Pullet with hugely swollen / infected thigh

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by allpeepedout, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    17
    131
    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Thanks in advance for any help. This is my first chicken injury.

    Pullet is a 15-wk old Cream Legbar. I noticed she was sitting today a lot today, but she seemed to be getting up now and then, and I saw her eating. But when I checked her out this evening, her leg, especially the thigh and adjacent part of her body, is VERY soft and puffy, like a massive infection. I could not see an injury, but could have missed a deep puncture.

    I don't think the leg is broken or sprained, as she can walk almost normally. It feels almost like it has fluid in it. It is not her abdomen, but her thigh.

    I'd appreciation any tips on what to do. Try harder to find an injury? Antibiotics? Epsom salt soak? Is there anything over the counter I can get at the farm store to treat her, given tomorrow is Sunday?

    I have newly integrated her and others with an older flock, starting gradually weeks ago. The integration has been going well. I have not see anybody going after her, and I have ample space, but perhaps she was injured by another hen.
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    59,769
    18,052
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Is there any chance that the swelling you're seeing is air under the skin?

    -Kathy
     
  3. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    17
    131
    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Kathy . . . air? Hmm, is that possible? What should I do to ascertain . . . Tx.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    59,769
    18,052
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Maybe try wetting the feathers and take a closer look at the skin. Then try to figure out if it feels like a balloon or swollen tissue.

    -Kathy
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    59,769
    18,052
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    59,769
    18,052
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  7. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    17
    131
    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Kathy, thank you. I think you are right and a torn air sac is the problem. I read the references. The puffiness does extend into the abdomen, and she has one area of skin with some redness and also an odd yellow stain. She is still eating and doesn't seem seriously ill yet, just inactive, limping slightly, and mostly resting a lot.

    She seemed somewhat better this morning, much less puffy. But by end of day, she was very puffy. I wonder if the gas is absorbed overnight, but then in daytime, as she is more active, she draws in more air, which then builds up.

    I've decided to isolate her in a cage tomorrow, to keep her movement to a minimum. For the air sac to heal, it needs not to be torn open again, either by internal air pressure or trauma, as I understood it. I am feeding fermented feed, so I can get moisture in her and monitor her eating.

    If she worsens, I'll consider the next step, the needle thing. But poking a bunch of holes in her has me very worried, with my lack of experience treating poultry.

    Thank you again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,719
    5,069
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    When my 2 week old developed a leaking air sac from an injury, I just used what I had available, which was only a 22 gauge needle to piece the skin and push out all of the air under the skin. Her whole side was puffed up, and she was making a clicking sound, and clearly having trouble breathing. Afterward for several minutes, she looked as though she was dying, but then perked up and did well, although I had to remove some air 2 more times. As long as a chick was not in distress I would watch it, but sometimes when it gets to be large, you need to intervene. An 18 gauge needle is usually what is recommended, and much larger than a 22 gauge.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by