6-week old chick attacked by cat, internal injuries?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


5 Years
Jan 26, 2018
My 6-week old chicks were in the yard while I was outside with them. Out of nowhere, the neighbor's cat dashed into the yard, snatched a chick, and took off over the fence. I looked in all the neighboring backyards, but there was no sign of either of them.

A few hours later, we heard the missing baby cheeping in the neighbor's yard. She didn't have any visible injuries, but was clearly scared. We brought her back and tried to keep her separated from the others, but she seemed anxious to rejoin her friends, so we gave her some water and put her on the roost.

This morning, she was hunched up with her eyes closed. We brought her inside, put her on a table near a heat lamp, and she hasn't moved all day. She won't touch her food or water. I try to give her some water through a dropper every hour or so, but she shakes her head so not much ends up in her mouth. It's been almost 24 hours, and I'm worried she must be really dehydrated by now.

Is she still recovering from shock, or is this a sign of internal injuries? Last night she was flapping and struggling when I tried to separate her, but today she doesn't seem to care. She literally has not moved all day, except to turn her head away when I put a dropper near her mouth.

The most likely injury would be puncture wounds, and those deliver a huge dose of bacteria deep into the tissues. Cats' mouths are notorious for bacteria. Infection begins immediately, so by the next day, this chick is likely suffering from a raging bacterial infection.

Almost as likely are crushing injuries to the organs, especially the lungs which are very vulnerable on the back.

I hate to tell you that there isn't much hope for your chick, but there's an outside chance that it's suffering from shock. You can treat that with electrolytes and sugar in the water.

If you have antibiotics on hand, you can start her on one, but it may be too late. If the chick is lying down on its side, eyes closed, the end is near.
Thanks azygous... that's obviously terrible news, but I appreciate your honesty. I couldn't find any puncture wounds, but there are probably invisible injuries to the internal organs.

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