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Sick pullet, any help appreciated!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by abserbean, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 17 week old pullet who is ill. We just returned from 12 days of vacation, and my pet sitter didn't notice anything wrong, so I'm not sure how long she has been sick. The biggest concern is that she has lost quite a bit of weight, she is significantly smaller than her hatch mates of the same age. She also doesn't want to stand up, but I am not sure if she is just really weak or if something is wrong with her legs. Her crop felt quite firm, so I massaged it a few times. I was able to get her to eat some shredded cheese, grapes, and some feed, appetite seems somewhat normal. She did poop after eating, poop was small but normal. She was wormed just before we left for vacation with safeguard, she hasn't started laying yet, and I don't feel anything in her pelvis. She is alert and awake, makes noises, and does get up and stretch. She does have a mild case of fowl pox, I checked her throat and it seems clear. She did not have this before we left. In addition to the weak legs and weight loss, she keeps clicking her beak, not something she normally did before. She had a wet sneeze also, but no smell around her face and breathing seems normal. She has been holding her wings out a little bit. I guess it could be cocci, although they were treated for cocci about four weeks ago (no signs, but two newly hatched chicks died suddenly, so I treated everyone in that pen.) I am a bit confused, and don't want to treat the wrong thing. With the weak legs, I was concerned for Mareks, really hoping it isn't this. Would an impacted/slow crop cause these symptoms? The not wanting to stand really worries me. Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Holding her wings out a little is a classic sign of being too hot. Chickens really suffer in summer heat, and can actually die if overheated, so between Florida and August, this is my first concern. Shad and a decent breeze (or a fan) are really necessities down here, plus of course plenty of fresh water.
    Since you had a sitter for a number of days, one wonders whether her water supply may have been less tha desirable -- especially if she is low on the pecking order and might have been kept away from the water at least part of the time. I think I would tackle this situation first by treating as if over heated. Personally, I would not be concerned about a few fowl pox lesions, espeically if there is no sign of them in the mouth or throat.

    The wet sneeze also concerns me, even without the bad smell, because other diseases such as MG have no odor. But if she is the only one sick, resp. illness would seem less likely.

    Sometimes it takes more than one round of Corid to stop cocci, or a little higher dose -- but the sneezing doesn't go with coddi. Also, typically they act as if they were cold, sitting huched over and fluffed up, and refuse food and drink.

    Of course this is all conjecture and guesswork, but hopefully it is somewhere useful to start.

    I hope you get this sorted out!
     
  3. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do think the sitter was letting their water run out, since when we got home all of the chickens, the rabbits, and the cat and dog had no water. I wasn't too happy about that, but with a 14 yr old pet sitter I guess that is what you get. But she is inside in quarantine, and is still holding the wings out a little even though we are in ac. She isn't super puffed up or tucking her head in, like with cocci, just the wings and the wobbly legs. I'm not concerned about the pox, my older girls had it about six months ago and it was super mild. She has two little pox, and two others out of seven pullets have a couple, but that is it. She honestly seems mostly starved, maybe either she had an impacted crop or the sitter wasn't feeding enough. She did eat fairly well, and I gave her nutri-drench to try and give her a boost. I have read that a nutrient imbalance can make them have difficulty with their legs, so maybe it will help. Really crossing my fingers that it isn't marecks or mg.
     
  4. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, all the other hens from her pen seem great. They are healthy, active, and seemed to double in size while we were gone! I would think that if it were mareks or MG that others would be showing symptoms, but maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part. She is just so much smaller. I need to get a digital food scale so I can monitor her weight. I have a small one, but I think she is too big for that. I am hoping it is just a dehydration/nutrition issue and we caught it in time. I will work on her crop again in the morning, and feed her some treats with her feed. Hoping for the best! I think if we had been gone even a day or two longer she would have been gone, she's that skinny.
     
  5. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning there is no real change. She did stand up to eat some shredded cheese and grapes, then laid back down. Her crop felt empty this morning. While standing, she was raising her left leg and "pedaling" it, like on a bicycle. She is still clicking her beak. Her wings aren't out as much, although she does seem a little overall puffy. Looks at me, makes normal noises, and had a small but normal looking poop. Anyone have any ideas? I guess I will treat for cocci just to be safe if there is no change, I'm really worried about her!
     
  6. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I checked the label for my nutri-drench, and don't see B vitamins listed, so I guess I will get some B vitamins for her and see if that helps. I did give a direct dose of corid just in case it is cocci, although I don't think it is. If it isn't a vitamin deficiency, than my best guess is mareks, but I sure hope not. I currently don't have any other sick birds, but from what I read they are all exposed if she has it.
     
  7. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Here is a video of her, you can see her pedaling her left leg, and then kind of flopping down. She is still eating on her own, and pooping normally. It's just the weak legs, specifically the left one. Any new thoughts? Hopefully someone will have an idea!
     
  8. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm pretty sure I am the only one reading this, but the updates make me feel better! She seems a little better this morning, she is still eating and pooping on her own, although not as much food as I would like to see her eat. She is standing on her own and takes a few steps, then lays back down. The left foot is still pedaling, but seems less than before. She is puffy when she lays down, I'm still treating for cocci. She almost looks like a broody hen, except for the pedaling leg and the fact that she hasn't even started laying yet. She isn't getting any worse, which is a relief. I am hoping it was just either cocci, a vitamin deficiency, or both. How long does it take for a chicken to recover from dehydration/vitamin def.?
     
  9. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here she is from this morning, you can see in the second pic how she is holding her left leg up. If I press up on the right foot she presses back, the left she does not. She can stand on it, so it isn't full paralysis, but she does seem to have some numbness/issues with it.
    [​IMG]
    She wanted to show off her fabulous beard! You can see the couple of pox in this pic.

    [​IMG]
    and here is her lame leg.
     
  10. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bumping in hopes that someone can help. She is the same, lying down for most of the day. She is still eating on her own, still not as much as I want. I took her outside for some sunshine, she walked around for about 1-2 mins than lay down. The left foot still pedals. She is still on corid water, due to her puffy appearance, and on nutridrench. I am giving her some yogurt and sardines for protein and B vitamins this evening, hoping she eats them. She is still pooping, but the poo looks pale green now. I hope her liver isn't stressed. Should I start her on antibiotics? I don't see any obvious signs of infection, but if she is going downhill than I'm willing to try anything. She is still vocal, but more quiet today. Poor chicky, I think she misses her flock mates. I don't have her under a heat lamp currently, b/c I was originally worried about dehydration or heat stroke, should I add a heat lamp?
     

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