Test Came Back Negative for Marek’s - Still has trouble ealking


Oct 11, 2017
Springfield, Oregon
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

She arrived on my doorstep 2 weeks ago from a chicken friend that asked me to help. She is now 13 weeks old - duccle mix

2) What is the behavior, exactly.

tends to have right leg either extended back or bent near her body. There also seems to be this weird whistle and clicking when she breathes - almost as if she is leaking air.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

She had a super bad case of coccidiosis when she showed up. Worst I’ve ever seen. I treated twice with endocox. I figured she wasn’t moving due to her weakness but now she is stronger but still is having issues with her leg. She has now been with me for 3 weeks.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?


5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

she did arrive with a bubble underneath her skin underneath her right shoulder. it is gone now. It was on the same side as the lame leg.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

Her appetite and drinking has been great since the endocox treatment. She is getting grower feed. Water contains selenium, vit E, poly (without iron), and 2-4 drops of Cbd vía beak

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.


9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

I have tried the splayed leg treatment but she won’t move when she has that on. When I do PT with her, I can feel her right leg have some strength but her left is definitely stronger. If I position her right leg correctly, she can balance on her hocks but is unable to take any steps.

i sent a sample to a lab out in Texas and confirmed it is not Marek’s. I realize a false negative is possible but I’m going with the assumption it’s negative.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

she has an appointment on the 23rd to see a vet. I am wondering if it is a vitamin deficiency due to the coccidiosis, how long it would take to see some sort of improvement.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

Her feat are hard to take pics of because they’re so feathery and cute. The pics are after a bath. One leg looks bigger than the other but I’m not sure if this is due to an injury or what

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use.
She currently has a large chunk of old carpet so she has good footing

just wanted to see if anyone out there has seen this before. I’ll update back on the 23rd after we’ve seen the vet.


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It is possible that she has a leg bone deformity, slipped tendon, or a vitmain/mineral deficiency. Those can be difficult to diagnose, and there may not be a lot you can do about them except to feed a balanced diet with the proper calcium/phosphorus/vitamin D ratio.

Slipped tendons can be common and may cause a flatness, swelling and scab on the hock joint. Leg bone deformities include varus and valgus deformity, TD or tibial dyschondroplasia, and rotated tibia. Varus valgus can happen in one or both legs, and when it happens in both, the legs can be bowed or knock kneed in appearance. Here is some reading about those:


Clicking can be due to some respiratory or heart problem. I have seen it in a chick with a leaking air sac. I am not sure that you will able to get a diagnosis, but if you do see the vet, take several fresh droppings combined in a freezer bag for a fecal float. If the pullet cannot get around well enough to get food and water, it may have a hard time surviving.
I agree with Eggcessive and would like to add that Mycoplasma Synoviae (MS) might be a possibility. I thought about gout, but she is too young to have gout since it happens mostly in older birds.
I suspect a ruptured air sac as well and it should heal in time.
If she had a super bad case of coccidiosis, it should be followed up with a sulfa antibiotic if you can get a vet to prescribe it. Bacteria often forms in the intestines from the inflammation coccidia can cause.

As for the leg issue, it does sound like Mycoplasma synoviae. You might want to read through my thread I currently have going https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...update-now-another-pullet-going-lame.1432738/ as I may be dealing with this disease myself, sort of floundering around in the dark, as is often the case when trying to treat leg paralysis.
I wanted to do an update.

the vet gave her a clean bill of Health basically. The X-rays showed nothing abnormal. She gave me some Meloxicam to give to her once a day for 3
Weeks. It’s been about a week now and im not sure if it’s helping or not.

she is currently getting poly without iron, Cbd pet tincture, selenium, and vitamin E on her beak. Her water has rooster booster, amino acids, and n-acetyl l cysteine. She is on medicated grower feed.

she is starting to use her legs more but they are still wobbly.Oddly enough, her right leg was the weak one and then suddenly two days ago, her left leg is now the weak one. We continue to do PT both in and out of the water.

ill read your thread about MS. I don’t feel comfortable giving shots but I know that some antibiotics aren’t that great when given via water.

im just hoping she continues to get better
So the newest symptom is her flipping herself over. She is using both legs a bit more but tends to rely on her right one. Her left continues to be drawn up underneath her. X-rays showed nothing out of ordinary according to the vet.


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I don’t have any more ideas or suggestions. Does the vet agree with using the cbd oil and other meds? I hope that she gets better. Hopefully, she will be able to get around normally to get enough food and water.
I wanted to give a quick update - I took petunia to another vet who I had worked with in the past who is an hour away. They took some better X-rays and Informed me that her back looked a bit kinked. The vet assumed some sort of injury. She did state that there wasn’t evidence of new bone which would happen if it was broken. It doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily broken...it just means it may not be showing signs of healing. It could also be a soft tissue injury but it’s clear that her back is just not where it should be. The vet said her hip bones were smaller than she would expect them to be.

the vet recommended PT and even acupuncture. There is a local place that does animal chiropractic care too that may be beneficial for her. We’re going to continue to give her the gabapentin and try to keep her in that chicken sling to restrict movement. Although she hates that thing and I’ve had to wrap her in there so she doesn’t launch herself out of it.

now that we have at least something to work with, I don’t feel so much in the dark. Although it’s an uphill battle, I’ll continue to do what I can for her.


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