Seeking specific guidance: 14 week old hen injury, can't stand

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by museclio, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. museclio

    museclio New Egg

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    Hi everyone,
    Thanks to you all, this is my first post, mostly because I can usually find an answer to my newbie questions from your answers to others.

    But I'm stumped.

    I have 14 chickens (down from 15, lost one last week to a hawk strike). Except for my WCBP, they're all happy campers and very happy. My WCBP were being head pecked, and look like Friar Tucks. However, my WCBP rooster seems to have found his feet, and that little issue is resolving.

    Our flock free ranges, but does have a lovely big coop and yard.

    Two weeks ago this Thursday, one of our RIR, Miss Bree (VandiCamp), was found limping at night, and could not get on the roost. The next morning, she was worse.

    She can stand for moments, but then wobbles and falls on her head. She's obviously distressed when she falls. I have her in a box in the house during the night, and out in the sun in a dog crate during the day. She eats like a pig, poops (normal looking) like a pigeon, and seems happy as a lark (when she's sitting). But she holds one or the other of her legs behind her at times.

    I can't feel a break. She doesn't squawk when I feel her legs. She can curl her toes, although the right seems less strong and was colder at first, and her middle toe seems weak.

    I have read about slings and credit card boots and duct tape, and I'm just so confused about how to do those things. I have been treating her with a quiet location, TLC, a makeshift sling at times, arnica on her legs, and a diet supplemented by yogurt, fresh soft veggies, and tons of dried mealworms. She doesn't seem to drink enough.

    Could someone please point me to a sequential method to try and diagnose Miss Bree, and/or offer some suggestions? thanks.

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  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    She might have a vitamin deficiency, so I'd get her started on some vitamins. Get some polyvisol infant vitamins without iron from a supermarket, and give her 2 drops or so a day. See if that helps; sometimes paralysis/inability to walk is caused by a vitamin deficiency.

    However, a just as likely, but much less desirable possiblity is Marek's Disease. This viral disease can affect birds of all ages, though is most common in young birds. It causes limping, paralysis of the legs, lack of coordination, sometimes paralysis of other body parts, and death. There is also an ocular version of it that makes a bird become blind, and a feather form of it that causes tumors and enlarged feather shafts. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for Mareks. I'd do some research on Marek's Disease, and see if it sounds like what your bird is experiencing.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful!
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I agree with Wyandottes.
     
  4. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It looks like maybe it is splay leg. Poor miss Bree! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  5. museclio

    museclio New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2013
    I thought I had said this earlier. Our labradoodle chased her a couple weeks ago, and that might have something to do with it.
    Can anyone help me figure out how to diagnose? Is there a chart somewhere that says "check X. if that's ok, check Y. If that's ok, check Z, etc....." And then, "This is how you check for X. This is how you check for Y.

    Please tell me there's a chart or book or SOMETHING to help me. I've got 14 other chickens and I want to be a good chicken owner.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  7. museclio

    museclio New Egg

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    Thank you all for your answers. From the information you provided, the conclusion would seem to be Marek's. I didn't suspect that since all my chicks came as day olds with vaccinations against MD and coccidiosis. Our coop was built from scratch, we've never had chickens here before (but my neighbor did, and still has a roo).

    She might get better, but still be a carrier? Should I cull her from my flock?
    And regardless of her outcome, now I have MD in my flock and will never get rid of it?

    And since I'm going down this road, what is a humane way to cull a chicken?
     
  8. museclio

    museclio New Egg

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    and before I take any final action, I'll do the vitamins. I've put electrolytes in her water, but she doesn't seem to drink.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I didn't realizae that she had been immunized for Mareks, but there is a certain percentage of failures. You can still hold out hope that it isn't Mareks. I would join the Mareks thread, ask questions and maybe get her tested (blood test at Texas A and M.) If she had Mareks, your home would be forever a Mareks property, since it is in the dust and dander and surrounding. I would read up on i and watch her, because it might not be that at all. Don't cull her yet, and take your time to find out her problem. There is no reason to rush about this.
     
  10. museclio

    museclio New Egg

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    thank you all so much. I will be sure to post an update.
     

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