Attacked - wing ripped off

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ogie5263, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. ogie5263

    ogie5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 14, 2014
    Our chickens were attacked early in the morning on 12/13. (I was out of town, and my son, who was supposed to check each night that the chickens were in the coop, forgot, and their door had closed so they were trapped in the run. Something swiped at them through the chicken wire.)

    One was killed, and another had her wing ripped off. We cleaned the injury and put antibiotic ointment on her. She made it through tonight, and I put antibiotic ointment on again this morning.

    She is in the coop, in a small animal pen (to keep her safe from the other chickens). She is eating and drinking and talking - though she still seems to be in shock. I let her out into the coop this morning while the others were in the run, and she walked around and pecked.

    But it seems like she is still bleeding a little bit. The wound is significant - under her neck and on her whole side is a gaping wound. You can imagine a wing being ripped off!

    First, should we let her try to recover? She made it through the night and is eating feed and is feasting on mealworms and drinking. But that wound! Oh! It must hurt terribly

    Second, if we do not put her down, how can I best help reduce her pain and her recover?

    Thanks so much for your help. This is our first loss and injury. :(

    PS the picture shows about 1/2 of the injury.

    PPS We have put a latch on the door, so it doesn't close. The run has woven wire, with maybe 2"x3" holes, on all side, including the bottom. I am adding chicken wire to keep raccoons and foxes from reaching in again.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    12,115
    6,461
    521
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Ouch, poor baby! For pain, dissolve five 5 grain aspirin in a gallon of water and offer it to her free choice with regular water available. That will help manage her pain. Have you cleaned the wound out? If not, I would, just to make sure there's no particles or dirt etc stuck in there. Then I would continue with the ointment to prevent infection. Use a triple antibiotic ointment, like neosporin WITHOUT pain relief. The pain relieving part can be toxic to birds. You could also hold a cloth against the wound that's been soaked in warm water with epsom salts, as epsom salts help draw out any infection. As for whether to put her down, you'd have to decide. If you can manage her pain and she seems to be fighting to live, personally I would give her a chance. I've seen them recover from some pretty horrible things. My friend had a hen get the back of her neck torn off by a weasel, and with careful care she recovered and is back to normal.

    Edited to add if you think she's in shock, it's important to keep her warm. You might want to give her a heating pad or heat lamp until the shock passes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,514
    4,879
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So sorry about your chickens. It does sound like a raccoon. Vetericyn wound spray, betadine, or chlohexadene (Hibiclens) are all good for wound cleaning or care. The plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment will help prevent infection. If you are in a warm area where flies can be an issue, you will want to keep her inside to prevent maggots. You probably need to bait a trap outside your run at night. I ended up trapping 10 raccoons over a 3 week period, next to my rooster pen.
     
  4. ogie5263

    ogie5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 14, 2014
    Thanks guys!

    Chance (can you believe that's already her name?) is doing much better. I cleaned the wound out well and I bandaged it lightly. We moved her inside to avoid contamination from the coop's bedding. DS is spending lots of time cuddling with her, which I think is calming her down. I've given her aspirin water as well.

    I will call the vet tomorrow to see if they can clean up the damage. Her muscle is just hanging there.

    If the vet can't clean her up/make the amputation straight, which I attempt to do anything? What will happen to the dangling flesh?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. ogie5263

    ogie5263 New Egg

    3
    1
    9
    Dec 14, 2014
    I wanted to follow up in case any other newbie reads this thread.

    The day after I first posted, I brought the hen to the vet, and he said that he would be able to stitch the neck area because there was plenty of skin there. But the wing area didn't have enough skin to stitch together, so he would have to perform surgery ($1000-1500) to disconnect the whole shoulder, then pull skin to cover the area.

    She had started wobbling that morning, which he said was a bad sign. He said birds often try to pretend that everything is OK, when really it isn't. So seeing her wobble meant she was already pretty sick.

    If he did perform the surgery, she would have to be in the hospital for a few days before hand to build her strength back up. And even then, he said it was unlikely she would survive much longer after the surgery.

    We opted against surgery, and he euthanized her.

    While I won't bring another chick to be euthanized, I'm grateful for what he taught me. Now I know that unless the cut skin can touch edge-to-edge, the bird will likely get gangrene and die a slow and painful death - better to cull these birds. But if I can superglue the skin together, some wounds can be healed. A course of antibiotics, bringing the bird inside, tending to her, and helping her eat and drink will help her heal.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    69
    141
    Mar 28, 2013
    CT
    Thanks for the update. I'm sorry for the loss of your hen.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,514
    4,879
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sorry for your loss.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by