Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Teddy Walks Again!

We found Teddybird paralyzed and dehydrated in the hen house on a hot summer day. Her belly was bright red and swollen. We quickly moved her into the house and fed her electrolyte solution through an eye dropper.

Although this revived her somewhat it was clear she couldn't move her legs. I cooled her belly every day by immersing her in cool water and then towelling her off. She refused to eat chicken pellets and rapidly lost weight. I decided to start scrambling and feeding her eggs and fresh garden greens, which she loved.

Once she regained the weight I started putting her on her back on a towel twice a day and working her legs as if she was walking. She enjoyed this, and would make a purring sound. Now, every time she sees me she makes this sound and I make it back to her. It's sort of an "I love you".

My vet says that when a chicken gets sick, it usually dies the next day. She hasn't laid an egg since, so perhaps she was egg bound and then got dehydrated. Or maybe she had a stroke? No one knows. Not many people would want a chicken taking up residence in their guest bath. Most people would have given up on her sooner. But I could see she wasn't giving up, so how could I?

First, I could see signs of her trying to balance, and when one leg was weaker I worked it a little more. She started being able to grip my fingers again with her toes and push back when I applied resistance. I'm hoping she will make a full recovery and walk normally again.

Last week was the big moment...I took her outside with some food and she waddled to me! We were amazed and are happy to be part of her healing journey. The lesson: don't ever give up!


Dana Jones said...

It takes a special heart to give love to a chicken like that. My cat had an incident summer before last where she got dehydrated and had a heat stroke also and it is so very dangerous for animals. My vet told me she will be more prone to heat strokes now since she has had one. The smae might be true for your little hen.

thecrazysheeplady said...

This is a great lesson in love and care. I am very impressed. I don't think I've ever heard of a sick chicken actually getting better and honestly, didn't hold out much hope for Teddy. Good for you!

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