Adult Wyandote Hen badly bitten on back of neck

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
At 1 a.m. tonight I interrupted some kind of animal attack. Likely raccoon. I was late in closing up the coop. My hen was squawking and laying still outside. She was missing a lot of feathers in a few areas, but the only serious wound was on the back of her neck. (See picture.) Initially sprayed the bloody areas with blu-kote then went inside for supplies. I gently rubbed away blood with clean washcloth soaked with warm water. She can walk and flap both wings, and her eyes move and dilate normally. Whew!! Now I had a headlamp to better investigate. Puncture wound on her neck went all the way through her thin skin in two adjacent places. Maybe 6 mm and 3 mm holes. Or a total round area of 1.2 cm. I soaked 2 Q tips with hydrogen peroxide put them on/in the wound. Not many bubbles. The skin around her neck is so loose it was moving right over the muscle. There doesn't appear to be any muscle damage. I sprayed it with blu-kote again and wrapped her in a clean towel in a closed off nesting box. I'm not sure if or how to cover this neck wound. Oral antibiotics? Help me out with replies including **knowledgeable medical advice** ONLY please. Thank you!
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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1. Treat for shock as the number one step. Give warm Gatoraid or mix a half teaspoon of sugar into a fourth of a cup of warm water with a pinch of salt and baking soda. Have the patient drink it all or syringe it into the beak.

2. Flush the wound well with saline. This is better than soap and water as it maintains the PH of the tissues. But warm soap and water will do. You need to wash away the bacteria from the wound.

3. Inspect the wound carefully. If it has a skin flap dangling, keep that. Do not cut it off. Look for bite, tear or puncture marks indicating a puncture wound. If you see this, the patient will need an oral antibiotic such as amoxicillin. Bacteria from the predator’s mouth can be injected deep into tissue and can kill in as little as 24 to 48 hours. You can order this https://www.kvsupply.com/item/aqua-mox-250mg-capsules-100-count/P06184/250mg once a day for ten days. Or you may be able to find this or something similar at TSC or a pet store.

4. Spray with Vetericyn wound treament and let dry. Use a topical antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or a generic without pain killer in it to coat the wound. If there's a skin flap, lay it across the wound that has just been coated with the ointment. Then smooth on a generous amount over the top of the skin flap to hold it in place.

5. It's useless to try to stitch a wound on a chicken. Don't even try. It's also useless to try to bandage a wound other than on the feet. The chicken will not tolerate it. It will be pulled off faster than you can blink an eye.

6. Clean the wound every day following the above steps. Keep the wound covered with the ointment. Never allow the wound to get dried out or it will not heal.
 

Eggcessive

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10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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BluKote is good for scrapes and minor wounds, and for disquising red skin to prevent pecking once a wound has scabbed. But it burns, and you should get some chlorhexidene (Hibiclens) from Walmart, and keep some plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment around. Saline is very mild and safe to clean wounds, and you can buy it or make some at home. No need to stock everything, but those are a few good things to have.

Follow @azygous ‘s advice. Be sure to secure your coop, so that whatever was there last night, cannot get back in to kill your chickens. It sounds as though your hen has a good chance to survive. Keep her in a wire dog crate, so that she can see the others, but they cannot peck her wound.
 

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
Thank you! This is excellent advice. I have a few follow-up questions.

Wound irrigation. I assume it would wash downward subcutaneously. Perhaps the skin is better connected to the muscle layer further away from the wound, but it appeared to be Gliding Over the muscle with ease. Can you tell me how to irrigate the wound?

Irrigation Solutions. I have hibiclens left over from a surgery for myself. Not sure how to use it because it was only described as a pre-surgical cleaner, not for wounds.
ssume it would need to be diluted, and would still burn badly. I have disinfecting contact solution with salt, boric acid, and 0.00016% dihexidine dihydrochloride and polyquaternium .0003% as disinfectants/preservatives. Can I use that, or should I make some with sea salt and boiled water? Recipe?

The skin is torn all the way through to the muscle. So I assume this is from a bite or claw.
I have 500mg cephalexin capsules and 100mg doxycycline tablets on hand from human use. I can make a solution of these, or get some human amoxicillin from a Pharmacy. What's the best choice and dose? I have a 5 mm syringes around oh, and I assumed I'd be forcing her beak open and squirting it down her throat?
 

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
She's got quite a lot of energy and fight in her today. Not the best chicken Handler, but I was able to give her a thorough examination today. I clipped a few feathers that would get stuck in the neck wound healing, with suture cutting scissors, rinsed with disinfecting contact solution, and applied derma-vet ointment which has Nystatin plus a triple antibiotic. It's a bit runny, so next time I will cover with Vaseline or use something with more petroleum jelly in it.

I found a half-dozen other small wounds. One small 1 in the center of her back that was full skin thickness, a small wound in one of her toes that was still bleeding, a bleeding spot in her comb, and a few other not full thickness scratches. I rinsed the larger ones with saline and applied some Derma vet.

She escaped my grasp, and is now roaming the coop alone. The other seven are outside the coop and in the Run.

I'm a naturopathic doctor, so we'll get a hold of the other antibiotic mentioned above, make a solution and give it to her for 10 days. I still don't know how to give chicken liquid meds.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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The Hibiclens (4% Chlorhexidene) can be mixed with water to make 2% to clean the wound. I probably would get plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment instead of using the Nystatin combo. A syringe or turkey baster can be good to flush a wound as well as a kitchen sprayer with lower pressure. You can make normal saline by adding 2 tsp or 9 grams of table salt to a liter/quart of water, bring it to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and store in a clean jar.

The cephalexin would be good to use. 25-50 mg per pound of weight given 4 times a day is the dosage. I would also give some probiotics, plain greek yogurt, or buttermilk during and after antibiotics.
 

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
I mixed cepahlexin in wet cat food.
50mg x 5# x4 =1000mg/day split into 4 doses. Shes not taking the bait. How do I coax or force an antibiotic into her.

I don't have a lot of cephalexin. What's the dose for Amoxicillin? I can get that.
 

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
I can get Amoxicillin 250 mg capsules in an hour. She is ~3kg. Should I give 2 or 3x/day? I am figuring that the formula of 125mg/kg 2x/day for a 3kg bird works out more neatly with giving 250mg 3x/day. Is this reasonable?

I still don't know how to get it in her!
Come up with a tastier treat version? (Hide it in a grape.)
Pry open her beak and pop a capsule in?
Make a solution and syringe it in (without getting it in her lungs!)?
 

T.R. Morris

Chirping
Sep 6, 2017
11
3
54
I've had this hen isolated nearby the flock in a dog cage. I've been giving 250mg amoxicillin 2-3x/day. Spraying VeteraCidin 1-2x/day and covering the neck wound with neosporin 1x/day. I also spray the minor wounds and bare skin with BluKote in case she breaks out into the general population (7 hens). It's been 7-8 days now, and I have *finally* seen her eating and drinking. She must have had something when I wasn't watching --or shed have diet from dehydration. The neck wound looks gray, not scabbing. How long should it take for this to close?
 

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