torn tendon in lame cockerel....or what??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    Hi we have a Marans cross cockerel who is 8 months old. About 10 weeks ago, I found that he had turned up very lame, and had his toes curled in a ball on his left foot. His leg, and foot, were very sore to touch, but there was nothing to see, no injury, no bumblefoot. I put him in a small pen for about a month on forced rest, treated with baby aspirin twice a day. He made a slow recovery and after a month I put him in a bigger pen where he could move around and had a low roost. He continued to improve, his toes uncurled, and his limp was getting less. At six weeks, I decided to treat him with treatment strength Denagard on the chance that maybe he had MS, although I didn't notice any swelling or heat in his leg joints, AND we do treat with scheduled preventative Denagard. He did continue to steadily improve while on the treatment strength Denagard, maybe a little faster than before. At 8 weeks I did not see any limp at all, he appeared to be totally sound. At 8 1/2 weeks I let him out to rejoin the flock. He had no problem at all regaining his pecking order status (he's pretty big)..he had brief battles with two other roosters that I saw, and they were standoffs, at which point, peace resumed. He spent the entire day with the flock, with no sign of lameness. The following morning he had a bad limp. Two days later I was forced to re-confine him, as he was dead lame. His toes were curled in a ball again, and he had pain, heat, and some swelling in the shank of his leg, and SOME in the joint. I was confused for a while because of the curled toes, I originally though he was protecting his foot pad by curling his toes, but now I think that this is some kind of reflex action as a result of an injury to a muscle or tendon. But I'm just not sure. Again, there's nothing to see, the foot looks normal. He acts perfectly fine otherwise; healthy, crowing, good weight, always hungry, normal droppings. I just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this and what the outcome was. I hate to cull him if it will not heal, but I don't want to keep him in a pen by himself for the rest of his life, and currently I don't have any pullets that I want to put with him, and don't want to get any more just now. So, should I try a longer rest period? Try Denagard again? I'm not sure that soaking in Epsom salts will make much difference, but it might. Anyone have any thoughts? (surgery or vet is not an option, really).

    Oh, also...when I caught him a week ago it felt like he had a fever..his wattles and entire body were very warm, in addition to his leg...and I thought this was the case the first time he turned up lame, too.
     
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  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Maybe it's Marek's?

    I agree curled toes can simply be part of the reflex of the leg being pulled up/in.

    I personally would go ahead and cull. Repeat of the symptoms so soon after release back to the flock tell me there is an issue.

    Like you say... it's no life for him or you. :(

    Hope you get some better input. :fl
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    I don't think it's Marek's (although we did have another case of what was probably Marek's, last winter) because he has absolutely nothing else wrong. No neuro issues, no diarrhea, his color is excellent, his weight is excellent, his appetite is excellent, he acts absolutely in love with life, and he has not deteriorated at all in any other way, after all this time. I'm very reluctant to cull him for this reason. If anyone else has any other insight, please share. Thanks for the input, though...that's logical...I just don't want to, lol. I'd make a horrible farmer if I had to do it for a living. :rolleyes: :D
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    My Marek's case included EVERYTHING *looked* great... except not able to walk. I supported the bird for a very long time before deciding to cull... with NO degradation on the part of the bird and no diarrhea . ESPECIALLY not his appetite. :confused: I do think the tumors can increase and decrease in size... making the lameness come and go. No two animals or people will react the same way to disease... we ALL have different immune systems and strengths or weakness. If you saw Marek's in your flock last winter... they DO have/carry it, and it could rear it's ugly head at ANY time in ANY of your birds. Although if any were vaccinated they usually don't develop the tumors that cause the paralysis... even if they "have" it. :hmm

    You might be able to use a sling to help him stretch and try to support his own weight.. upload_2018-4-2_9-56-5.jpeg
    [​IMG]
    Just as examples.

    Also.. I recently found out you CAN test for Marek's in live birds... for not too much cash. Do his pupils look normal to you? What are you feeding?

    If you wanna know the whole truth... I suggest that you have a necropsy done if he does pass or your decide the hospital ward is NO life for someone who loves it...

    https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/how-to-send-a-bird-for-a-necropsy-pictures.799747/

    Anyways... I hope you are right! :fl

    What is Denagard... and WHY do you treat with it on a schedule? :confused:

    A visit to my vet is $45... and they can confirm or rule out injuries a lot better than we can. I would try to find the $ before keeping him in cage the next 3 months... but I understand that is ME... and we all have different thought processes, coping skills, and other issues that may or may not hamper us. Hang in there, I'm sure you are doing your best. :hugs
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    Hi. We have a very good vet and he's very reasonable with the chickens...but that would probably be my next to last resort in this case.

    Denagard is used as a preventative for Mycoplasma (MG/ MS). If you've had Mycoplasma in your flock, or even if you haven't, it's a good thing to have, as it's very effective as a preventative.

    I think I've said this before, but I am not a fan of the USDA here in Ohio. When we first got chickens in 2005, the USDA was very good, and very supportive, and we used them a couple of times for necropsies. Now, though, they seem to feel that backyard chicken flocks are taboo (at least that's the impression that I got last time I was there). The last time I had a necropsy done there, 8 or 9 years ago, they terrified me by telling me all the things it COULD be...and that I shouldn't move any chickens, etc. WEll, it was Capillary worms, so all that terror was for nothing. Plus, they charge a lot of money for a necropsy on a chicken...it's ridiculous. Back then it was $60.00 for starters, plus additional money for special testing, etc, and you have to have a referral from a vet, AND last time they wouldn't release the results to ME...only to our vet. I don't know what they charge now.

    That's interesting that you've had Marek's cases like that, that don't show any symptoms. In my experience, they ALWAYS have a huge appetite when they get that disease..and it has started out as just weakness (as it did in our hen last winter) but then other symptoms show themselves over time. We've had a couple of cases, and Marek's is everywhere....so yeah, I'm sure we've been exposed to it, several times. His eyes look fine and normal. I've used slings before, but I don't think he really needs one. But thanks for all the information, especially about your experience. Was yours able to walk at all?

    With our hen last winter, if was very frustrating as we DID take her to the vet. She was loaded with cocci, and had a few worms, so we treated her (and the flock) for cocci, AND dewormed, and the vet was sure that's what it was..but then her vision started to fail, which we originally attributed to poor vitamin A absorption (it probably wasn't that at all)...and then she gradually lost use of her legs over a period of a couple of months. I finally concluded that considering the loss of vision and gradual loss of mobility, that it had been Marek's after all, and the Cocci burden was a result of her already compromised immune system. She too had excellent appetite all the way up to the very end, did not lose weight, and was pretty energetic and strong, otherwise. So just saying...taking her to the vet didn't do a whole lot for her. Is the Marek's live test common? What's the approximate cost?
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would cull him and get a necropsy and testing for Mareks. Have you had any tested before for Mareks in Ohio? I have not seen or heard of cases here in the southernmost part of the state so far.
     
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  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    He wouldn't have pain , heat, and swelling (sensitive to touch type pain) with Marek's though. At least, I've never seen that. With Marek's, there are no external clues at all. He DOES have pain, swelling, and heat in the leg...which can be a symptom of MS. That's why we tried the Denagard.
     
  8. Ursuline Chick

    Ursuline Chick Crossing the Road

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    One of our girls turned up with a limp, which we caught right away, as we are Rn's decided to put her in a spot away from the others and monitor for a couple of months,assuming it was a tendon problem. (she had no other symptoms) About 5 weeks into her "hospitalization" my husband went out to feed her and give her fresh water as he was doing every morning and came back in the house saying Mable sounds like she is crying. Went out and she sounded so sad, but appeared to be doing better so we let her out. She did fine, rejoined the flock without any problem. However 10 weeks and fever, I don't know, not sure that sounds like pulled tendon! Don't know your flock, but you do have an obligation to them as well. Hope I don't sound harsh, My heart goes out to you to have to make this kind of decision. Hope and pray, whatever you decide is the best for your flock. Let us know how things turn out, please. We all care about our chicken friends and their flocks. Good luck :hugs
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Yes, it's true that very often vets can't figure out how to help either. I just thought in the case of a slipped tendon that you are suspecting.. which I saw on a chick recently... the vet showed them how to put the tendon back in place and wrap to support it. They could physically feel the tendon out of place. Maybe you could look ups some videos on that to see if it's something you can do. Because (I'm brainstorming with you here) although a pulled something would heal with rest and maybe be re injured from activity, seems like a slipped something won't just magically fall back into place?

    The Marek's test was not too pricey (20ish) but sounded difficult to achieve without the ability to draw blood into the correct vial. If I come across the link, I will try and post it back for you. Though I don't now I would waste time testing if I KNEW I had Marek's in my flock.

    Wow, sorry those people fear mongered you. In Ca, it's actually the people at UC Davis that we deal with. I don't think they are related to the USDA and that is just where the list of poultry labs came from. Is this the location you had that experience with?

    Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Ohio Department of Agriculture 8995 East Main St., Bldg. # 6 Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-3342 Phone: 614-728-6220

    I guess it does have department of ag in the name.

    Also I didn't realize he was actively having pain.
     
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  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    So is it an anti biotic?

    Using the SAME anti biotic over and over to "prevent" the same illness will eventually build a resistance to that drug. I would highly suggest that you consider switching up your drug of choice to combat the MS in your flock... if that is an option. I'm not very familiar with stuff yet. And you seem fairly bright. I hope you will consider NOT treating when you don't need to just because it's "scheduled". Thank you for sharing this opportunity to learn with me. :thumbsup

    After some more reading it sounds very much like it could be caused by your MS... and sounds painful... maybe consider treating with a different or more effective med. I personally would still cull. If a chicken is in enough pain to show it... that's way too much, I think. :( And I have some pain that I don't have to be moving for it to be throbbing and hurting. It's a really tough choice either way. :barnie Know a bird has pain but gets to live. Or cull so it isn't in pain. :hmm Depends on the level of pain and the QUALITY of life. Not just his but maybe yours. You've already showed tremendous desire and will to take care of him! :highfive: It's an especially difficult choice when you've worked so hard to help them heal. Do you happen to be feeding him "layer"? Have you tried any vitamin supplements already?

    Yes, I would have described the appetite in my 9 week old chick that suddenly couldn't walk as veracious. Curios to how old was your hen when she started to lose her sight? Could you tell a visual difference in the eyes... did the pupils change shape or the iris change color that you can remember?

    Hope he feels better. Sorry I can't be more help. :fl
     
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