Sick chicken - Thelma's drunk :( *not actually drunk but looks like it

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tangeygirl, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi everyone...I'm hoping someone out there has a little insight as to what may be going on with my approximately 22 week old Easter Egger, Thelma. On Tuesday when I was locking my girls in after a day of free ranging I noticed Thelma looked like she was a lil drunk, leaning to one side as she walked. It was very brief and I really didn't give it much thought. Wednesday they didn't free range, were just in the run all day and I noticed she was still slightly "off". Last night I went to lock up the coop for the night and noticed she wasn't in the coop (which she always is and has a terrible habit of sleeping in the nesting box instead of the roost). It was late...around 10 p.m. so I went in, got my flashlight and she was huddled in a corner of the run underneath the coop. She was too far under for me to reach in and grab her. So I went outside the run and tried to startle her a little bit so she'd get up and move and head into the coop. She got up but didn't go very far. She spent the night sleeping under there. This morning I go out and she is up and walking but only for very brief periods before she "falls" down. Both legs/feet seem to bothering her. She's walking on her tiptoes (if that makes sense) and then she'll go a little ways and then just kinda collapse onto the ground. I'm assuming that's why she didn't make it to the coop last night, she couldn't walk up the ramp. She is eating okay...I threw some cracked corn down and she went to town and she was also eating out of the layer crumble container. However, I did notice when she was standing at the container (a tupperware that has maybe 3" sides she would kind of fall into the container after standing there for a minute or so.

    I've tried catching her this morning but am having no luck. She keeps heading to the farthest corner of the run under the coop that I can't really get to without crawling on my hands & knees. I've called my mom who's been especially helpful with helping me with my girls to come over today so we can catch her and check her out. Once we do catch her I'd like to know of some specific things I should be looking for. I don't know if this is an equilibrium issue or if she injured her legs while out free ranging earlier in the week or what it could be. So any insight would be wonderful. I don't know if this info is helpful or not but she hasn't started laying eggs yet and she's been perfectly healthy up until this point. I've had a hen with 1 injured leg before in the past where she was limping and then was completely fine a week later. This is something completely different. [​IMG]

    I'll continue to do some searching on this awesome website and see what other answers I may be able to find but I figured I'd ask you all too.

    Thanks so much!!! I love my girls and I just want them to be happy & healthy!

    ~Jaime
    *edited to change title
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  2. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was able to get a video of Thelma this morning... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htpCYxxJCXE

    We
    have since caught her and she is in the house, in a box filled with hay. She wasn't bothered by us moving her legs/feet. They don't seem to be "broken" or out of joint or anything. She's got a new symptom of "gasping" which you can see on the video.

    Any help, thoughts, suggestions...Please?!

    Thanks!
    ~Jaime
     
  3. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    She's gasping for air and it is probably a secondary infection to mareks. She looks like she is on her way out, sorry. [​IMG]
     
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    While I am not of much help (limited experience with chickens), I have to commend you on posting the video. Sometimes it's hard to describe what your bird's doing. Isn't it wonderful to live in a time where the every-day person has this medium available?

    In any case, I hope you find what's wrong with her and that it's easily treatable. I'll keep watching this thread ... good luck!
     
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree could be signs of Marek's, but does not sound out of line for botulisum either. Vitimin defficiency possible but sounds like a pretty quick onset for that. Mold in the feed can cause stange stuff like this too but often hits more than one bird at a time.

    Likely best to quarantine here as a precaution as well as to treat/monitor her more closely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  6. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Doing some reaserch on Mereks, doesn't look good. If it is Merek's, should I assume that Louise who is younger than Thelma will also contract it and or already has contracted it but not showing symptoms yet? Looks like older birds are less likely to get it so if it is indeed Merek's, hopefully the older two are safe. Jeese, I hate this. [​IMG]

    Also looking at things about botulism. The girls all free range 3-5 days a week depending on the weather. I give them left over veggies & fruits in the morning from the day before. I'd like to think they're not eating anything spoiled or moldy but I guess anything is possible.

    [​IMG]
    Here's she is in her Quarantine box. It looks like she's standing on 1 leg like a flamingo but she's actually laying down and her leg is outstretched in front of her. She hasn't gone over to the feed or water that I've noticed but I dropped in some pieces of pear and she attacked them.

    I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should try the vitamin treatments people have posted on other threads saying similar symptoms could be a vitamin deficiency. I don't know if the gaping mouth is respiratory and if I should start some antibiotic treatment or something. (we did look down her throat with a flashlight and I didn't see any gapeworm). I don't think it looks like she's struggling to breath with the "gasps" but then again I've never seen a chicken struggling to breathe. Do we humanely put her out of her misery? Is she even in misery? Or do we just keep things as they are and see how it goes?! I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the feedback so far, keep it coming.
    ~Jaime
     
  7. WiscoChiko

    WiscoChiko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you take her to a vet.? Can a vet even check for mareks? I feel your pain hang in there! Wisco
     
  8. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    The way she is laying is classic mareks symptoms.
     
  9. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:from what i've been reading, a necropsy after death is the only way to tell if it's Marek's. [​IMG] She is showing all classic symptoms.
     
  10. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone who helped me...

    After the suggestions given here and all our research it really does appear as though she has Marek's. I'm so saddened by this and am worried about the rest of my flock...a 4 month old and two that are over a year. Thelma is in her quarantine box in our basement. I'll keep checking on her, we'll see how she is tomorrow. If she hasn't passed on her own, I think we'll have to make a very difficult decision...which is to cull her, the only solution for Marek's so it seems. I'm in knots over this, but if she's suffering I don't want to prolong that.

    Anyways, thank you everyone for helping, I'll keep you posted.
    ~Jaime
     

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