad it really is, thinking "it's only a chicken". It is nice to have folks out there who truly understandand sympathize with my loss. [​IMG]
     

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