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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24450
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a Buff Orpington hen who has an injured right leg. I

Customer Question

I have a Buff Orpington hen who has an injured right leg. I have had her confined to an indoor brooder box now for 5 days and there is no improvement. I have inspected her foot and leg but can find no injury. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

Helen, if you've checked Peggy's leg from the tip of her toes to her hip and found no evidence of infectious pododermatitis (bumblefoot) nor swellings of any joints or long bones, there are two main considerations. The first is obturator paralysis which is seen when an egg becomes trapped in the oviduct and presses on the sciatic nerve plexus. This isn't as common in chickens as is Marek's disease (herpesvirus) which commonly presents initially as a unilateral leg paresis (weakness) or paralysis. Please see here and let me know if you're seeing any other signs of Marek's disease: http://www.birdhealth.com.au/mareks-disease

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I really have not seen any signs of Mareks Disease. She does not have any signs of swelling in her toes or joints. If she does have an egg stuck in there, what can i do to dislodge it?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No, i am not calling you or paying another $28. If you cant help me any further, then i will end this conversation
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

That was an automatic site phone solicitation. My state board of examiners doesn't allow me to speak on the phone with customers. Management of hens suffering from obturator paralysis is supportive - confining them and bringing their food and water to them, administering a nonsteroidal antifinflammatory drug such as aspirin dosed at one adult 325 mg aspirin in one pint of drinking water, and supplementing with calcium (Calciboost/Calcivet, e.g., available in your local feed store as per the label's instruction). Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** try the aspirin and calcium and continue the confinement. How long should i do this?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

Until you see a positive response. Should another 5 days pass without improvement, Peggy would need the attention of an avian vet. You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 16 days ago.

You're welcome.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
My chicken still cannot put her foot down or put weight on it
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 days ago.

Thank you for the update. She'll need the attention of an avian vet at this point (please see here: www.aav.org).

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
No
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 days ago.

I understand. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I just have backyard chickens. And i dont need your advise

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