Sick rooster, leg and neck injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ochochicas, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My super-sweet rooster is very sick this morning and can't lift his head. He has been going to roost at night, but I have not been able to observe the chickens as much as I normally do since our power has been out and it is dark when I get home from work (with no lights). Over the weekend I noticed he was walking with a little limp and his tail was a bit droopy, but he was running around eating just like normal.

    This morning he jumped/fell off the roost and just laid there unable to move. I brought him in the house. He can't stand, walk, or lift his head. I forced him to drink some electrolyte/vitamin water by putting a small amount in his beak with a syringe. He will swallow once, but after that just lets the water run out. I also cooked some corn and he'll eat two piece and then have to rest. I have to hold him up to swallow since he can't hold his own head up.

    Upon further examination, his left leg is enlarged and hard, while the right one seems to be tiny (normal??). He also has a large scab on the left leg/thigh. I am wondering if there might be some kind of infection or abscess in the leg that is making him sick. I am going to work on the leg after he's warmed up a bit.

    Should I give him some antibiotic like Tylan 50 in case it is an infection? He has not lost any weight. I weighed him 3 weeks ago and he was 5.0 pounds. Today he is 5.2 pounds. He is alert and has no signs of respiratory illness or anything else. He's such a nice roo that I want to give him a fair chance for recovery before we make the decision to cull him.

    Thanks!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply Chooks. I really do appreciate you taking time to answer. The roo was so sick this morning I didn't think he would make it until I got home from the store with the medicine.

    He was actually alert this evening and was trying to eat. I took him out of his kennel and soaked the scab on his leg with novalssan solution. Further down his leg I found a second scab. It looks to me like he was attacked by something. We don't have snakes here, so I'm guessing a larger predator like a coyote or a dog. The two wounds on his leg are about 2 1/2 inches apart. I flushed the wounds, but they seem to be mostly healed and there is no apparently infection inside - no heat, no puss, no swelling or inflammation. I believe the wounds are more than a week old. The weather here has been so nasty that we have not been able to let the chickens out of the barn. He is not really missing feathers though, so I don't know what to think.

    Pics of the wound before and after soaking
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The yellow discoloration in the second photo is all bruising from whatever happened to him.

    Before I put him away, I checked him all over and found another huge scab under his neck. I soaked it in Novalssan, too, and huge piece of scab with feathers came off. It looked like serum from a wound had glued all his feathers together. I could not tell where the original wound was or if it punctured into his neck or crop anywhere. He's got so many feathers it was difficult to see everything. If I lay him on his side he seems to have trouble breathing, so I was trying to do everything with his standing up, which made it harder to see. I think getting the feathers freed up on his neck made Roo feel better.

    After all that (two hours later) Roo was getting fed up with his treatment. I have him .5 ml of tylan 50 SQ and them gave him another .5 ml orally after he ate his dinner. DH took him in to watch TV while I got his shower-room ready for the night. The plan is to keep him in the shower and give Tylan for 5 days. If anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears! :)

    [​IMG]
    Half way up while he eats dinner. Poor guy.
     
  4. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quick update. The rooster is not doing better this morning. He spent the whole night standing and will not eat or swallow anything this morning. I had to inject his Tylan and he didn't even put up a fight. I fear he has damage to his neck, crop or airway and we found it too late. He is finally laying down sleeping now. At this moment he's about the same as he was yesterday morning. I'm not sure why he was looking better last night. I was starting to get my hopes up, but now I think he's not going to make it.
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Part of the problem is that he is not eating enough food. Birds require a constant supply of food to fuel their high metabolic bodies,without this fuel they cannot regulate their body temp,and after a period of days their body starts to shut down and they die. Unfortunately more birds die from starvation/dehydration than from actual issues,this is just the way they are.

    You might want to consider tube feeding,although at this point it maybe too late for that,but if you believe he is not going to survive then you have nothing to lose. Make sure he is kept warm.
     
  6. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks ten chicks. He is in the house in the bathroom. He ate A LOT last night, so I was really hopeful that he was feeling better. I left him this morning with two bowls of food and a bowl of water. If he has not eaten, I will consider tubing him when I get home. He is probably dehydrated, but like I mentioned before he has not lost any weight so I'm pretty sure he has been eating up until Monday sometime.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Agree with what ten chicks said... Even if he doesn't appear to have lost weight, they can die of dehydration from incremental losses one could think insignificant. It's good he's eating now.

    Those pics show some serious wounds, I expect they're much deeper than they look. I would think a dog has grabbed him in its mouth perhaps, and the internal damage is far greater than what is showing.

    I don't believe the yellow is necessarily bruising, it may be, but birds tend to bruise green and it's not all around the wound site, but further out... It's quite possibly jaundice from the infection.

    It does sound like there is internal infection, even if you see nothing around the wound site it's quite likely there's deeper infection with a closed channel of entry between the scab and the infection itself.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update on my rooster. He is doing a bit better, but still not out of the woods. He gags whenever he tries to drink. After eating he seems to have respiratory distress and has to lay down to rest. I examined his neck again and can't find any external wounds. He does have a hard lump just behind his wattles that is about the size of a marble. Not sure if it is from the injury or something else. I started to suspect he might have wet fowl pox, but I have looked all over him and in his mouth and have never seen any lesions.
    Lump is in front of my fingers.
    [​IMG]

    I do not think the yellowing in his skin is jaundice. If it were it would be all over his body and not just located around his leg and neck. I'm certain it is old bruising from being attacked by a predator. Today is day 3 on Tylan. He is more alert and can walk and lift his head on his own. After I cleaned him up a bit more and put him in front of the stove to dry, he walked around at ate some corn and cucumbers. It's not a balanced diet, but at least he's eating something and getting some fluid in his system, too.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  10. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roo update! He just finished 5 days of Tylan injections. I'm happy to report he is doing better, although he is still not out of the woods. He's alert, walking around, starting to preen himself, and is eating a lot. He's pretty picky at this point and is only eating a few kinds of vegetables plus hard boiled eggs. He had some edema in his neck from the bite wounds and it seems that is making it difficult for him to swallow. He's not drinking on his own; hopefully he is getting enough fluid from his vegetables to keep him going a bit longer until he can drink. Last night I think he ate too much and couldn't get it all down into his crop. When he shook his head corn and egg came flying out of his mouth. We have to keep his meals small and let him do his own thing.

    Last night when I gave him his injection he tried to bite me, which is a good thing since he's obviously feeling good enough to bite. This morning was day 6 of Tylan and I'm probably going to stop for now since my work schedule is crazy this week and I can't keep up with the dosing schedule. Tylan is recommended for 5 - 7 days. I hope we've killed off enough of the infection so that he can do the rest on his own. Later this week I hope he's doing well enough so he can go outside for a bit of exercise and stimulation. I think getting him moving more will help get the edema and swelling out of his neck and leg.

    Meanwhile, our other rooster has taken over the flock and has become increasingly mean. He attacked both myself and DH over the weekend. We are going to move him into a separate coop with his hens. As soon as we have a replacement rooster the mean one will be culled. Funny how I'll go to the ends of the earth to save the rooster I like, but at the same time have no problem culling the nasty one.
     

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