Rooster slowly going lame.. now he can't walk... what is it??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TajMahalChickens, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    I have a 8 month old Buttercup rooster who has gone lame. About two weeks ago I noticed that he seemed a little unbalanced. It slowly progressed until it was a kind of staggering walk. Yesterday I found him in the coop unable to stand.

    No bones appear to be broken. It almost seems like the muscles can't hold his weight up. When he sits, his left leg is a lot more forward then it usually is when a chicken sits. He can shuffle around on his hocks a bit, but not enough to stand up. I Also noticed that he hasn't crowed in about three weeks ( He usually crows about 15 times a day)

    I realize that probably at the stage he is in, there is no way that he can get better. Just wondering if anyone knows what is is, if it is preventable, if there is a possible cure...

    I'll post some pictures of him sitting in his crate if you think it will help.

    Thanks
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    oops- double posted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Quote:
     
  4. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    He is fed what the rest of the hens eat, regular layer ration (can't remember if it is 16 or 18 percent) it is mash made in a local feed mill. He is from Nature's Hatchery in Naperville, Illinois. He was not vaccinated (as far as I know. I didn't request it and I think they have to ask you if you want your chicks vaccinated)

    Although I haven't looked at his feet, I know for sure that bumble foot is not causing the limping. It is a unsteady walk due to a nervous system disorder, not a sore on the foot. It seems more like leg paralysis, like you said. When I set him down, he doesn't even try to set his feet down; his toes stay curled.

    Another thing that I thought was worth noting is the fact that he still is quite perky. He still tries to scrabble around in his crate, and he is in no way droopy.

    Although I haven't looked into Marek's disease, from things that I have heard about it, It sounds like Louis (that's his name) might have that. I'll look into that tomorrow.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  5. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    This had something on curled toe paralysis and general incoordination and paralysis and the causes. I'm wondering if it could be either just a nutritional deficiency or tendon infection:

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/y5169e/y5169e07.htm

    You could try starting him on some antibiotic and get ahold of some of that liquid baby vitamin drops (without the iron)...pol v sol or something like that. I think the grocers carry it. How do his knees look, how do his feet and legs feel, does the affected one feel any warmer than the other?
     
  6. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Although I haven't looked at his feet, I know for sure that bumble foot is not causing the limping. It is a unsteady walk due to a nervous system disorder, not a sore on the foot. It seems more like leg paralysis, like you said. When I set him down, he doesn't even try to set his feet down; his toes stay curled.

    Another thing that I thought was worth noting is the fact that he still is quite perky. He still tries to scrabble around in his crate, and he is in no way droopy.

    There are a few clues here. Given he is still quite perky I would not be suspect of poisoning, botulisum, major infection, malnutrition. Curled toes is another Marek's thing as well. Also from your earlier post one leg was initially more affected and forward, that also is another little red flag.

    Marek's essentially has no cure, seams some people have results with different therapies (hypercium, probiotics, vitamins ect) but most time if there is any recovery it is not full and often short lived before other Mareks related problems kick in.

    Given how easily the disease can spread directly and indirectly through dust and dander, having an infected bird is a risk to your flock and others as well.

    It is possible it could be something else but there are a number of things pointing in this direction. I would not give antibiotics, there is no reason to suspect infection that I can see.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  7. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Taj, I just wanted to give you my sympathy...I am dealing with 2 chickens with Marek right now...both of whom will be euthanized tonite [​IMG] They both sound like what you are describing, around the same age. I have them together, separate from the flock (who are all much older) Ending their lives is a had decision bc like you say, they don't seem *sick* per se, but based on the outlook...I don't feel prolonging their suffering is right. Its so hard... [​IMG]
     
  8. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try giving him some Vitamin B12 in his food it worked for my 18 month hen who suddenly was unable to walk. It took over a week of vitamin supplements and electrolyte solution. but she is fine now and back with the flock. Like your rooster, she semed fine in every other way, but unable to stand or walk. I read here that these vitamin deficiencies can cause this type of lameness. Hope it helps, it is at least worth a try.
     
  9. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did some research on Marek's, and it seems to fit the bill. One leg is completely extended in front of the body. You can see the whole shank. I didn't do any research on Curled toe paralysis or tendon infection just because the leg symptom described in the various sites were right on to what Louis looks like.

    Clay Valley Farmer made a good point about the possibility of being malnutrition. He otherwise looks healthy besides not being able to walk. When I go to feed him, he flaps his wings in an attempt to hoist himself up and move away (he isn't very tame). I would think that a chicken with a nutritional deficiency wouldn't have that type of energy. Am I right?

    I also ready that the paralysis is progressive, like Louis's was. Tammye's bird was suddenly lame, so I don't think that she had a bird with the same thing that I have. Right?

    I read that there are four different types - skin, nerve, eye, and internal organ. Does a bird have all four at once? Can you have a combo? Louis obviously has the nerve form, but can he have the others?

    I guess it doesn't really matter what type he has, because it doesn't change the treatment - cull. I suppose that I should do that sooner rather than later, because I am just harboring the disease, making it more likely for my other hens to get it. Right?

    That brings me to another point: Does this mean that the rest of my flock will get sick? Is there a use to vaccinate now? Is there any way to prevent (or at least lessen the chances) of my other hens getting it?

    Thanks for all of the responses. Don't know what I would do without BYC:)
     
  10. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hoperfully others with recent Marek's troubles will chime in. This is my understanding, not sure I have the details 100%, there is a ton of reading out ther on Marek's

    Virus is pretty tough so can lay about in dust and dander a very long time. It can take a couple weeks for the virus to shed and spread to other chickens, then there can be another 3-6 weeks or maybe more before they will show symptoms. Vaccination of birds past the new chick stage I think has limited effectivness. However if the vaccine can be administered there is some chance it will cause the development of limited immunity to fight the desease before symptoms take effect. The vaccination may pehaps help prevent later formation of tumors. Still a very good chance the chickens will get it though as the vaccination does not prevent spread as it does not kill the virus in the infected chicken. However, it may work to limit symptoms and reduce the amount of virus shed. If you bring in any new chickens best to have them vaccinated at hatch and even then there will still be a small (+/-5%) chance of the contracting symptoms.

    I think it is easiest to understand Marek's by thinking of it as an infectious cancer, the same cancer can show up in a variety of typical places in the body and cause different symptoms. In time it will spread to other parts of the body causing symptoms related to that part.

    Sorry, sounds like a tough go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

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