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Chances of my chicken pulling through *updated with picture*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brickchicken, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. brickchicken

    brickchicken New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2014
    st louis missouri
    Hello there,

    I have been reading the forums off and on for years, but only now felt compelled to create an account.

    This afternoon one of my kids noticed one of our hens had something wrong with her. When I got home, I looked and saw a small 2cm laceration a couple inches below her cloaca. The area is swollen and hot, but the worst thing was that chicken innards were protruding. I suppose it was small intestine, but didn't really look or smell like that (I have slaughtered chickens). At any rate, I cleaned the area off as best as I could with what I had on hand (hibicleanse) and used some sterile lubricant to get the swollen innards back inside. Then I sutured the skin closed, careful not to prick the intestines. I am a midwife, so I happen to have this stuff laying around..... We put antibiotics in the water and plan to separate her from the flock tomorrow.

    I guess I am wondering what the heck is going on and what the chances are that she will pull through. I have pieced together chickens after a racoon attack and had them pull through, but this seems different. Obviously if her intestines ruptured or necrotized she will likely die. But why is that area so heavy and swollen? What do you all think the chances are that she won't die?

    She is second to the bottom in the pecking order of 4 urban chickens. They have a decent sized run, and though I see the top chicken pecking at her to keep her away from choice meal worms and such I have never seen anything more than a warning to get away. There is probably an hour or two of daylight before we wake up to let them out of the coop and that is the only time I think she might be being pecked.

    Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

    I am not typically sentimental about my chickens, but this one is my favorite and I don't want her to die!

    We can't seem to find our isolation cage, but hope to figure out something to separate her tomorrow.
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi brickchicken

    I just wanted top say how sorry I was to hear about your chicken. What a terrible thing to have to deal with, although I must say it sounds as if you have handled it VERY well.

    As you have already identified, it will be necessary to keep her separated. Chickens are vicious and if they see a wound the natural tendency is to peck at it. They could certainly do a lot of damage to an already unwell bird.

    If you don't have another pen available, you could section off part of your main coop. I have done this for broody hens, and just used a couple of pieces of mesh to separate a corner of the coop. If you don't have any mesh, you could use some old pallets or even sheets of corrugated iron propped up with posts. And if all else fails - a baby's playpen or a large sized dog crate in your lounge room might work.

    I'm not sure what exactly happened to cause your hen's injuries. She could have got caught on some wire or another sharp object, or if you have a roo he could have grabbed her awkwardly whilst mating her and torn the skin. Either way, maybe the heat and swelling is just like with people - caused by the trauma of the injury, and a possible infection starting?

    I really do hope she pulls through for you, especially since she is your baby. I have seen some dreadful injury pics on this site and with proper care chickens appear to be able to survive the most horrific of injuries. Let's hope she is one of them.

    I wish you both all the very best. Please keep us updated.

    Krista
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Oh, and a massive

    [​IMG]

    Such a pity we couldn't meet you under better circumstances.

    Good luck!

    Krista
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    Welcome to the coop!

    Whenever you handle intestines of any species you risk peritonitis. Usually IV antibiotics works best in these types of situations along with IV fluids. It's so difficult to say if your hen will survive, however it has been my experience when intestines are traumatized in such a manner, chickens usually die. However, with your skilled nursing experience you can continue caring for her by keeping her warm, clean, and hydrated. Give her pedialyte orally every hour for the next 24 hours and then offer her hand-feeding formula for baby parrots (found at Petsmart or any pet shop). You can tube feed her or syringe feed her.

    Good luck with her!
     
  5. brickchicken

    brickchicken New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2014
    st louis missouri
    Well

    Black has been isolated for two days in a dog carrier inside. I chose not to buy any expensive food for her, so she is getting her pellets and a scoop of mealworms everyday. She is pooping normally and drinking her antibiotic water just fine. Her poop is really stinky, but I've never had a chicken inside so I don't know if its really any stinkier than usual. She hasn't laid any eggs. Not a big surprise. Her wound is healing fine and does not seem infected. Below is a picture of her, bright eyed, pecking around in the front yard on a supervised outing. She does not seem lethargic or sick in a any way. Also is a picture of her swollen abdomen. If anyone has any thoughts on that, let me know. I gather this is not that uncommon. What can be done to fix it? Anything? What is it any why does it happen?

    I think the swelling made her skin more friable and thats why it got lacerated. Its also been very, very wet here over the last few weeks and their run is pretty muddy. I think that made it worse too. They haven;t gotten a ton of free range time since we recently reseeded the grass in the back.

    Thanks for all the wisdom and word of encouragement.



    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. brickchicken

    brickchicken New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2014
    st louis missouri
    we are going to weigh her tomorrow and keep track of that. I have no idea why that didn;t occur ot me before.
     
  7. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    brickchicken

    omg poor thing!![​IMG]
    so it wasnt her vent?
    did ya ever hear of egg bound?
    ive never seen it but it sounds bad.
    i know all about "not typically sentimental". i cry my eyes out anyway if something happens.
    she does look Great!
    keep updating[​IMG]
     
  8. brickchicken

    brickchicken New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2014
    st louis missouri
    looks like she had egg yolk peritonitis or aescites, yeah? I think we will be prolonging the inevitable. Oh well.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Could be. Has she been laying regularly? If not she could be an internal layer. In that picture she looks thin, like her breast bone is prominent? Or maybe it's just the angle of the pic. The swollen belly could also be ascites as you mentioned which has several possible causes. We've had quite a few that developed that, I usually let them stick around and do their thing as long as they are bright eyed and active, eating, drinking and roosting as normal. When they show signs of slowing down I know they aren't feeling well and it's time to make a decision.
     
  10. brickchicken

    brickchicken New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2014
    st louis missouri
    She is quite young and just started laying about a month ago. I'm not actually sure if she's laying regularly since we have three young hens and one 2 yo hen - young ones hatched in april I think - and have been getting 2-4 eggs a day for about a month.

    Ugh. This has been such an unlucky year for us. Before we got these ladies, we lost two hens to a brutal raccoon attack and almost lost the other.

    I will try draining tomorrow and see what happens.
     

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