dark comb, weak legs.

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windwalkingwolf
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dark comb, weak legs.

Post by windwalkingwolf » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:48 am

I'm at a loss, and a little beside myself this time. I've got a pullet 11 months old, showing confusing symptoms. Three days ago I noticed her staggering a bit when she flew up to the feed bin as I was filling it. I snatched her up and the only thing of note was that her comb was a little dark.
I hoped it was bruised from rooster attention, but two days later (and a house chicken since yesterday) her comb is the same and she's still weak in the legs. She's eating ok, but is pickier about food--it has to be dry. If I give her fermented grain or soaked kibble, she just pretends to eat it, but regular scratch/layer/dog food she eats with relish. Her poop is normal grayish with white streaks and the occasional brown cecal poop. She roosts in the evening and gets down in the morning, but acts like her legs won't hold her each time she jumps up or down. No evidence of an ear infection or a nutrient deficiency. She's not gettingworse, but not getting better either. Her comb is dark, and she's wobbly, which makes me think something is wrong with her heart, but her condition and attitude remain excellent. Could she have eaten some weird plant or mushroom? I'm grasping at straws, because she's a favourite, not getting worse or better, and later this morning, my 3 day rule must go into effect.
I don't name most, but her name is Cookies n Cream, sister to Cream n Cookies.
Ideas?
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Jaye
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by Jaye » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:26 am

Oh no, Jan. I'm sorry to hear this about cookies & cream. I don't really know what it might be, but it does sound like it could be some sort of poisoning that's affecting her organs and muscles. What about Mareks? I don't know much about it, other than it does mess with mobility.
Do you have any pedialyte or stress-aid that you can give her?
Last edited by Jaye on Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WLLady
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by WLLady » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:39 am

Is the comb dark dark red to the point of almost purple? If so she has a heart condition where her heart isnt pumping blood well enough.
Sometimes they will snap out of it for a few days but more often one morning you will find them under the roost having had a MI overnight.
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kenya
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by kenya » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:35 pm

Oh thats too bad, probably not much you can do. Always happens to your favorites.
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by windwalkingwolf » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:13 pm

It's not purple (yet) but is darker than usual, dusky. Gets darker when she's walking around and lighter when she's resting, which is not as much as I'd expect given how wobbly she is. Even her head is wobbly. I'm stumped. Yes, she's getting stress-aid in her water. She's not particularly thirsty though, and I've only seen her drink a little on two occasions. Appetite is excellent though. No, I don't expect there is anything that can be done for her. She's currently sitting on my kitchen floor making a 'nest' out of my socks. :sigh:
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Jaye
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by Jaye » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:32 pm

How is she doing today?
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WLLady
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by WLLady » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:02 pm

The getting darker when she is active and lighter at rest sounds like heart to me. Sorry.....i too do not think theres much to be done....hopefully she snaps out of it.....but likely she wont. Sorry
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by windwalkingwolf » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:17 am

She's still the same. I haven't bumped her off yet, she seems to be enjoying her kitchen time so much, I'm leaving her to it. I put her outside yesterday in a depression of dirt, thinking she might like a dust bath, but she almost beat me back to the door and then bawked at me to lift her up the steps. Scrambled eggs and watermelon for supper. She's officially the most spoiled chicken I've ever owned.
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Jaye
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by Jaye » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:30 pm

Oh dear, if WLLady is right (it does make sense that it could be a heart condition thing, something like angina), the prognosis is not good for Cookies and Cream. :-(
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RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

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windwalkingwolf
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Re: dark comb, weak legs.

Post by windwalkingwolf » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:52 pm

:sighke1: I know, I always knew, but have been holding out a sliver of hope that maybe it's similar to a West Nile virus thing, where some brain cells and heart muscle cells die, but then they can recover. This has been shown to happen to chickens inoculated experimentally with West Nile, but there were no symptoms or deaths (except obviously that the chickens were culled to examine) and apparently if chickens get West Nile naturally, they develop antibodies so fast that there are no issues.
I knew in my heart when I saw her wobble that her days were numbered, so it's all academic at this point.
I thought I had gotten better at culling weak and sick birds. A few days ago I culled a rooster I originally wanted to keep, because he had a gross eye infection that jumped to the other eye. I could've treated that. This I can't, but I can't bring myself to take her head off, either. Especially not as long as she's cheerful and chatty :sighke1:
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