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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18253
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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Ée. I'm new to backyard chickens and have 3 chicks. On

Customer Question

Hi Pearl. My name is***** new to backyard chickens and have 3 chicks. On Tuesday evening, my rock camee up lame, favoring her right leG. I have isolated her, monitoring her feeding... She continues to eat and drink well. These doesn't appear to be any broken bones. I suspect nerve issue due to the fact that her foot quivers from time to time. We gave her a bath in Epison salt which seemed to offer temporary improvement. Today is day 4 and she is still hobbling as day 1. Just wondering if you may have other suggestions.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No wound
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Skillet
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Skillet?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How old is she?

Any chance of a fall, slip or injury?

Can she use the leg at all? Bear any weight? Grip your fingers with her toes?

Can you feel any eggs or masses in the abdomen?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My hen was purchased as a chick and is only 6 weeks old. She was the fist to roost at the top of the water dispenser, 18" tall so she could of injured herself. She can bear some weight on the leg and can grip my fingers. I have not checked her abdomen.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She was beginning to fly up into the hen house so I do suspect she could of injured her leg.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

First, it is worthwhile checking her abdomen when you can, since egg binding and masses (usually from the kidney or reproductive organs) can compress the nerves to the legs and cause lameness and even paralysis.

Otherwise, if she has normal use of the foot and can bear some weight on the leg, I'd not be overly suspicious of a nerve based issue. As well, this thankfully also makes hip dislocation and full thickness fractures (hairline ones can be tricky to feel) less likely as well for our birds. Instead, this sounds more suspicious of again potential hairline fractures if she has sustained an injury, tendon damage, or a muscle strain/sprain.

With this in mind, your supportive care thus far has been good. Though if she is not showing any improvement, then we may need to have her seen by her local vet to rule out abdominal based issues, assess this leg, and to have them dispense strong hen safe anti-inflammatories (ie metacam, etc) to reduce any swelling and discomfort for her. Or at the very least, you could try her with a low dose of buffered Aspirin ( 5 mg per pound of body weight every 12-24 hours) as this is a mild anti-inflammatory we can use for them.

Overall, based on what you have said, she sounds to be a bird at risk of traumatic injury and her use of the foot makes nerve issues a bit less likely. So, we'd want to keep as you are, potentially warm compress the leg, and consider an anti-inflammatory at this point. And if she doesn't start to show some positive progress, then we may have to have her seen so that hairline fractures and tendon ruptures can be ruled out and again we can get her onto strong anti-inflammatories to help get her through this and back to using the leg normally.

Just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at AAV (http://www.aav.org/search/), Avian web(http://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedvets.htm) or Birdsnway(http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/vets.htm).

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have been administering 1/4 baby aspirin one time a day due to her size and age. I will try the increased amount. We don't have a avian vet in the area. Typically, how long is recovery for this type of injury.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

I am glad to hear that you have, but do try adjust the dose if she is a bit larger then what you were dosing for. If we do just have strain, then usually 7-14 days. If we have a fracture, it can take up to 16 weeks. And if there is a tendon rupture, she wouldn't improve without intervention and possibly even surgery. Though hopefully that isn't the case here for your lass.

Best wishes for Skillet,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you Dr B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome,

Take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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