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Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a condition that develops resulting from damage to the chicken's peripheral nervous system. Damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with proper functioning of the nerve impulses between the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body, including muscle movement. Peripheral neuropathies can present in a variety of forms and follow different patterns. Signs may develop very fast or very slow, taking anywhere from several days to months to become apparent.

Causes of Peripheral Nerve Damage

Common causes of peripheral nerve damage in chickens include:
  • Systemic diseases
  • Vitamin deficiencies, such as riboflavin
  • Certain medications
  • Traumatic injury
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Infection
  • Genetically inherited (present from birth)

Clinical Signs

Curled toes
Difficulty standing


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests


Supportive care: Isolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.


Scientific References

Risk Factors

  • Riboflavin deficient diet