Canine attack injury questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChicagoDucks, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. ChicagoDucks

    ChicagoDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    17
    108
    Feb 27, 2012
    Chicago
    Hi everyone. It's been a long couple of days. Some time early Thursday morning some foxes, coyotes or feral dogs jumped our 4 foot fence at our home in Chicago, broke open our coop and attacked our ducks. Four were killed and two survived but were badly injured.

    [​IMG]

    Damage to the side of the coop
    [​IMG]

    Paw prints in the alley
    The canines came down our alley after the snow had finished falling, so I was able to follow their tracks down the alley and find where they jumped over our fence. It looked as though there were two of them and they were sniffing the garbage cans along the alley, then got to our house and heard or smelled the ducks and explored our back fence line in the alley until they could find a good place to jump the fence. They broke through the wood slats on the coop on one side, and chewed on the locked access panel on the other side. We have motion lights throughout our yard, a solid-wood coop on stilts, a dog that hears everything, and our bedroom is less than 30' from our coop and still these fast, mean, quiet f*@#*$s got our ducks
    I won't go into details about what we found in the morning, except that most (not all) of the injuries consisted of puncture wound(s) on the back between the wings and deep lacerations to the upper breast.
    When we brought in our two survivors, we put them in a warm bath and then irrigated the wounds with home-made sterile saline applied with a baby medicine syringe. After the bath, we put them on clean towels in the tub. We've kept the wounds open and clean applied some neosporin.
    They have been getting a warm bath each day, and we have the heat turned up in the bathroom. They have access to clean drinking water with a dissolved vitamin/electrolyte supplement and Aureomycin (antibiotic) powder.
    They are drinking, defecating and breathing without difficulty. On Saturday they started eating again (thank goodness!!). They are getting mashed potatoes with peas, hard-boiled eggs and a couple of other good things mixed in. The surviving drake can walk and swim and move around well, but the surviving duck is not as mobile--she can move both legs and wings, she can swim, but she is favoring her injured side a lot and not walking much. They seem to be doing better than on Thursday. All bleeding has stopped (stopped on Thursday morning after I irrigated the wounds). They seem strong but I know we are not out of the woods for infection, etc.
    OK. So here are my questions:
    1) Should I cut the feathers back so I can see the wounds better? Or should I leave well enough alone unless I see/smell something bad?
    2) How should I go about trimming back the feathers if I need to?
    3) I've read pros and cons about closing wounds, and I've heard that closing bite wounds is not recommended. There's no bleeding, they are in a fairly clean environment, should I just leave the wounds open to avoid abscesses?
    4) Is there any change I should make to their treatment?
    5) Anything else I should watch for?
    TIA!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,356
    7,952
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I am so sorry that this happened to your ducks. The really sad part is that the predators will be back. This happened 3 days ago, right? If so it sounds like your ducks are on a positive path towards recovery. If they were mine, I would continue as you are and monitor them closely for any negative turn. In addition to the feeding regimen mentioned, I would recommend a complete balanced duck ration. Good luck.

    It's sort of a miracle that these two were not killed also.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  3. ChicagoDucks

    ChicagoDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    17
    108
    Feb 27, 2012
    Chicago
    Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. I agree that it is a complete miracle that any of them survived.

    I had a bowl of their every-day, duck & goose complete feed in the bathtub with them, but they weren't eating any of it. Saturday evening I started getting very concerned that they weren't eating, so I swapped the feed for the potato mix and they attacked it ravenously. You are right, though, about the feed. I'll make sure to put some out for them again.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,434
    5,171
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Or mix some into the special food your giving them. So sorry for your losses. If the feathers are sticking into the wounds then I would clip them back. if not I'd leave them alone. you just don't want the feathers to be inside the wounds while healing. I think your doing a great job. Is there anyone you can call to report what happened? maybe someone can come out and set a trap or two. That is some serious damage.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,962
    1,927
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Here are some items from Storey's Guide under "Cuts and Wounds"

    deep or jagged cuts - usually have feathers trimmed away from wounds' edges . . . hold clean gauze or lintless cloth over wound while trimming
    wash wound with warm water and mild soam, rinse with clear warm water
    apply medicated ointment (i.e. Neosporin) 1x or 2x daily
    keep flies away - (spray pyrethrin-based insecticide on feathers around wound)
    for multiple or severe wounds, it can help to administer a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Eurofloxacin Baytril (prescription at time of writing) orally 2x / day

    .......

    So sad to read of this tragedy. I pray they will recover and that you will be able to protect them.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,356
    7,952
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    How are they doing today?
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,434
    5,171
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    FYI Hakes' Twin City Poultry sells Baytril in tabs and injectable so you don't have to have a prescription.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  8. sarbee42

    sarbee42 Out Of The Brooder

    96
    1
    41
    Mar 3, 2012
    Morrisburg, Ontario
    That is so awful and I hear where you're coming from! Had my own dog attack our ducks when we first started out and although we only had one survivor, she had serious wounds but she made it through. Got some sort of antibiotics from the feed store and made sure she was kept warm and dry and clean until everything was healed. I found keeping her stress free as much as possible helped a lot too and she didn't want to eat either for the first few days.
    You can probably contact your municipality about animal control and they should send someone out to set some traps and what not at no cost. Not sure what they do out where you are but where I am I live 2minutes away from the "dog catcher" and I live right by a main highway which people drop off their unwanted pets all the time. In the past 2 1/2 years I've been out here I've managed to get at least 20 dogs..
    I hope your ducks are doing better today! Sounds like you're doing a great job of keeping them well [​IMG]
     
  9. ChicagoDucks

    ChicagoDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    17
    108
    Feb 27, 2012
    Chicago
    They seem to be doing OK.

    The surviving duck, Barni, is standing up and moving around more today--which is an improvement. She is losing feathers and down around some of her wounds on her back--maybe there were some abrasions that I didn't see before, or maybe she is picking the feathers off where the skin is irritated. Not sure. She gets angry with me and nips my hand quite hard when I am applying neosporin--which I take as a good sign.

    The drake is doing about the same--he walks, swims & moves well. OK appetite. He seems pretty strong.

    Appetites on both have gotten a little better. The wounds look OK. No visible pus, no off smells, they look clean.

    Thank you all for your support. Thanks for the info and prayers, Amiga, we appreciate it. Thanks for the lead on the Baytril, Miss Lydia--very helpful, I was wondering how I'd get a hold of it. And it is encouraging to know that other ducks have survived these types of wounds, sarbee, thanks.

    I stopped by our Alderman's office (our city council member) to report the incident.
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,356
    7,952
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Good news! I think that you may be out of the woods. If there were internal injuries/abscesssation, I think symptoms would have shown up by now.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by