Swollen feet and ankles

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cheep cheep, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi. One of my hens has swollen feet and ankles. I'd say her claws are more than twice their usual size. She has yellow skin normally but the sides are now pink and they feel very warm. She has stopped roosting, preferring to sleep in the nesting box so obviously she is feeling pain. At the moment she is in the tail end of her molt and we have been battling against red mite all summer. I noticed a few days ago that her skin had gone reddish with what looked like little red veins visible, had the 'squits' and hadn't been eating much either so had lost condition. i took her to the vet who said it was a reaction to the mites and gave me medication to treat her and the other hens too. She also gave her an antibiotic injection just to cover all bases. Nothing much has changed since then apart from her feet becoming more swollen, although for a couple of days her poo was less watery but is now just as bad again. The vet didn't really have anything to say about her feet. I know in humans water retention can be due to heart and kidney problems. I once had a hen that died from kidney cancer, which is apparently quite common in hens but she didn't have any of these symptoms. Has anyone come across this before?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Some things that can cause leg and foot swelling are scaly leg mites, mycoplasma synovitis (MS,) articular gout, or a bacterial infection in the bones such as staph or E.coli. With mycoplasma synoviae, there can be a mild respiratory infection or joint involvement. Besides the ankles and feet, there may be swelling of the hock tendons or elbows. Scaly leg mite takes many weeks to get under control with treating your coop, and with applying an oil to the scales of the legs to smother the mites. Here is some info to read about gout and MS:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/232/gout
    http://en.engormix.com/MA-poultry-i.../avian-gout-causes-treatment-t1246/165-p0.htm
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...nfection_in_poultry_infectious_synovitis.html
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  3. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi. Thanks for replying. I've read your links and done some further reading too. Its hard to say if any of your suggestions apply because she doesn't have all the symptoms. I'm hoping to get an appointment for her at the vets again tomorrow and have taken notes to show her. Still find it odd that she didn't think anything of the hen's swollen, pink and overly warm feet when I last took the hen in. I read somewhere in the literature (can't find it again though) that certain contaminants can cause problems with the kidneys which in turn can lead to gout. I'm wondering if all the treatments I have been using for a prolonged period of time by trying to get on top of the red mites might have something to do with it, although having said that I haven't noticed any swellings on the others. :(
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Just curious; what breed is she?
     
  5. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

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    Exchequer, got her last summer at pol so she is about 18 months old.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    An exchequer leghorn? Those are pretty, and look like my anconas. Here is an excerpt from the engormix link above, and mycotoxins are fungi and mold:


    CAUSES OF GOUT

    The causes of gout are many as kidney damage occurs due to multietiological factors. These causes can be broadly categorized as:

    • Nutritional and metabolic causes
    • Infectious causes
    • Other causes

    NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC CAUSES:

    1. Excess dietary calcium with low available phosphorus results in precipitation of calcium-sodium-urate crystals. High levels of vitamin D3 can also increase calcium absorption from the gut which can favour formation and deposition of urate crystals.
    2. Excessive use of sodium bicarbonate when used to combat heat stress to improve egg shell quality in layers. This alkalinity of urine favours kidney stone formation.
    3. Prolonged vitamin A deficiency causes sloughing of tubular epithelium and subsequent blockade resulting in accumulation of urates in the kidney. However, incidence of gout due to vitamin A deficiency is least under field conditions.
    4. Gout due to sodium intoxication is seen in younger birds when the sodium levels exceed 0.4% in water and 0.8% in feed. This generally happens when fish meal is used in the diet (even with normal salt content), since fish meal is rich in salt content. Total content of sodium chloride in feed should not exceed 0.3%.
    5. Feed containing more than 30% of protein causes uric acid production which in turn creates an excretory load on kidneys. At the same time the presence of sulphates decreases calcium resorption causing excessive calcium secretion through urine. This condition favours gout.
    6. Water deprivation leads to concentration of uric acid and other minerals in the blood and later in the kidneys. Water deprivation especially in the summer is dangerous. This can happen during transportation of birds or due to blockage of nipples, inadequate number of waterers, extra height of water lines, overcrowding, water withholding for long durations during vaccination etc.
    7. Hard water with higher salt content is also a load on the kidneys.

    OTHER CAUSES:

    Various chemicals and toxins are involved in kidney damage as;

    1. MYCOTOXINS: Mycotoxins are the most common cause of kidney damage and among mycotoxins citrinin, ochratoxin and oosporin are important. The combination of ochratoxins with aflatoxin is found to be more dangerous. Because of kidney damage uric acid excretion is reduced resulting in accumulation of uric acid in the body.
    2. ANTIBIOTICS: Certain antibiotics like gentamycin, sulphonamides and nitrofurosones are known to cause renal damage especially in young chicks. The drugs which get excreted through the kidneys have their own imbalancing effect on pH and renal metabolism.
    3. DISINFECTANTS: Disinfectants like phenol and cresol if used erroneously cause residual toxicity.
    4. CHEMICALS: Chemicals like copper sulphate used in water results in water refusal, dehydration and gout.
     
  7. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes that's right, and just remembered, we actually got her as a grower the day she left the heat lamp and was ready to go outside and not at pol. She had really bright yellow legs and looked like she was wearing yellow tights they were so bright. She is quite an aggressive hen and was responsible for causing the death of one of my pet rabbits. That breed is supposed to lay large, white eggs prolifically. We've had 3 small beige eggs from her and then she decided she'd rather be a 'cockerel' and stopped laying and started crowing!! We had 8 hens at the time and no cock.

    Having read your info it doesn't really fit the bill either. I buy layers pellets to provide a healthy balanced diet and layers mash too. This is supplemented by their own foraging, as they are free range, plus occasional treats of meal worms or raisins or other fresh fruits and greens. Its the same diet I have used for years and this has never happened before. I just don't understand it. Ever since moving here 3 years ago we have had no end of problems with our pets leading to eight of them dying of which 5 were hens. Apart from 2 of the hens non have died from the same thing. The vet thought the redness of her body skin was down to a reaction to the red mites. Do you think it could be the same for the feet, although they are swollen and nowhere else is?
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It's really hard to tell, but if she has irritation from the red mites, then it may be from that. MS could be suspected if she has swelling of the hocks, or lays down a lot which can cause a blister or sore on the breast bone. A blood test or necropsy would be the only way to diagnose that. Could you post a picture of her legs just for educational purposes here? What are you doing for the red mites as far as dusting or medicating?
     
  9. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

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    She does lie down more than she used to and I have noticed almost scab like area of skin that when touched fall off very easily. There is no sign of sores as in no liquid just the odd dried skin 'scab'. With regards to treating for red mites we have always had a regime of dusting even though they didn't have mites that we could tell but since noticing that there was a red mite problem we bought a different type of dusting powder. The vet gave us eprinex drops but they didn't seem to do any good either. After completing some research we started putting the dusting powder in the bedding and places where they went to dust bath, used a solution of 'Stop Red Mite' to add to their drinking water and found a spray for actually spraying the hens with which seems more thorough than the dusting powder. We also tried 2 different brands of spray to treat their houses with. We even totally dismantled the houses and removed them from the chicken area so that we could make sure we were able to spray into all the nooks and crannies. As this was over the summer we did this for a couple of months so we could retreat them to catch any new egg cycles and the hens were quite happy and safe at night on perches we installed in their secure coop area. When we reassembled the houses we used a sealant on every joint to make sure there were no cracks for mites to go back in to. They had bark chippings in the coop which we also dug out and removed from our grounds in case that had become infested too and treated all the posts and boards in the structure of the coop. Despite all of this the mites have started to return. I go out each night with a torch to search for them. Some nights I don't see any and other nights I might find a few which I take great delight in squashing! We are still following all these measures. Although they are still present its nowhere near as bad as it was but I wont be happy until they are totally eradicated. I think the next step is to buy a new house and site it else where for a few months. I think the eggs can survive for 6 months although some say they lie dormant until a host is available again no matter how long that takes. What do you think?

    Today I have started to syringe feed little Lottie which she didn't seem to mind at all. She is painfully thin now. Its interesting that MS has been suggested by a couple of forum members. We had a hen with MS who just a few weeks ago died aged 6yrs. She had already been infected when we bought her although we didn't realize it and we've nursed her all that time. She had respiratory problems but no gout. Lottie doesn't have any respiratory problems. Today I noticed new swellings just a bit lower than the elbow joint, about pea sized, one on each leg. Is she going to die?

    I wouldn't have a clue how to upload any photographs and only have my mobile phone with which to take photos.
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    There's your answer: MS.
     

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