Sick turkey - trouble walking

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rbrink21, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. rbrink21

    rbrink21 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 4 yo blue slate tom who all of a sudden started having trouble walking - staggering and off balance. One day he was displaying and the next he could barely walk. He's eating and his feces looks normal. He's not laying down at all either. I'm not seeing any obvious injuries either. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could he have gotten into some strange food stuff like wild berries or something that had fermented?
     
  3. rbrink21

    rbrink21 Out Of The Brooder

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    No, the yard is clean - nothing fermenting or rotting and we keep everything toxic out of the yard.
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I'm thinking but I have no idea what could be wrong. My thoughts are the same as Celie.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    This site might be helpful: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/

    Click on: `Avian Encephalomyelitis (tremor)', compare list of signs/symptoms. Not matching? scroll to bottom of page. There will be a list of associated diseases/conditions with similar signs/symptom sets - go back to list and compare/add/discard each of those & like diseases (pretty much performing an `exam' so as to make a differential diagnosis Rule-Out/In)..

    Observe for feed/water intake, any `twisting/rigid posturing of the neck/head. Post shots of the guy if possible (might help).

    Please post up any additional signs, any other changes in severity of symptoms or any improvement - never know what additional info might lead to answer(s).

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    :thumbsup
     
  7. rbrink21

    rbrink21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the link! I'm at work so I'll have to post a photo later. One thing I noticed yesterday is that he's been stomping one of his feet regularly, almost like it's fallen asleep and he's trying to get feeling back in it. He's also not putting all his weight down on that one foot. This leg feels normal, no broken bones, no warm spots, but he doesn't like me touching it (he's not such a fan of being handled in general though).

    He doesn't have any tremors, is alert and is eating with gusto - though I'm finding he's not wanting to walk to his feed but when I put it in front of him he eats like he's starving. I've separated him into his own small pen so he can have closer access to his feed and water. I have not seen him drink, though. The water level in his bowl is going down but I don't know if that's because he's knocked some out or is actually drinking it.

    One thing I should note is that 2 months ago I switched him from an organic turkey feed to a non-organic gamebird feed (from the same mill). I talked to them yesterday about the feed differences and they said that the gamebird is formulated for chickens but just has a higher protein level, which makes me think he might have a vitamin deficiency. He's now back on the turkey feed and I've been adding chopped grass (we don't spray) to his diet, which he is loving. I'm going to try feeding him some vitamins today to see if that helps.

    Last Thursday is when he was the worst off. He improved a bit over the weekend - less off balance but still staggering - but has been holding steady since.
     
  8. rbrink21

    rbrink21 Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't have time to take a pic before it got dark but I was dismayed to find him in really bad shape when I got home from work. He was finally laying down but in the corner. He wouldn't eat either. I got him up on his feet and he just stood there but still refused to eat. I directly dosed him with some poultry Nutri-drench that I picked up and I'm hoping that will at least stimulate his appetite.
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Good idea on the vitamins. As was mentioned, most common insult leading to `drunken' gait, etc. is tainted feed/fungus (was it rainy & warm during wk. prior to onset? - Wild birds have access to water bowl - poop in it)? Some lines of turkeys (lot of inbreeding - pretty feathers & not so nice expression of otherwise recessive nastiness) are more prone to `strokes', than others. Turkeys have been known to fly up and strike roosts/ceilings/etc. with their heads - closed skull injuries can result in ataxia/seizures/wry neck.

    Check droppings in A.M. - am hoping he'll be all right!
     
  10. rbrink21

    rbrink21 Out Of The Brooder

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    We've been unseasonably dry here (it rained yesterday for the first time since December) and we keep all feed inside only feeding a day's worth at a time. Although now that you mention it we recently started giving them a bit of scratch in the afternoon because it has been so cold lately. None of our other birds are having any issues. He was kind of a rescue turkey so there were some health issues with him when we got him about a year and a half ago and we don't know anything about his history. We took care of those issues right away (mostly parasites).

    He's actually never gotten up on a roost or even flown since we've had him. The only way I could think of him hurting himself is by falling off one of the hens when he was trying to mate.

    He is my favorite around here - a truly gentle soul and it would just break my heart to lose him. I really appreciate your help.
     

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