Swollen hock on young chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bens, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. bens

    bens In the Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2014
    A week ago we picked up some sexlink pullets from a small local farm. Looks like a good operation. Got four that all seem healthy and have started laying. He also gave us a freebie that wasn't growing and he didn't know why. It's about a fourth the size of the rest. He said what they were getting from a breeder are all supposed to be sexlinks, but they had a couple like this that either have a problem or is maybe a bantam? So I figured one potential freeloader was okay, whatever the reason. And I have a three year old daughter so this was going to be her little chicken. Then I noticed this swollen lump on her hock. As far as I can tell, she's walking on it normally. It doesn't feel hot at all. She's eating and pooping.

    I've read about abcesses and I'm prepared to lance it if that's what it is. But aren't they generally hot or at least warm to the touch if it's infected? Almost seems more like a tumor or something, but I don't have any experience with that so I'm IMG_20180313_175037555.jpg kind of guessing.
     
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I'm a bit puzzled by that lump. Is it hard or soft? Chickens with leg bone deformities can have red bumps on the outside of the hock, but they don't walk normally. She might have suffered an injury or possibly an abscess. Hopefully others will chime in. Is either ankle joint or the opposite hock joint swollen?
     
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  3. bens

    bens In the Brooder

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    Just went to feel it again and when I squeezed it a little this time some pus came out. So I guess I need to get in there.
     
  4. bens

    bens In the Brooder

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    Definitely an abcess of some sort, just drained the whole thing of thick whitish pus. Made a little incision, gently squeezed it all out, irrigated it with benzoil peroxide, smeared some neosporin on it, put some gauze on it and a little vet wrap on top. Hopefully I got all that right from the other posts I've read.

    Post procedure. See the lumpy looking thing at the top of where the bag is? Is that a normal hock joint? I guess I need to look at one of the big ones in the daylight, I've never studied one very close.
    IMG_20180314_200457469.jpg

    The other side doesn't look as bad, but it does look like it's maybe got a little pocket starting. I'll be keeping an eye on it. This is before I drained it. The bad one is on the right, her left. The other side looks weird to me too, but again I don't know. Other thing I've also noticed is that she appears to be missing her claws on her outside toes on both feet. Maybe an injury and a source for the infection? The toe is just kind of black on the tip with no claw.
    IMG_20180314_195517296.jpg

    Another angle. This is her right leg, the 'good' one, from the inside.
    IMG_20180314_201318970.jpg

    She seems in good spirits. She's isolated in the garage so hopefully she doesn't get too lonely.
    IMG_20180314_201536363.jpg
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Glad you were able to drain the abscess. Hopefully, it was just from a peck or injury, and not something more serious, such as mycoplasma synovitis or a staphylococcal infection. There is some black on the toes, and the missing toenails seem suspicious of frostbite or an infection. Will the black come off in case it is poo? Thanks for the pictures.
     
  6. bens

    bens In the Brooder

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    Well we drained the abcess twice, and once one on the other leg. That one was smaller, but still had some pus in it. Be she's been good for a couple weeks now, nothing filling up again. Seems healthy enough so I guess we got it taken care of, whatever it was.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Thank you for the update. If you lose anyone, or see other swollen joints, a necropsy by your state vet could get an answer whether or not this was mycoplasma synovitis. MS is a lifelong chronic disease.

    I am glad to hear that she is doing well.
     
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