trouble walking/standing, older hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ikhaya, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. ikhaya

    ikhaya Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2008
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    I have a buff orpington hen, 4 1/2 years old, with a bum leg (she hatched that way, no toes on one leg). She has always done fine until about 5 days ago. I thought our single digit temperatures got to her so I brought her in. She was off balance and having trouble with her legs. It seems that she does not have adequate circulation to her legs, as they are cold to the touch. She seems to be getting worse. The leg with toes is curled and she can not get her legs underneath herself. She seems to be swollen up and as if her swollen lower abdomen is pushing her legs out to her sides. I have given her a bath and have her in the house next to the fire where she is warm. She is sleeping more than usual, but her eating habits seem normal and she has a good appetite. Her elimination is normal also. She has not laid eggs for about a year now but I wondered about her being egg bound. I'm not sure what these signs and symptoms mean. Any guidance would be appreciated. I am not afraid of vetting on my own and if I know what is going on or what I need to do am confident in my abilities. However, I've no clue what's going on here, I've not seen anything like this before. I am also not opposed to taking her in to the avian vet if I need to. Thank you for any help/advice you have to offer. Sincerely, Pamela
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Is there any frost bite on the good foot? What about any scabs that could be bumble foot? Swollen body? Does she have ascities (caused often by heart and liver failure)?
     
  3. ikhaya

    ikhaya Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2008
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    No frost bite. Not sure about heart and liver failure. I will look it up to learn more. If she is in failure...will she suffer long? Is it best to euthanize?
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    she may have become an internal layer... ascites can be secondary to that or as previously mentioned, to heart and liver problems...
    The cold will exacerbate ascites, so keep her in a temp stable (and warm)environment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  5. ikhaya

    ikhaya Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2008
    KS
    looking at your links and information. Should I be getting her in to the avian vet? Is it something I can treat at home? Thanks again for all your help! Pamela
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You can try to take her to an avian vet but most have experienced that they don't really know what to do with chickens. Not much you can do with internal layers short of a hysterectomy if you can afford that, and not much you can do about heart and/or liver failure.

    My birds are utility/pet, so when I get a non "untouchable" that goes way ward, I euthanize.
     
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    An avian specialist or a vet that treats parrots will know about ascites and also internal layer condition... if your bird is a beloved pet and you need time to say goodbye, draining the ascites (which is fluid) will gain you some time...
    These are but guesses we are giving you and a good vet who is acquainted with birds and willing to treat chickens (and also knows a bit about chickens if your lucky) is a very rare thing indeed as previously mentioned... you will need one however if it is ascites and needs draining.
    There were a couple members who had birds that lived a few years with this condition (but had learned from their vet to do the draining themselves)...if internal layer condition is causing the ascites, then their is no cure but an operation which is very pricey.... it is possible though and has been done (See the case studies section in the DISEASE section on Penny's Surgery at my board)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I just wanted to add:
    No one will blame or think any less of you if you decide not to go to the vet... good competant avian vets who are also willing to treat even a PET chicken are few and far between and not everyones bird is a pet.
     
  9. ikhaya

    ikhaya Out Of The Brooder

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    This girl is special. She is the one in my picture that you see when I post. I have an appointment with Dr. Romain up in Olathe on Wednesday. He is fabulous. I know how hard it is to find an avian vet that will work on chickens...he not only is willing to help us out with the chickens, but has talked me through bumble foot lancing before over the phone. He's one in a million! He has actually seen this special girl once before when she was about a year old. She got her bum leg hung up and the circulation was cut off to her because she was hanging from it on the perch when we found her in the morning. That funny leg gets caught up in stuff other chickens never need worry about. Our coop is bum leg proof now! I don't know what will be decided...but we need to know first what it is, and second what the cost is going to be. She should have another 3 or 4 years left if we can get her right. I'm OK with spending a little money on a special friend. Thanks for the guidance. I'll let you know what I learn. Pamela

    By the way, since having a bath she seems to be feeling better. She is standing now and she hasn't been able to stand in the past 24 hours. ???
     
  10. ikhaya

    ikhaya Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2008
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    Just spoke to Dr on phone. He believes it is egg paritonitis and we are going in for the appointment Wednesday. He is not opposed to doing surgery if he believes she has a decent chance. We will learn more when he examins her.
    Pamela
     

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