Swollen Ankle and Knee

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by purpletree23, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    I've looked all over this site and googled my hens symptoms but I've come up empty handed. Now I'm turning to my BYC friends for help.

    I have an 18 month old Speckled Sussex
    Eating and pooping is normal
    Walks and jumps on and off roost with no problems
    Eyes are clear and there are no other problems that I can see
    I've checked her for lice and mites and found none.
    Her coop is warm (they have a Sweeter Heater) they have plenty of crumbles and scratch and always have plenty of water and I use the deep litter method.

    Now for the problem. Her 'ankles' and 'knees' are swollen. They have been for the past 4 days. None of my other chickens are showing any signs of this. The only difference between her and my other girls is that she went through a hard molt in the Fall. She lost almost all of her feathers, her face became pale (normal) and she stopped laying. She has feathered out beautifully, is still pale and is not yet laying again.

    I looked through all of my new and old chicken books and nothing I've read describes what I am observing except in one old book from the 40's they talk about swelling of the joints in chickens that have gout. The chicken can't process the proteins properly because of kidney damage and the result is swollen joints. There is no know cure.

    Do you think that because she is not laying she has too much protein stored up?

    I look forward to your input.[​IMG]
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:The cold temps affect laying abilities. We've had record lows in the 20's and mine have practically stopped laying, some of mine have pale combs. You live way up north and it's much colder there, not to mention the snow. As far as the swollen ankles/knees, my first thought was that she might have jumped down from a high roost and sprained herself, which I would recommend seperating her for rest and relaxation, giving time for the legs to heal. But since she jumps off and on the roosts without difficulty, gout is a possibility. Scally leg mites could cause this also. Bumblefoot would be another reason if the infection has gone up her legs. Check the bottom of her feet and toes for bumblefoot. If you see the scabs and her footpads look swollen, you'll have to perform minor surgery...if this is what it is. I think if she couldnt process proteins properly because of kidney damage...you would see abnormal looking urine/urates in her poop or her poop would look abnormal generally speaking. I believe if there were kidney damage, she wouldnt eat anymore and become weak...organ failure takes them down in a hurry, you would be able to see this firsthand. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for taking the time to answer Humble. I've checked for bumblefoot and she does not have it. One of my other girls did have it and the surgery was a success. I've never heard about anything like this. I have a great country vet and I made an appointment for him to see her this morning. He doesn't charge much and it's worth the trip to know whats going on and I can report back so all of us crazy chicken people can learn.[​IMG]

    The cold temps haven't been a problem. Their coop is heated. I have 14 hens and I get between 7 and 10 eggs a day. Two of my girls went through a hard molt and should start laying in about a month. One is actually getting her color back and checking out the nest boxes again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  4. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I finally have a minute to report back. Brought my girl to the Veterinarian and she has gout. Both ankles and hocks. The reason is that I put my flock on a higher protein diet because of Winter. All of the other girls are fine because they have been laying steady and using up that extra protein but the one with the gout has not been laying since Fall because she molted and has not been laying. She now gets the regular feed and no more table scraps and meat. I give her shredded carrot instead.

    The Vet said the swelling might go down once she starts laying but isn't too optimistic. Just have to keep too much protein away so she doesn't get worse. She doesn't limp or seem uncomfortable or in pain but I'll keep a good eye on her.[​IMG]
     

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