Bad head wound with graphic pics

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Time-Out, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    This is the email I have just sent to my vet (who has chickens). I rang the clinic to confirm receipt, but he is away for the week [​IMG]

    Please help in any way you can.

    Dear Dr Roberts,

    Last night, around 8pm, I found one of my 10 week old Araucanas crumpled in the bottom of a bucket. It looks like her head was badly attacked. I have attached photos.

    I took her home, cleaned her up as best as I could using just warm water (I know how much savlon stings!)The wounds seem limited to her head. There are some minor wounds around the comb and one puncture wond on the back of her neck (perhaps from pulling a new feather out?). The main worries are the 20p-sized bit of skin missing from her head, where you can see the skull and her eyes. I wiped her eyes and opened the lids to check them. The eyeballs seem intact and she was blinking with her nictitating membrane. However, this morning, one of them seemed to have seeped some blood and fluids. I have also attached a photo of this. Her eyes respond to light, as she flinched when I used the flash of my phone.

    I trimmed as many feathers as I could, as they were so caked in blood. I couldn't do any more, as the feathers are 'new shoots'.

    I sprayed the wound with Gentian Violet.

    She is in a lot of pain, but I haven't tried to give her aspirin as I'd like the wounds to clot properly. Is there anything else I can do? Is there anything you can do? I can bring her in on short notice, however I'm on foot, so about 30 minutes away.

    I don't know how I'll get her to eat and drink if she won't open her eyes. Her nostrils are also full of blood. I tried my best to clean them out, but I didn't want to drown her. She can just breathe through them.

    Last night, she couldn't hold her head up, this morning she can.

    The four pics attached are one of before I started cleaning her up, two of after and one of this morning with the weeping eye.

    I've mentioned everything I can think of. I'm just hoping it wasn't my young cockerel who did this. I'll be going later to see if there are any blood trails that might give a clue as to what happened.

    Kind regards,

    The four photos I attached:





    ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  2. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    Update: Just tried getting some fluids in her with a small syringe. I put a glass of water on the radiator for a bit and added some baby vitamins (no iron). I don't know if she got much, but the kitchen towel sure was wet. Just that little effort seemed to exhaust her as her head was drooping again.

    Considering how dried the blood was when I found her, I guess she hasn't had any fluids in a while and lost quite a bit of blood.

    Another detail: she stinks. Both her and the poo she did (which was white and powdery, like a lump of moist chalk).
  3. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    So sorry you and she are going through this.
    Can't give you advise but hope the vets get back to you or some one on here can help.[​IMG]
  4. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010

    It likely looks worse than it is and a vet is unlikely to change much but the thickness of your wallet.

    Do what you can to keep her warm and hydrated (energy drink like gatoraid will do the trick), anything you can get her to take food wise will help but it might be a couple days before she will activly feed.

    Keep the wound cleaned removing any dead tissue and cover it with antibiotic cream. If you do have antibiotics on hand they would be good to help prevent infection. I would not try to close the wound more than a little, there is not much spare skin to work with on the head and closing it would be an infection risk unless you were able to get it super clean and start stronger antibiotics.

    Don't bother with an asprin, it is questionable what effect it has on the way chickens precieve pain and really unlikely that any mild painkiller is going to help much on that sort of injury anyway.

    She will need to be kept warm and safe from further injury until fully healed.

    safe and warm
    prevent infection
    food energy
    time to heal

    Time will tell as to brain, ear, eye or spinal injury
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  5. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Quote:X2. I had a pullet in worse shape than that. Even brought her to the processing block but changed my mind because she was a rare breed and I needed her...I isolated her..cleaned her up really good..Used blue kote..vitamins in water..wet mash with scrambled eggs..had to force feed her the first few days..after a week the wound scabbed over...two weeks later she was eating and drinking all on her own, wanting to come out of confinement...a month later she was back out with the gang. I removed who I was pretty sure who did the damage...and haven't had any issues since..4 months ago...chickens are very resilient ...we just need to get them over the brutal pain they are feeling..good luck
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  7. mnabity

    mnabity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    Eagar, AZ
    I am so sorry this happened to her. I have a bantam frizzle that was attacked by the bigger chickens her back and tail are bare and her tail is a big open wound. I can tell you what I have done and the advice vet here gave me.

    Keep the wound clean(of course), she recommended I use reg. Neosporin instead of genetian violet(something to do with the fact that genetian violet is very drying). Keep her warm, calm, in a quiet area(I have my girl in a pet carrier in the laundry room). I give her a bath to clean any poo off her every few days(basically just water sometimes a little baby wash if the poo is stubborn) and blow dry her after, she really enjoys this. As far as food and water I've given her electrolytes/vitamins in her water and gave her scrambled eggs the first few days.

    Don't know if I've helped, this is what I did and she is feeling much better. I pray your girl gets better and I hope you find the culprit. Best of luck. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Way more severe than mine. I hope she is able to recover.With the blue kote,antibio cream,that vitamin mix for water. I don't think a vet could do more than a shot of vitamin and antibios,but sometime the stress of the visit alone is more than they can handle.
  9. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    Thanks for all the help, guys.

    I'm not too worried about the wound on the back of her head. It has already shrunk to a third of its original size. At this rate, it'll be gone by morning! I'm more worried about her eyes and the bloody weeping. (bloody as in contains blood, rather than swearing).

    I got her to take a couple more gulps of vitamin water with the syringe.

    Thanks for the links, Laree, they're great. I did do a search on the forum last night, but couldn't find any as bad as this. Does it look like she got caught on something or was chicken dinner, do you think? I did see a rat running out of the stable as we approached it... I'm waiting for my ride there, so I can inspect the premises.

    I've just rigged a 'nest' up for her using a heated blanket and a towel.


    She's squatting in it and not twitching her head anymore, which I take is a good sign.

    I'll try to get hold of some Neosporin (if it's sold over here). We used to use Betadine, in France, on everything. It was like a miracle liquid.

    Sonew, how did you feed your girl?

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. [​IMG]
  10. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Feel for you and hope she pulls through - the worst is shock it kills long before anything else! You must keep getting fluids into her as best you can.

    Oesdog [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

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