Sick chicken with cramping legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zivaC, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. zivaC

    zivaC Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello,

    My Isa Brown chicken is unwell, and has been for a few weeks. She is 2 years and 9 months of age, and a few weeks ago I found her panting and breathing funny as though she had a heavy weight around her lungs. I noticed her belly was swollen so immediately put her on calcium liquid 3mL twice daily and also started her on amoxyclav antibiotics twice a day, as I suspected peritonitis.

    After a 2 week course of antibiotics i maintained her on calcium liquid 3mL twice daily. Her belly is no longer swollen, and she's breathing fine. Problem is she hardly eats, has barely any energy, and she's way too skinny. We try to feed her all the time but she barely pecks a bit and she won't eat any more. I then realised the calcium dose I've been continuing with may be too high for her now that she's lost heaps of weight, so I cut it down.
    I've also had to resort to syringe-feeding her as she does not eat enough and I'm concerned she will go into shock.

    Just today I noticed when she's walking she seems to be having spasms in her legs when she lifts them as she walks. They seem to be cramping or perhaps she is just weak but it definitely doesn't look right. I really hope it's not because of the calcium? I stopped giving it to her since noticing it. Is it possibly due to a disorder or perhaps a deficiency in anything?
    Can anyone help? I don't know what else to do for her ! And killing her is not an option for me as she is my pet :) and her name is Babushka :)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I think it could be the calcium, but chickens with internal laying/egg yolk peritonitis can have trouble walking and it can hurt. They waddle like a penguin sometimes and sit down often. She doesn't need calcium if she is not laying. Does she have fluid in her belly (ascites?) That can cause difficulty breathing, and removing excess fluid from the lower abdomen occasionally may help. Putting her down when she becomes in pain and miserable may actually be doing her a favor one day. Since this can be a common malady in high production egg layers, it may help to find a friend who is a hunter, or someone else who could humanely put her down for you when that time comes. Here are some good links that you may want to look at:
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/526089/egg-yolk-peritonitis
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/362422/drained-a-hens-abdomen-rest-in-peace-olivia-11-5-10
     
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Funny leg walking can also be a result of swollen abdomen. Has swelling gone down?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  4. zivaC

    zivaC Out Of The Brooder

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    The swelling has gone down completely now, and there's nothing of her she's so skinny :( I managed to get rid of at least the fluid around her belly with consistent calcium and antibiotic dosing and I'm glad coz it at least relieved her breathlessness.
    I suppose the best thing I can do for her right now is make her as comfortable as possible, I will keep trying my best to make her recover I won't give up on that coz she does deserve a chance.
    @Eggcessive thanks for the links I will be reading them now.
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What does her poop look like? I am treating a hen for ascites,she has been drained once to help with breathing,given antibiotics to prevent infection from draining and given milk thistle to help support liver. Her urates were yellow tinged,but are now turning white.she would only eat meat or fish and homemade turkey soup,no feed at all. She is now starting to eat her feed. Crop has been slow to empty which can be normal when they are ill.
     
  6. zivaC

    zivaC Out Of The Brooder

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    Her poop is dark green and runny, but when she first became ill a few weeks ago it was actually yellow (which may have been due to the peritonitis). What does it mean when it's dark green?
    And with the milk thistle, did you find a liquid form of it? What dosage are you giving her? Maybe I should give it to my hen just in case she does have a liver problem, or is it not necessarily something you would give unless required?
    Also, I was thinking of giving her a multivitamin liquid just to replenish the lack of vitamins and minerals in her blood. Would a children's oral multivitamin liquid be appropriate?
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Green could mean infection, starvation or both. Do you want to learn how to tube feed? I can teach you.

    -Kathy
     
  8. zivaC

    zivaC Out Of The Brooder

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    @casportpony Oh yes please I would love to learn how to tube feed, I really appreciate that!
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Read this:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding

    Try to find a size 18 French catheter tube and 60ml catheter tip syringe (you could also use a piece of aquarium air line), Kaytee Baby Bird Food and a digital kitchen scale to weigh you bird with. Once you have the set-up I can give you step-by-step instructions here or on the phone.

    -kathy
     
  10. zivaC

    zivaC Out Of The Brooder

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    @casportpony I thank you for your advice and for the links you sent they were really helpful. Thankfully Babushka has started to regain her appetite slowly and is starting to eat more with my help. At this point she won't be needing the tube feeding, however if her condition was to deteriorate again I will seek your advice (which was truly very informative!).

    Thanks so much once again Kathy!
     

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