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Seven week old chick with a new crooked leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ktpaco, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm posting this, so that others can learn from my mistake. My Black French Copper Maran will probably have to be put down at some point - here is how her story unfolded.

    I bought (4) Copper Maran chicks at (3) weeks old, two blacks/two blue. Being a first time mom to little chicks - I fretted a lot, and spent a lot of time watching them and keeping them at the proper temps. They started their life in a very large storage tub - they stayed in this until 6 weeks - as it was obvious they had outgrown the tub. Next, they went into a extra large dog kennel. At seven weeks, Oprah - one of the blacks, started to hobble a little when she walked, and sat down more than the others. I looked at her legs, and noticed that her right side was just a little crooked, making her pigeoned toe.

    I should have taken her to the vet immediately at this discovery. This was her first symptom of a leg deformity - splayed leg is another name. The treatment is simple - and you don't have to go to the vet, as long as you get the proper fix off of BYC or another website and start treatment/rehab immediately. I needed the vet for the proper diagnosis - and all the "fix" is is a certain way to tape up the legs to each other - this prevents the deformity into turning worse, and should correct the problem, however it is not overnight. Rehab/therapy takes awhile - is better on a young chick (like days old), but takes time and patience.

    Because I thought I was dealing with a Vitamin deficiency (and I still feel like this played a part, as the onset of the condition was later rather than earlier), I treated Oprah with extra vitamins in her water, some antibodics just in case (thinking leg injury), and put her and another flock mate in a separate dog kennel, so they would have more room to "spread their wings." She did respond some, she got up more, wobbled a little less, so I figured I had the problem under control. At 10.5 weeks, she got a really bad cold and her left hock started to swell. She stooped walking all together, and pushed herself (in a backwards motion) on her hocks, in order to get around. At some point, I begged my boyfriend to put her out of her misery, as her cold/upper respiratory infections was causing her to gasp for air. I started her on Tylan 50 @ .2 ccs and gave her the extra vitamins again. She recovered from the cold/URI, and the hock looked better, so I stopped the Tylan. Three days later, her left hock had become twice the size it had been before, and a very small slit in the hock started to make bubbles (like the bubbles a baby will make at times). Put her back on the Tylan, and was already going to the vet anyways to find out about her legs (as now they had become very deformed - sitting at weird angles and toes all curled up).

    The vet let me know that Oprah is/was relatively healthy at this point - no signs of URI, the left hock was infected and about 2 cc's of pus was aspirated, however he felt her legs were beyond repair. She will probably never walk - as the legs are more or less done growing, and doubts treatment can help at this point. He recommended putting her down. Even if treatment was started, it could take six MONTHS before any signs of recovery, and she would be a "maintenance nightmare."

    Well, even though she prognosis is grave, I had the vet tape up her legs anyways. I asked him to verify what dosage of Tylan 50 I can give her, so that I can try and resolve the infected hock. She is now on .5 ccs of Tylan, twice a day - until it looks like that has completely resolved. I bandage up the left hock myself, and will change that bandage every few days. She is getting 1 cc of NutriDrench, as I still feel this was the result of a chicken that was not absorbing her vitamins, despite being on medicated chick starter. She is getting a 1/4 of asprin, once a day (even though I could probably give her 1/2). She will be getting leg & foot massages at least once a day, if not twice, to help stimulation of the muscles that have atrophied. She will start exercises where she will bear weight on her legs, as soon as the hock looks like it is healed enough to tolerate the weight. For now, she is strapped down, with taped legs, that are perched under her, so they will get back into a "normal" position. Trying to keep her from readjusting herself is the real test - Oprah has such a strong will - which is probably why she has made it through all of this. Her legs will pretty much stay taped up, except between changings, and then I may put her into a deep tub of water, support her body, and let her move the legs - anyway she wants.

    I don't know if this will work - but I've already invested 9 long weeks babying her - unless she goes South, or she demonstrates a depressed mood, I will continue this until she does recover, or I know I have exhausted all measures and nothing changes. I don't want to put her down - but ultimately if she can not have a relatively normal chicken life at some point - I will do what has to be done.
    I will update weekly - or sooner if she does show signs of deteriorating. I will post her first pics, to now, just showing how "normal" she really was, up until 7 weeks.
     
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your little Oprah. I do hope she heals for you. You have taken such good care of her she is lucky to have you as her "mom". Don't be hard on yourself. Sometimes all we can do is take the clues that are given and make our best "guess" as to what's going on because chickens can't tell us what's wrong. besides they are really good at hiding illness. Don't beat yourself up because you didn't tape her right away. You did everything you could. Hopefully she will recover. I wish you both the best and please keep us posted.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    The first two should be of her at 3 weeks - the second two were taken at 7 weeks when she started showing signs of a problem. I couldn't get these to upload last night - hoping they are today. I will also put up pics of her at twelve weeks - however they will be treatment photos.
     
  4. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    It has been a tough week with Oprah. Some good, some bad. Her feet don't seem so contracted, she still eats like a little piggy, and she is becoming much more active. With that said, on Friday night, the abscess in the left hock split wide open. Saturday night, the skin over that area come off. I started her on a second antibodics that I am putting in her food. Tonight I put some noeopsporin on the hock, wrapped it up loosely, and unwrapped her legs. I figure for now, it is more important for her to put her leg into a comfortable position, more so than trying to correct the leg position. Don't know if that is wise or not - but she can tolerate only so long being in a sling, yet when her legs were tied together, she kept losing her and falling on the sore leg. She is such a tough girl - I wonder if I am doing the right thing. But she still show no signs of giving up - so I find myself struggling with the decision of culling her. Despite the pain I know she must be in, she just continues to be a little fighter - which in a lot of ways doesn't help - she refuses to stay in restraints (trying to keep her from hurting her leg even more or break a wing,etc) and tries to jump and fly whenever she is given a break. I don't know what is next - I'm just taking it day to day. Antibodics, nutri-drench, feeding twice a day, and stressful nights. I'm going to post pics of her injured hock - if it doesn't attach with this post, I will make another reply post. The entire blackened skin was rubbed of Saturday night, leaving her with a raw open wound. I didn't take a pic of that. I'm hoping next weeks update will be better.
     
  5. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Prayer and love your way. You are a great mom. You are doing everything that you can. "We do the best we can with the information that we have at the time. And when we know better, we do better". You did what you did based on what you knew. You did not act with malice. In fact all I see is love. Sometimes we can aim to do everything right and sometimes things just go wrong. Love your baby. She can feel it.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Just checking in. [​IMG]
    Glad to see she is still hanging in there (and you are too!).
    Best wishes to you both.
     
  7. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    [​IMG]. Picture Of the hock before the scab/skin came off.
     
  8. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Thanks for the encouragement guys - it means a lot. This is tough on both of us.
     
  9. ktpaco

    ktpaco Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]. Yesterday I made the heartbreaking decision to put her down. After reading some things online, I really felt that there was no way she could recover from her condition. I made the appointment with the vet, and as difficult as it was, I think I saved her from certain death and a lot of suffering. When I came home, i found that her left leg was much warmer than the right - I believe a sign that the infection was progressing beyond the hock. Since the abscess opened up, she would squawk when I picked her up, making me believe that she was starting to have some pain. This is her pic from the vets last night - she really was a tough little girl and I will think of her often, as I have her sister Natasha, and she will be a constant reminder of Oprah. I know her exit from this world was peaceful, as I just couldn't bear the thought of having her die any other way. She taught me a lot, and hopefully I will learn from the mistakes I made with her.
     
  10. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry for your loss. You really tried hard. Sometimes no matter how hard we try it is just not meant to be. God bless.
     

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