she can't walk - SAD UPDATE - We lost Blueberry this afternoon

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MimiChick, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My BR, Blueberry, started having trouble walking on Monday. She's 22-26 weeks old, eats layer pellets, veggies, fruits, scratch, etc. She has 2 flockmates and lives in a tractor style playhouse coop. I use DL method in the roost box. Yesterday, I thought she might be egg bound with her first pullet egg because she seemed to be listing backwards and her vent was pulsing. She was eating and drinking fine, alert and I could not find any injuries. So, I tried all the recommendations for egg bound; heating pad, warm sitz bath, massaging abdomen, etc. I managed to probe inside her vent and could not find anything and her abdomen didn't feel like there was an egg. She had normal poops. I put her in the roost box last night (DH will NOT allow chickens in the house [​IMG] although I had her in the breezeway most of the afternoon).
    This morning, she was in the nest box and there was a brown, very smelly poop. I took her out and gave her some mash and put her in the garden in a sunny spot. She ate a little mash, some pellets and a little scratch. But she can't walk. She can't even stand up on her own. She's moving around by kicking her legs and flailing her wings. She seems to prefer backing herself into a corner with her butt up. It's like she can't get her legs under her. Also, her comb and wattles have turned in the past 2 days from pink to a noticeably redder shade.
    Does anyone have an idea of what might be happening and what I can do for her? Please? [​IMG] I've checked several other posts and researched but I'm just not sure what I'm dealing with here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some forms of lameness are caused by a lack of Vitamin E, and this can be provided either in the form of an oil-filled gelcap, broken and mixed in feed, or by providing a multivitamin like polyvisol (no added iron) in her water. If this is the cause you should see improvement in about 48 hours. She has access to calcium in feed and/or free-choice, right? She's the right age for needing either calcium or Vitamin E- some hens go through a growth spurt and need a lot. The medullary complex (pelvis and some leg bones) can get quite brittle if she is lacking what she needs. Most common in large hens.

    No signs of trauma...?

    I remember your post and how she presented as seeming eggbound.
    Segregation is still recommended in case she has a disease.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  3. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I can't find any signs of trauma, but she is getting agitated when I lift her up; kicking her feet and flapping herwings, so I don't know if she's got some kind of pain when I lift her. She's really not showing any signs of being in pain when she's crabbing around on the ground, but sometimes while she's sitting her legs will shiver a little. I did give her a few drops of Polyvysol this morning. I also tried to get her to eat a little scrambled egg and yogurt. She turned her nose up at it (none of my girls will eat yogurt), so maybe I'll try some plain scrambled egg later. Any other possibilities you can think of or any treatments that might help her are greatly appreciated.
    She has oyster shell free choice and her diet consists mainly of layer feed, the other stuff is treats only.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is she is moving the legs she probably isn't in great pain because they tend to 'freeze' when it hurts.
    Can't rule out the possibility of Marek's though I hate to scare you with that one, but I think she needs to be segregated.
    She is probably frustrated. I'm betting on the Vitamin E or the calcium simply because those are the most common probs with hens that age. Some need SO much calcium and others drain the vitamin E in huge amounts as their leg develop and thicken. Also can't rule out the possibility that she stunned a nerve in flight.
    Safest bet is a cage, warmth, segregation and close watching, for now.

    Did she molt this fall? Stressful time for them, lots of nutritional demands with egglaying and feather regrowth.

    A very interesting thread here by members who are having various motions problems with their poultry-

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44619&p=1
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  5. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Lynne. I'm going to get some vitaman E capsules and hope that's the problem. She's been pecking on a piece of apple for now. She seems to like that the most and it's getting moisture into her, so I'm not going to push feed until later this afternoon. I'm going to hope for the best that she'll start feeling better tomorrow or so. I just got laid off from work, so I can spend some time nursing her. Her flock mates are so supportive - while I had her in the garden, they stayed right there with her. Then, when I put her back in the roost box, they went right in after her. Unfortuately, segregation is not an option. I have no place to put her where she'll be safe. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's just a deficiency and not something else.
    BTW I can't thank you enough for all the information, help and encouragement you give. You're a real Godsend and I truly appreciate your time and knowledge. I'm so fortunate to have found this forum and all the wonderful people on it. Thank you again. I'll keep you posted on her progress.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Please do, I hope she is standing soon. You can also combine a multivitamin in her water with extra vitamin E...and give the multivitamin to the others and save the extra vitamin E for her. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  7. TheMotherHen

    TheMotherHen Out Of The Brooder

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    My chicken is doing the same exact thing. Exactly. I know how worried you must be and I hope everything works out for Blueberry. It's nice to hear from someone who is so concerned about their pet. It sounds like you love her very much.

    I posted this in another thread but I feel maybe I could get more help here.

    Quote:Quote:[​IMG]
     
  8. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, just got back from the pharmacy. I got some vitamin E oil and managed to get several drops into her. I then got her to drink a little Pedialyte. Then I made a mash with some crumbles wet with the Pedialyte, a cooked egg yolk and topped with some crushed Tums. She ate about a spoonful, but she had been pecking on her apple and had eaten previously while she was outside.
    She did have a large poop. It was solid, brownish green with a white top; looks pretty normal except for being really big. It also smelled awful. More like dog poop than anything else. Her wattles and comb are really, really getting deep red. Does this mean anything significant?
    I'm really hoping this will help her.
    Mother Hen - I hope your girl benefits from all the help we've gotten and gets better too.
     
  9. silky ma

    silky ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    usually a poop that size and smell is a broody poop. Are you sure she isnt eggbound?
     
  10. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really don't think so. I went through that whole routine yesterday, with the heating pad, warm sitz bath, etc. While she was in the bath I managed to insert my finger in her vent and it was completely empty. Also, she hasn't started laying yet, although I think it may be soon because her comb and wattles have turned bright red just in the past 2 days. I'm really hoping it's a vitamin deficiency and temporary. I'm going with the vitamin E/calcium regimen for now and will see how she does.
     

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