Wobbly legs/no balance (29 mo. hen)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bibinko, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Bibinko

    Bibinko Out Of The Brooder

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    I've looked at other posts, but posting a new thread in hopes that I can get some more/new information. I'll do bullet points to be as brief as possible, but want to give the whole picture:

    - 29 month old hen, no problems up to now, super strong

    - 2+ weeks ago, we noticed her crop was not emptying, watery poop with strong ammonia smell - monitored for a week, and it was getting worse.

    - took her to vet, did blood test - results showed some sort of bacterial infection, along with other issues (SGOT levels high, etc.). Got antibiotics, anti-fungal, and advice to "see if the crop empties".

    - crop blockage did not improve - we opted for surgery to get it out. Surgery was routine, no issues.

    - about 6 days later, she showed sudden symptoms of loss of balance (both sides), not able to walk more than a few steps without losing balance.

    - took her back to vet, did another blood test, etc. - results showed even worse bacterial infection, but uric acid levels, etc. were normal. Basic functional tests (put her on her side/back, she pops up) showed that her brain is not compromised. Got more meds (a different antibiotic, and calcium shots)

    - **the advice from vet was that "sometimes a severe calcium deficiency can cause balance problems, but if that is the case, you should see vast improvement within a couple hours."**

    - she showed a little improvement on the first day, but regressed by the next morning.

    - since last Thursday (10/13/16), we've been giving her the antibiotics and the calcium - she is perking up quite a bit, but no change in balance. I suspect the bacterial infection is getting better.

    - vet says: "could be Marek's, could be tumors on the spine, could be a blood clot... difficult to tell" (this vet is legit, so I am not being disparaging here.)

    - Marek's just doesn't seem right (especially in hen of this age)

    - read some posts here about intensive vitamin B dosing - would love to hear more. What dosage? Similar situation (age)? What else seemed to work?

    Like all of you, we are absolutely in love with all of our birds - really want to get her through this!!

    Thank you!!
     
  2. Braxton Brigade

    Braxton Brigade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2015
    Braxton, Ms
    Causes of watery droppings

    - Chlorea (acute): watery then white, greenish yellow droppings.

    - Colibacillosis: yellow, watery or foamy droppings. (characteristically similar to Marek's)

    - Newcastles (exotic): watery, greenish droppings.

    - A normal cooling measure: loose, watery droppings. A cooling mechanism in hot weather/stress induced overheating.

    Causes of abnormal movement

    - Cage Fatigue: inability to stand.

    - Rickets: inability to stand.


    - Osteopetrosis: lameness, stilted gait, thick leg bones.

    - Pseudomonas: lameness, swollen hocks and feet.

    - Fowl Tick: paralysis.

    - Newcastles (exotic): tremors, twisted neck, paralyzed wing or leg.

    - Botulism: progressive flaccid paralysis.

    - Spirochetosis: weak legs, lost coordination.

    Causes of off odors

    - Crop impaction: sour-smelling, distended crop.

    - Blue comb: sour crop.

    - Thrush: distended, sour crop.



    I would recommend a multivitamin supplement in case the walking problems are a deficiency. I personally have used Red Cell liquid horse supplement at a dose of 1 ounce per gallon in times of stress and Poly-Vi-Sol infant vitamin and poultry drench when I needed to (don't have the dose memorized for the 2 latter vitamins). Though a poultry specific multivitamin would be most effective if it is readily available in your area. Keep occam's razor in mind; the simplest answer is probably the right answer.
     
  3. Bibinko

    Bibinko Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2016
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks Braxton Brigade!

    We also have her on Meloxicam (forgot to mention that).

    However, after reading a few more posts about vitamin B, we gave her half a human B complex vitamin (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folic Acid, etc.) this morning and she improved drastically. Really - night and day compared to yesterday. She can walk, dig, jump - still a little wobbly from time to time. Now, I guess it could be coincidence, but...

    Will report back as the situation unfolds.
     
  4. Braxton Brigade

    Braxton Brigade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Braxton, Ms
    It sounds like she is on the mend. Hopefully she remains stable and continues to improve with the addition of the various B vitamins.
     
  5. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Did it seem like she couldn't feel where she was putting her feet? Because I have two that are acting like that [​IMG] It's kinda freaking me out because Arrow is acting like he can't feel both his feet, can't keep his balance long enough to preen, and Misty seems to have issues in only one foot. [​IMG]
     
  6. Braxton Brigade

    Braxton Brigade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Braxton, Ms
    Put them on a small space and give vitamins, also add molasses to their water to pep them up.
    I had a few act like that and I gave molasses, and a strong vitamin supplement, within 2 weeks I couldn't even tell which birds were sick.
     
  7. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Ok, this morning my sister went out to check on them and Misty was dead. [​IMG]She had seemed better than Arrow did, especially since she could move at least one foot.
    I will try adding some molasses to Arrow's water, thanks for the tip :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    @PeepersMama

    Sorry to hear one of your birds died. If they are juvenile birds then it is most likely Marek's disease. The only sure way to know is to send the carcass off for a necropsy. Since you have more than one bird with the same symptoms it makes sense to find out what you are dealing with to protect the rest of your flock or future birds you might get. Some states Agg Dept even provide a free service I believe.
     
  9. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Arrow and Misty are/were 2 and-a-half; would have turned 3 in march next year. I don't think it's mareks; it just doesn't fit, especially since only two started acting like that. I think Arrow has issues with gout. I'll post a pic of his feet soon, so you can see them. He's got big, hard, bumps on his toe joints, but they've been there forever. We brought him in this morning to give him a foot soak, and it looks like his hocks are whats giving him a hard time. His feet seemed to be turned outward, instead of straight.
     
  10. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Ok, me and mom did research last night, and have come to the conclusion that it is indeed mareks. The girl that we hatched can't keep her head up, like she's falling asleep, but her eyes are wide open. We are going to put her down tonight.
     

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