Wry Neck - It is treatable.

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Illness, Meds & Cures' started by KRob86, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    I have a Plymouth Barred Rock chick, along with 7 others. One day, when she was 2 weeks old I noticed my PBR was tilting her head, looking directly up with one eye. It is called "star-gazing" I believe. I did some reading, and started crushing Vitamin-B complex 50 vitamins, thinking it's a B1 deficiency. A few days later, and it had stopped, she was acting normal again. At 5 weeks old, I walked over and she didn't move, she laid there with her head resting on her back. When I reached down to touch her, she went into a violent seizure, summersaulting backwards, rolling around all twisted up and contorted. As soon as she stopped I grabbed her and put her in a box. She sat with her head upside down, twisted, underneath her, with her eyes closed and breathing heavily. She did not eat or move for an entire day, and would go into seizures when touched. I started putting her beak in a bottle-cap filled with yogurt, and would force her beak into until her tongue moved slowly. On day 3, I bought infant vitamin drops (Vim Mi Sil), Selenium tablets, vitamin-e capsules, anti-inflammatory pills (ibu profen), and a bottle of G2 Gatorade. I started mixing the ingredients (4 drops of infamil, quarter crushed 50 mg selenium, quarter of a ibu profen capsul, a full vitamin e capsule squirted in) into yogurt and force feeding her. On day 4, she would try to move but would seizure out. But since she was trying I mixed the ingredients with chick starter, making almost a soup in a bottle cap. On day 5, her comb was completely flat and bright pink (not good), and she would scream when she crapped, it would shoot out. On day 6, she really tried to eat, moving her beak slowly, while I kept her neck untangled, which prevented seizures. On day 7, she was standing for short periods trying to eat. On day 8, she was eating about two tablespoons of the mixture a day, along with a few forced sips of Gatorade. On day 9, she was walking, with her head tilted though. On day 10, she was eating the mixture like a pig. Day 11, walking almost normally, slowly with lack of balance. Day 12 introduced back into pen with 7 other pullets. Day 25ish, you would not be able to tell any of the chicks have had any problems.

    Most people would cull right away, but with 20 minutes a day, you can revive your chicken from near death. If they have the fight to survive through it, give them the chance. I hope this can help someone that runs into this same problem. By the way, I believe the wry neck was neurological, caused by a head trauma.
     
  2. Sparky

    Sparky New Member

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    Take good care of you dear ones.
     

  3. kaufranc

    kaufranc Junior Member

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    What a great story! What we do for our girls. People think I am crazy when I take one of my girls in the basement to help them when needed. Since my rooster passed from bumblefoot, I try to help any one of my animals. From a prolapse vent to a cold to picking due to molting. They sure are special in their own way!
     
  4. artsy1

    artsy1 Artfulwings

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    i am not one to cull - i will go out of my way to work with one- seems i always have a special one or two- and it is worth working with them- thanks for sharing! Need to file it for future reference
     
  5. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Horray for a happy ending!
     
  6. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    Since there have been a few replies, I will post an update.

    "Roxy", the chicken in question, is still alive, healthy and doing well. As are my other seven hens (2 PBR, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Gold Stars, 2 Black Stars).

    Since her wry-neck has ended, she has had no other symptoms or health concerns. She's a big-old happy hen that is 6 out of 8 on the pecking order. The only problem is that she is missing feathers from the top of her head from being picked on by my largest Rhode Island Red named "Red". Red picks on both of my PBRs for some reason. Never drew blood, but she goes out of her way to dominate them.

    The only other heath concerns I've had with my hens is two dog attacks by my own Springer Spaniel. The first incident: I had a piece of ply-wood leaning up against the fenced in area for my dogs. For some reason one of my Black Stars "Raven" thought it would be a good idea to crawl between the wood and the fence, I guess to lay an egg. She ended up getting wedged, and couldn't get out. My dog, on the other side of the fence, tried to pull her through the fence holes, tearing her breast skin under her wing, and pulling out a patch of feathers about 2"x4". I went outside and heard her let out a distress bawk. I got her out and when I inspected her, her breast skin was hanging on one side, and I could see her breast muscles, although there was not much blood a all. I put her down and left her outside, she limped around with the other chickens in obvious pain. I ended up not doing anything with her. No sprays, creams or bandages, I left the open wound, and kept her in the coop with the others. Four months later and she has completely healed on her own. The wound has 100% healed, it's amazing to me how she kept it clean and healed so sell, she is top of the pecking order.

    The second incident: My Gold Star (Ruby) jumped over a 6 foot fence somehow into my dog's area. I heard a commotion so I ran out and saw a ball of feathers pinned in a corner by my dog. I ran over and saved her. She had no injuries, but she did lose a bunch of feathers. She was traumatized by it for a little while, but she started acting like herself again. Although she goes nowhere near my dog now.

    Anyways I'll stop before I write a novel, just thought I'd share.

    Thank you, Ken.
     
  7. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Bummer, but it is amazing the body's ability to heal.
     
  8. heyheypaula

    heyheypaula New Member

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    How is this coop working out for you? Is it enough room for the four hens? I am thinking of ordering the same one. Do you have any complaints or recommendations on how to spruce it up a little?
     
  9. Kimquat

    Kimquat New Member

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    KRob ~ I hope you see this response; I'm trying to talk to other folks who have dealt with wry neck before. How long did your bird have the seizures before she recovered?
     
  10. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    Hi Kimquat. My bird went about 10 days of having the seizures if I remember correctly. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask. Sorry to hear your bird is sick.
     
  11. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    How long has she had wry-neck symptoms? What are you treating it with?
     
  12. Kimquat

    Kimquat New Member

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    Thanks so much for responding. It began on Friday with her walking at a tilt, as though she had no balance. Her neck was turned to the left and she would spin in circles if she got excited. The next day, we put all the chicks outside in their new coop and she seemed to enjoy the fresh air, but she had her first seizure that morning. I brought her in the house and started giving her poly-vi-sol and the crooked neck/balance issue seemed to clear right up, but the seizures didn't. She has one or two a day and the one she had today was less violent and she seemed to snap out of it much quicker. On Sunday, I started her on vit. e & b and selenium for absorption. She eats and drinks on her own just fine and her appetite seems to be growing. The seizure she had this morning, though, was terrible to watch. She flipped over onto her back after flapping around a bit and she went limp until I picked her up and held her. Then she came around rather quickly. It scared me - I thought she was dying.

    I'm not sure what to expect and how long these seizures typically go on after treatment has begun. I don't want her to suffer, but I don't want to give up on her, either. She's such a sweet, tame little bird. :(

    I'm giving her 400 IU of vitamin E twice a day, about an eighth of a selenium pill and a few drops of vitamin b once a day. I've also been holding her a lot and massaging her neck, which she seems to love.

    Is there any insight or advice you could offer? I'm hopeful about this treatment.
     
  13. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

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    I would add a teaspoon full of fish oil daily for about a week. It has a natural steriod, and will help.
     
  14. Kimquat

    Kimquat New Member

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    Thank you, Fuzzie! I don't have any here, but will pick some up tomorrow. I spend a lot of time rubbing her neck and I can feel it twitching and turning. I'd love to find something that would help.
     
  15. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    It seems very similar to what my hen went through. The seizures looked painful, but she was fighting, so I gave her a chance. My hen would sit limp all day, and when she tried to move or was disturbed, she would start flipping backwards. I found that untangling her neck for her during the seizures would lessen them a bit. I also made mine a neck brace out of bubble-wrap which kind of helped her keep her balance, although she did not like it. As long as she is eating, and making some progress, don't cull her. Everyone I know said "I'd cull her right now", but I refused, and now she is 100% healthy, happy and is my favourite. I know the seizures are hard to watch, but it seems you are doing everything right, and sounds exactly what mine went through.
     
  16. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    And also, if your pullet is eating on her own, it's a good sign. Mine was unable to even eat or drink on her own. She would have dehydrated and starved if I didn't force feed her.
     
  17. Kimquat

    Kimquat New Member

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    This really gives me hope; I can't thank you enough for your input. Last night I gave her a bath because she was a little dirty from spilled vitamins and poop, and she seemed to enjoy it. I set her in front of a space heater and used a hair dryer to dry her feathers and she didn't flip out, even though I was sure she would. This morning when I opened her cage, I could see that she was a little twitchy and I was afraid she was going to have a seizure, so I picked her up, massaged her neck and held her while I gave her a dose of vitamin E. She seemed thirsty, but was too twitchy to aim for her water dish so I held her at an angle that allowed her to drink (she drank quite a bit). After that, I put her back in her cage and she began to eat and try to look at the tv, lol. I felt good about that because even though she was twitching, we were able to avoid a full-out seizure.

    When she is not seizing, she is totally normal. Alert, eating, drinking, asking for attention. I can't NOT do everything in my power for her. She deserves a chance to beat this.

    How long did it take before you saw real improvement? I'm planning on keeping her inside for at least a month to make sure she's improving and stays in a safe environment.
     
  18. KRob86

    KRob86 New Member

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    Sounds promising Kimquat. Same as my bird, her seizures slowly turned into just twitching, and then slowly her neck straightened out completely and she recovered fully within 3 weeks. If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on your bird making a full recovery. You just have to be patient, make sure she's getting her nutrients and water and allow her body time to heal itself. Good job Kimquat!
     
  19. Kimquat

    Kimquat New Member

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    I'm feeling pretty relieved right now, lol. Between my husband and myself, we're able to watch her around the clock, so she'll definitely be getting the care she needs. I'm so glad I found this thread - thank you again, friend!
     
  20. kaufranc

    kaufranc Junior Member

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    I think with all the help here, I feel pretty confident that I could deal with any of this. This forum is awesome! I am praying for your girl Kim!