Three year old hen limping.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Carolyn252, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Three year old hen limping for a few days now.

    She's a white splash Araucana.
    Today (Monday) she was barely able to put any weight on her right leg at all.

    I've been giving her one tetracycline (for birds) capsule in pedialyte
    every day for the past three days, as her sole source of fluid.

    She ate almost nothing on Sat & Sun. Today I gave her a very warm bath
    in water up to her neck. Small squirt of Dawn liquid dish soap in
    the tub.

    She LOVED it. I kept my hands gently on her the whole time to make
    sure that her head stayed above water for the entire half-hour bath.

    After I towel dried her, and then used the hair dryer on her, she slept
    for about ten minutes and then actually hobbled over to the food dish
    and ate a mix of Layena crumbles and scratch for about ten minutes. She had to stop and rest after every
    few mouthfuls, but she kept at it.

    Three days ago, she stopped producing normal poops and instead a thin, BRIGHT
    yellow frothy liquid came out instead. NOT egg yolk. Wrong kind of yellow for yolk.

    She's never been given deworming meds & I've ordered Wazine & Valbazine
    online. Delivery should be in another day or two.

    I did indeed see an actual live thin white worm in a normal poop of hers
    about a month ago. But I did nothing about it.

    I'm hoping that deworming her now, followed by some probiotics (yogurt,
    etc.) & scrambled eggs & canned seafood in her Layena crumbles will
    restore her strength and help to heal that limb problem.

    I've examined her very extensively and except for what appears to be a
    tiny callus on the center of her right foot's "palm," I cannot find any
    sores, bruises, lesions, or dislocations.

    I can move all of her leg & foot joints easily and smoothly with no
    reaction of any kind from her. I can press quite strongly on the
    "callus" and she doesn't flinch at all.

    She hasn't produced any eggs in about two months. First because of a
    heavy moult, & now because of decreased daylight hours. Her feathers have
    all grown back in full and beautiful. Her eyes are bright. No mites or lice.

    Her coop and run are pine shavings and food grade DE over a dirt floor.

    Since the moult began, I've been giving her some 30% protein kitten food every
    day, but she rarely eats it. I think the pieces are just too big for her.

    Her best friend, a black Marans hen, eats the kitten food with gusto.

    Since the time that the limp began, instead of sleeping next to her Marans best buddy,
    she's taken to sleeping by herself in the nest box. I put a fresh layer of paper toweling
    in there, on top of the shavings, so her night poops can be removed easily in the morning.

    There is some orange colored wet staining to the paper towels in the morning. Doesn't look
    anything like blood. Today I didn't see any poop from her at all. Not a regular poop; not a
    Bright Yellow discharge either. No doubt because she's not been eating.

    But, as I said above, she did finally eat something this afternoon after her tub bath.
    (I had tried using a feeding syringe for pets to get her to eat some baby food of sweet potatoe puree,
    but she refused to give it a try. I did get some water/antibiotic into her that way though.)

    I can't feel any egg stuck in her rear. Both legs feel the same in shape, size, and density.

    It's almost like she's lost feeling in the leg, because sometimes she just collapses and falls over if she
    isn't quick enough in getting her good leg under her.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I'm sorry you're having some trouble.

    Here is a link to the poop chart. It might help you identify what you are dealing with, as far as the poop goes: http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    I
    have read that once you actually see a worm in the poop, that there is an infestation, so it's good that you plan to worm her.

    The "callous" on the bottom of her foot may be bumblefoot and that may be why she is limping. If you do a search for bumblefoot on here, you will find how to treat it. It involves a bit of surgery, but some folks have posted some pretty easy to follow instructions with pictures.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i would stop with the antibiotic. What infection are you treating her for? Unless you have a diagnosis and are treating her with the correct antibiotic for the illness, then you are harming her with drugs that are wearing down her natural immunity. Please just give her clean fresh water. Limiting her to pedialyte with antibiotics in it is harmful.

    If you saw a worm in her poop a month ago, then you have a major infection and a chicken whose digestive system is being severely damaged. That is why she is doing poorly. The worms are eroding her intestines and not allowing her to receive nutrients. Worming her is critical.

    i don't understand why you are giving her daily baths.
     
  4. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Quote:Thanks for your kind reply.

    I only gave her the one bath. Not daily. Thought the warm soak might be appropriate if the problem was a sprained leg. Perhaps she landed badly coming down from the roost one morning and her leg was sprained. Also the bath would help if it was an eggbound issue that I was missing. The warm bath certainly couldn't hurt, so I thought it was worth doing.

    Also, just in case the spot on her foot was a tiny imbedded pebble, I thought the warm bath would soak and soften it and maybe it would allow the pebble to drop out. Or if there was an inflammation or infection under that spot, the warm soak would also be of some use.

    I'll take your advice and switch her back to plain fresh drinking water. If I don't see her drink, I'll try using the syringe and will gently squirt some water into her mouth a tiny bit at a time. I think dehydration has to be addressed. If I could give her an intravenous drip, I would. (But have neither the skill, nor the equipment, to do so.)
     
  5. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Yay Chicks! :

    I'm sorry you're having some trouble.

    Here is a link to the poop chart. It might help you identify what you are dealing with, as far as the poop goes: http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    I
    have read that once you actually see a worm in the poop, that there is an infestation, so it's good that you plan to worm her.

    The "callous" on the bottom of her foot may be bumblefoot and that may be why she is limping. If you do a search for bumblefoot on here, you will find how to treat it. It involves a bit of surgery, but some folks have posted some pretty easy to follow instructions with pictures.

    Good luck!

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    I've taken your advice and did a search on byc for bumblefoot and learned a lot. Especially liked the postings on surgery, and how to apply a vet dressing to the foot. The YouTube video was perfect. The callus on my hen's foot is quite possibly a bumblefoot symptom, however, there is no swelling, no tenderness, and the foot pad feels soft and I can't feel any sort of mass or growth inside the footpad.

    So now I'm thinking maybe it's Mareks Disease. No real idea about that being likely or not. Will go out to the coop in about an hour and see how she's doing today.​
     
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    31
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i wouldn't worry too much about the spot on her foot. Were it bumblefoot, you would be able to feel a knot underneath. She could have come down hard off the perch and sprained it, like you said. The only treatment for that would be to limit movement until it heals. i'm not sure about the orange colored staining from her poo could be. Wondering if the antibiotic and pedialyte could be causing that?

    i wouldn't think it was Marek's. You would see more neurological signs at this point. i think the main culprit are the worms. With a weakened immune system, it can open her up to other opportunistic infections, so you want to get that under control. i was just reading a thread by another member, and he said that Wazine (which is what i normally use) is losing it's punch, so he suggests valbazen or safeguard. i actually use Wazine for a day, wait 7-10 days, then use the ivermectin topical to catch all the worms. You may want to use the Wazine first, since it's fairly gentle, then do the valbazen 7-10 days later. Someone jump in here if they have a better suggestion.

    It sounds like you are doing everything else right and are being very conscientious in her care. i hope she's doing okay today.
     

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