Chicken with a lame leg, please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Illness, Meds & Cures' started by FloppyComb, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. FloppyComb

    FloppyComb New Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm a huge chicken lover and I currently own 23 feathered friends. I joined today because I'm in desperate need of help with one of my girls. She is about 6 months old and was in perfect health until yesterday when I got a text at work saying she couldn't bare weight on her one leg. She is in perfect health otherwise, except this one leg she is sticking straight out in front of her and can't bare any weight. I have thoroughly freaked myself out into thinking its mareks but she is completely fine other then that leg. Ill attach pictures, please please help if you can, I'm very desperate to help her.
     

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  2. sideways

    sideways New Member

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    I had a similar thing happen to one of mine. However, it wasn't stuck out the front. She just would fall over on the bad leg. I put her in a box in the house and a few days later she was fine.
    Maybe someone with more experience may know the answer?
    Good luck and let us know what happens.
     

  3. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

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    No idea what has happened? Wow. Do you think it is broken, or what? I just don't know. Maybe repost this in the area of the forum for the sick chickens, and it should get more help. Good luck, and I'll be watching!!
     
  4. artsy1

    artsy1 Artfulwings

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    ok what i would do first, give her a bath, will relax the leg, and then you can feel and see if there is anything abnormal going on- feel the joints, she might have hurt herself jumping down from the roost- can you get pics of her leg around the joints?
     
  5. toybarons

    toybarons I luv Polish & Houdans

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    Somethings comes to mind. I agree with others in that one cause could be she hurt her leg simply by jumping down from a perch. Could also be a slipped tendon which just happens and can happen on a bird of any age. Lastly, Merecks.

    A sudden stiff leg in a bird under 1 year, usually sends alarms going that it's Merecks. Merecks though is usually followed by other symptoms such as stiffening of a wing and the neck. Merecks tends to progress rapidly so the bird's health would get worse. I would say that if you have seen no other signs yet, don't automatically think Merecks.

    Slipped Tendon can cause a leg to go completly stiff. I have heard that the tendon can be carefully manipulated back into place by massage. I have also heard that if the tendon continues to slipped out, then it will never heal properly and you may well have to face culling the bird.

    Sprained leg looks a lot like a slipped tendon. I had a silkie cross once that fell on her leg when her sister shoved her off her perch fighting over a rooster. Her leg was stuck straight out, stiff as a board. She couldn't bear weight on it, either. Worse, she had no toe movement. I put her in a hospital kennel and began the wait. She was able to eat and drink okay as long as everything was in reach. She didn't move for days, but continued to eat and drink. At this point, I thought it might have been a pelvic break which is far worse to knit. First good sign was a few days my hen started to learn to move around on 1 leg. Closer to 2 weeks before I saw her toes move on the hurt foot. It took well over a month before she began to bear weight on the leg. In all, over 2 months before she was able to walk on the leg well enough to go back into a coop. She walked with a slight limp but she had 2 working legs. I also made sure to seperate the sister so it wouldn't happen again.

    When I'm in this situation, I say as long as they can eat and drink okay, I will give them the time they need. In the coming days, you will know. All the best and keep us updated on how she is doing.
     
  6. FloppyComb

    FloppyComb New Member

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    Thank you all so much for replying!!! I have checked the leg everyday and there is minor swelling right around the joint in her leg. He is continuing to eat and drink well, her stool is normal. So as of right now I'm going to keep her in my little chicken hospital and keep a close eye on her. I recently made her a sling to keep her in during most of the daylight and then at night she goes in her "safe box" and sleeps beside the dog haha The sling has relieved a lot of pain, i can just see it in her face. Both her legs go through but her feet can touch the bedding on the bottom so she isn't just dangling. I dont think it's a break, it's defiantly a slipped tendon or just something she did to hurt the leg. Thanks for all the help, it really means a lot. I'm going to post her in her little "day sling" :) :)
     

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  7. toybarons

    toybarons I luv Polish & Houdans

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    That's really cool! Best wishes your hen's way and keep us posted.
     
  8. grandmachicken

    grandmachicken New Member

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    I have been dealing with the same thing for the last 2 weeks, only my hen is about 5 years old. She is a black australorp that suddenly went lame. I have and poked and prodded her but can't find a reason for her problem. Her toes have now curled under on that foot and it is very cold....which I know is a bad sign! She's not eating much and I'm not sure what to do. I like the sling idea. And was wondering how you feed and water her when she's in it?
     
  9. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    My roo did all that right before he died. It took about two weeks. Still miss him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  10. FloppyComb

    FloppyComb New Member

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    I used cut cardboard boxes in front of her but them i found some wood and made a little tray I put the food and water on, it works amazingly! But unfortunately she is not getting any better and I don't know what to do. It's over three weeks now and I don't mind spending extra time with her, but I don't know what is wrong or if she'll ever get better.
     
  11. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

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    Have you tried splinting the leg? You can splint both legs, with something in between them to keep them apart, with so so that the good leg will hold the bad one in place while it heals. She will lose all muscle in her legs if she doesn't use them. Or something along that line. Something so that she is trying to bear weight on the leg and on the good one.
     
  12. toybarons

    toybarons I luv Polish & Houdans

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    Years ago I had an EE hen that fell off a high perch. After examining her leg for breaks and finding none, I tried caging her hoping the leg might be a sprain. After a few weeks I tried to isolate her leg by splinting both and putting a piece of foam between the legs to keep them seperated. I regreted doing it. In my case, I just made matters worse. I don't know if I did the splints wrong? Or if she was paniced being immobile? I lost her shortly after placing her in the splints.

    Honestly, with all the possible things that can cause lameness in chickens, it is hard without taking the bird to a vet to be examined and x-rayed. Problem I struggled with is justifying to myself spending a few hundred dollars on a $5 chicken. Worse, is if the examine isn't conclusive in what is causing lameness, you are stuck back at square one.

    I wouldn't give you advice on what I would do. I will say only that in a situation like this you have to search your gut and ask yourself what is best for you bird? If it cannot use its legs the rest of its life, will it be happy?

    Whatever you decide, all the best.
     
  13. FloppyComb

    FloppyComb New Member

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    Yea I was just in that debate yesterday, should I keep her alive if her quality of life is so low? So I went out to spend time with her yesterday and I set her on the ground and she half stood, kinda squatted before falling. Then I watched her put the good leg under herself and try to push herself up. That's the first time in these three weeks she has done anything like that. Sooo once again my hope was renewed that she will get better.

    I started to feel her hip joints and finally realized her one hip was lower then the other. I had checked this at first but I just couldn't tell. So I started manipulating the leg until it kinda went into place and she could bend her leg like normal. (I'm in nursing school, so I have training with people) So I kept the hip in joint, wrapped her leg and then used a vet wrap sling to hold it to the body. Let me tell you, if she could talk she would of yelled thank you! She just had relief on her face and she began vigorously eating and drinking. Then she didn't flap her wings in pain or throw her head down, she just nuzzled down in her feathers and slept! Finally success!!! I pray this works and I get her back!

    Has anyone had a dislocated hip happen and was this a method you tried?
     
  14. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

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    I am so happy for her that she has you!! What a great thing, being able to put her hip back in place. I pray also that it stays in there. Great job!! :D:D
     
  15. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    I've done chiropractic care on animals for about 12 years now and I've done similar things with toes, shoulders and such. My son and I realign our feet all the time. One of the best life skills I taught him. Good for you!
     
  16. toybarons

    toybarons I luv Polish & Houdans

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    @ FloppyComb, I am so happy for you and your hen :) .

    My EE hen that I mentioned to you, I believed she had a either a dislocated hip or a fracture. Only I had no idea how to even try to put it back into place. When I tried to examine her, she just seemed in distress. I couldn't tell if I was helping her or making it worse.
     
  17. adorson

    adorson Member

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    Such a pretty girl! Don't give up hope on her! I have a young one now that lost use of both legs totally. She could not even sit up and only laid her side because she couldn't even balance her. I have no idea what is wrong with her for sure but she has no other symptoms except the lameness. I brought her inside and started her on vitamins, an antibiotic just in case it was mycoplasm synovia because her joints were swollen and did little chicken therapy on her. After 2 weeks she could stand on her hocks and had movement back in both legs but her feet were still paralyzed. We are on week 3 and I am see just slight movement in her one foot. I took her out to be with the flock last weekend to stimulate her a bit and she loved it and she had so many protectors watching over her.
    Here she is after 2 weeks and this is a major improvement from what she was at first. The second picture is her out with the flock and Phyllis was watching over her and finding her some goodies. I will continue to take her out on nice days.
     

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  18. kaufranc

    kaufranc Junior Member

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    Adorson, I love the second picture! How cute of Phyliss! The one in the back corner is quite the chubby checker !
     
  19. kaufranc

    kaufranc Junior Member

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    Floppy, glad your girl is improving! Hope she surprises you more everyday!
     
  20. FloppyComb

    FloppyComb New Member

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    Toybarons, that's how she was at first, that's why i was so afraid to touch her and do a complete check of her. The just stressed so much. But she was still so healthy so I gave it a shot.

    Thank you everyone for your encouragement and kind words!!! It means so much and I really appreciate it! :) :)