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 Post subject: Leg injury or illness?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Showy Hen
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One of my hens has a limp and been resting a lot - sitting down more often than usual this past week. Each time I approached her to do an inspection, she would run/fly away stressed out so I let it go. I assumed she sustained a minor strain and will soon recover. Yesterday, she let me capture her. No wound, lump or foreign object in her feet or legs but her left thigh felt thinner. Same thickness from top to bottom as if the upper fleshy part of the drumstick has gone missing. She collapsed when I placed her feet back on the ground. After a brief balancing act with her wings outstretched, she was able to stand up and weight bear in both feet for some time. Then she wanted to walk ...with her left foot on the ground, she wobbled as she lifted her right foot to make a step forward. Like she needed to put down her other foot on the ground very quickly but at the same time needed to maintain balance while doing it. The couple more steps she made were of similar difficulty.

I moved her to the broody/grow-out pen. I left her seated near the feeder and drinker. This morning, the tray underneath the 18" high perch had fresh droppings. Don't know how she jumped up and down the perch. She is a 16-month old Australorp cross Orpington.

Any thoughts on her loss of thigh flesh/muscle? Please advice on how to manage her. Thank you.


Last edited by ferndalefarm on Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Golden Robin
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How old is she ??
I am assuming she is an older bird - older than a pullet anyway ? If she is, then mareks disease is less likely. Having said that, nerve damage is one cause that would cause wasting in one leg. There are also a few other things as well that could include a stroke, injury and of course a non mareks tumour.

Mike

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Gallant Game
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16-month old Australorp cross Orpington.

Can you please upload close up photos of her leg, otherwise for me it's very hard to tell anything.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks for the replies.

Mike - she hatched 27th Feb last year out of hidden egg nest of 6 so she is 16 months old. If she has damaged the nerve or had a stroke, is gentle leg massage or physio beneficial? I'm thinking along the lines of rehab sometimes help humans. She is eating and drinking well and judging by the spread out droppings in the pen's run, she is still moving around.

CP - I had only one cockerel, a blue Australorp I was minding for a friend at the time who made the eggs fertile when I was not looking, resulting of course in a crossbreed. She inherited the dense feathering of her Orpington mother therefore photographing the bad leg to show that it's wasted might be easily said than done for a newbie like me. Don't want to clip or shave off the area as it's quite cold here during winter season. Anyway, silly me, thought of wetting the leg feathers with warm water and moving the feathers out of the way. The photos only showed wet feathers on white skin. I'm open to suggestion from anybody on how to ....


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I honestly don't know, it could be an injury from your rooster chasing her or from anything, see if her sore leg is hotter from the other that should tell you if she has an infection, it could be a tumor from advanced Markes disease.

I would start with a tumor first.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:30 am 
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Showy Hen
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When I was preparing her for photoshoot this afternoon, her bad leg felt cooler to touch than the good leg. She also pulled back a bit when I did the resistance test. Could this be that her leg is not fully wasted? Or I'm falsely hoping for a recovery not a tumour because she is my best layer?

For now, all I can do is keep close watch over her and do the right thing whatever comes next.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:51 am 
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Gallant Game
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If it is a tumor I think they usually cold until they become infected near burst, I had these problems before myself with full blown Mareks, or if you like advanced Mareks, very painful to see,, I always cull these unlucky birds...

You have the choice to take her to an avian vet or keep a close eye checking her every four days,if you see it's growing decide what to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:39 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi ferndalefarm I recently had a similar problem with my Orpington cross Cochin. You can read about it here viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8022510

Be warned its not a good ending with me having to put her down. But I thought it might interest you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Hello Marvin21st - thanks for sharing your post and sorry that your hen is gone. Indeed, both our hens had the early symptom of limping without visible injury, with lots of resting which made us suspect that something else was wrong. The good news here is there is none (as yet?) of that leaning, falling over, leg splaying or dragging and she's still perching. Her appetite on pellets though has reduced but she's eating mixed grains and table scraps. I know pellets are better but she's sick and don't want her to lose any weight. I can start her on ricket's diet tomorrow when I have the vitamins. She is still confined in the 1.8m x 1.5m pen to ensure safety. My other hens often hang-out in the pathway between her enclosure and main chook house. She can socialise through the wire wall if she wants to.

From the info read and opinions received, I can't see the point of bringing her to a vet when the end result is the same as not consulting one. It's not pleasant to be just monitoring her; sort of waiting to see what happens but she's not depressed or in pain as far as I can see. I'm providing her a chance to recover knowing this maybe impossible; perhaps I'm being cruel first before being kind. So should her movements become worse, I'll help her find peace.. It will be my first too if it happens. And to be able to do it, I must draw courage from the principle that everyone is entitled to live life with quality.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:21 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Sounds like what I would do too. Although there was something wrong with my Chook she still seemed to be going along happily. It wasn't until she started to suffer that I saw the need to do something. I hope yours has a better out come :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:12 am 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks. Will give an update on her progress or outcome.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:11 am 
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Golden Robin
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chickenPox wrote:
If it is a tumor I think they usually cold until they become infected near burst, I had these problems before myself with full blown Mareks, or if you like advanced Mareks, very painful to see,, I always cull these unlucky birds...

You have the choice to take her to an avian vet or keep a close eye checking her every four days,if you see it's growing decide what to do.



I wonder if your confusing an abscess with a tumour here?? Tumours are solid mass of tissue and just continue grow larger but still as a solid mass. Abscesses are a contained mass of of bacteria and white blood cells that tend to get larger until either the bacteria or the white blood cells wins the battle for survival. As the abscess grows the cell wall containing the mass weakens and then as you say - it bursts.

A tumour usually only becomes infected if some physical action happens to it and since its a hard mass of tissue infection is rarely more than just a surface infection.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:41 am 
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Actually in tumours you usually initially find the leg cold because it is pressing on the blood supply as the tumour progresses and comes to the surface the leg becomes hot well this is what I have found.
Your chook could have a disease could be an injury? Time will tell.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Surprised that photos showed up in this thread. I was just having a go on how to upload in gallery. I suppose, it's better late than never. Thanks Cackles.

Anyway, this hen is still the same - neither better nor worse.


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