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Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of the chicken's joint or joints, resulting in pain and/or disability, joint swelling, and stiffness. Arthritis can be caused by infection, trauma, degenerative changes or metabolic disorders. Although osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in humans, birds are actually more prone to developing articular gout, another form of arthritis.

There is no treatment for arthritis, just therapies to control the pain, minimize further joint damage, and management or environmental modifications to improve or maintain the bird's quality of life.

Clinical Signs

Lameness
Decreased movement
Not putting weight on affected leg
Stiffness
Reluctance to move
Swollen joints
Weight loss
Lethargy
Vocalization
Loss of appetite
Depression

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Radiographs
  • Necropsy

Treatment

NameSummary
CarprofenAdministered IM (30 mg/kg)B Speers
Supportive care
AcupunctureAcupuncture has been shown to be a good complementary or alternative medical therapy when used for the treatment of a Bald Eagle with severe arthritis. The bird received acupuncture sessions initially once per week for 2 months followed by treatment every 2 weeks for 2 more months.

Support

Prevention

  • Provide a balanced diet
  • Maintain a clean environment

Scientific References

Age Range

older chickens are more at risk

Risk Factors

  • Increased age
  • Previous injury