Buff Orpington pullet with huge swollen thigh on Left leg- Help/advice needed!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JoyfulPromise, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. JoyfulPromise

    JoyfulPromise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Meet Goosie - our top Buff Orpington Pullet from last year. We purchased Goosie along with other laying pullets as a chick from McMurray Hatchery in April 2012. She was the first of the 5 BO pullets to start laying this fall, and was exceptional in regularity and size of eggs! Her name was given because early on she would make a loud "honk" when trying to get our attention and she would yank on our clothes. [​IMG]

    Late in December (I think it was the 20th), when feeding in the morning my brother and I noticed a large patch of reasonably fresh blood on the main roost! We thought maybe someone had cut their foot or pulled off a toenail, and we tried to scan all the chickens in the coop, but could not see any injured feet. Two days later, on the 22nd, we saw a few more small drips of blood on the roost, but still could not find the culprit, until that evening when my brother was closing up the chickens and he checked all of them in a row on the roost with a flashlight (what we should have done the first night!) and he finally found it was Goosie and brought her in. She had a large gash/scrape on her left thigh, but because of where it was, her side "poofs" of feathers completely covered it to any casual glance. Do YOU see anything wrong in the picture above? That was just taken last night when my brother brought her in for treatment before bed-time. How about in this picture? (her tail is down because she was sleeping and just woke up)

    [​IMG]

    We could not think of what could have caused this injury. We didn't see anything in or around the coop that was obvious, nor were we sure that it could have been caused by the rooster. But it had completely ripped the skin and feather upward for about an inch or so. At that point I wish we had taken more time to treat it better, or even take a picture, but it was late, and it was not bleeding anymore, so we just did our standard healing treatment of Young Living Therapeutic grade Lavender Oil, and some Animal Scents ointment, and sent her back out to the coop. I am thinking we were pretty busy the next few days, and other than checking her occasionally to make sure she had not bumped it again, we left Goosie alone. But then I noticed it oozing a little, so I though we should put some more oils on it, and we brought her back in. Because it was so well covered by her feathers, we had not noticed that her thigh had swelled up to a huge size!

    The following pictures are from the same time as the ones above, so you can see how well she hides it...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Nasty, isn't it? We put some antibacterial oils on it, and wrapped it with muslin strips for a few nights, but then decided it was better for her to stay out with the others instead of the extreme temp changes (we had been keeping her in at night. So now we are just bringing her in twice a day to treat her leg.

    She walks normally, is rather picky about her food, but will eagerly gobble her favorites, and she drinks water fine. Her poo is slightly watery, mainly because she hasn't been eating as much as usual. She has been kind of moping about a bit more in the coop, and is not as energetic or act like she used to. But she doesn't act in pain or anything. She is very sweet and calm about us handling her or putting things on her leg. I don't know what else to do! It almost looks like an abscess, or something, but if we even slightly poke it it bleeds a lot! Should we just keep putting the essential oils on, or do you think we need to do something more drastic?

    Grateful for any help or advice!

    ~Joy
     
  2. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump - hoping someone with the necessary knowledge will see this and help you out.
    Best of luck.
     
  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're gonna wanna go back out there 'n get her, and bring her into a crate indoors, 'cause this'll take a while.

    If you soak her long enough in a slightly warm epsom salt bath, you can hopefully work the wound back open enough to allow it to drain. The swelling is the result of infection. She may require antibiotics at this point, in order to help her to overcome it.

    Once you've do this, post the details of her condition at that time.
     
  4. Poor baby! Good luck!
     
  5. JoyfulPromise

    JoyfulPromise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone!

    cowcreekgeek, we did actually try and soak her leg in a warm herbal bath the second time we brought her in but only for about 15 minutes. Then we dried her off with a hair dryer, and put some more oils and ointment on the leg and wrapped it. I don't remember if it was that time, or another time when my sister tried to pull off a few feathers that had gotten stuck to the wound with some of the ointment and blood, and it pulled off a large section of scab and it just started bleeding a lot and would not stop. So we ended up packing it with cornstarch and it finally stopped. Another time we thought maybe there was some pus behind one of the more creamy yellow spots on the swollen part, so we gently poked it with a needle, and immediately a huge drop of blood started out! So I am hesitant to poke too much, because it is hard to stop the bleeding.

    When we do the Epsom Salt soak, how much salt to water ratio do you recommend for a chicken? And how long should we try and soak it?
     
  6. Maybe half a cup for a tub bath. It might be blood trapped in the infected bubble.
     
  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not entire sure as to the herbal treatments you're using -- not meanin' to dismiss alternative medicines, as many are effective ... just, not familiar to me.

    1/2 Cup of Epsom Salts per gallon of warm water, and I'd soak twice daily. Some of the tissue appears to be necrotic, and the salt bath helps to flush away the nastier stuff ... being patient, and gently work the tissue loose/away -- don't poke her w/ anything, but don't worry if she bleeds a bit ...

    But, I'd start the soaks immediately, and make mental notes as to the swelling -- gotta keep a close eye on it, if you're gonna help her get better.

    :: edit :: forgot to mention a few things:

    Start w/ STERILE stuff, 'n clean up when you're done -- don't forget, and scratch you nose, or wipe your eyes, or anything like that while you're workin' on her (you've gotta stay safe, and sterilize before you start, and after you finish ~'-)

    Afterwards, you should use neosporin w/o any pain reliever <-- very toxic to chickens.

    You should also dissolve a baby aspirin in a liter of water for her to drink 'til she's all better (five regular 324 mg. / 5 grain aspirins per gallon is the right ratio).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  8. JoyfulPromise

    JoyfulPromise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The herbal soak was in a infusion of Comfrey leaf, which is supposed to be very healing. I know it probably wasn't strong enough, and we probably should have repeated.

    On the Epsom soaks, approximately how long should we keep her in the water each time? 15min, 20min, 30min? longer?

    Thanks for the reminder to keep things clean, for our sake and for Goosie's! [​IMG]

    What is the aspirin for please? Isn't aspirin a blood thinner, and could that be a problem?

    Thanks so much for all your help!
     
  9. mg15

    mg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, Sure hope she gets better.
     
  10. JoyfulPromise

    JoyfulPromise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks mg15!

    Ok, so I found a nice round plastic container that turned out to be JUST the right size for a soaking tub for Goosie! I gave her the first Epsom Salt soak tonight for 20 minutes. She seemed to enjoy it, and towards the end she kept relaxing and starting to fall asleep and sinking deeper into the water! [​IMG] BTW, this tub is just large enough for her legs and main body, and her head rests over one side and her tail hangs out over the other side. I will have to get a picture of her in the tub later...

    The main problem with these soaks is that it takes a LOOOONG time to dry her off afterwards, even with a hair dryer to help! The whole process took near an hour I am thinking, including the drying time. But I don't mind if it will help Goosie get better! I managed to gently peel off part of one of the scabs on her sore leg after the soak, it came off easily and there was pink healthy skin underneath. But I haven't been able to get the deepest part of the scab off yet. I am encouraged though, that these soaks will help. Thanks again cowcreekgeek! [​IMG]

    I will keep you all updated on Goosie's progress, and post more pictures when I can. I also plan to measure around her swollen leg tomorrow morning, so I have something to go by WHEN it starts going down...[​IMG]

    Praying hard!

    ~Joy
     

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