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chicken attacked by neighbors dogs - a success story

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vermontgal, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Hi Everyone,
    I used to be a regular on here the first couple years I had chickens. I've now had chickens for nearly 10 years and so I have mellowed out about most things... have my rhythm.

    About a month ago, I was working from home, when I heard a ruckus in the backyard. At first I discounted it, but then ran out to see what was up. Two small dogs had busted into my daytime chicken run (admittedly not super-secure) and were attacking my chickens! They had one of my three hens pinned to the ground, but ran off as I yelled at them.

    At first I thought the chicken was a goner, so I spent some time getting the other two girls into the coop and chased the dogs further away. Then I went to see what was up with the injured chicken. She was completely immobile, crouched down on the ground, but alive. Then I thought maybe she was completely fine, and just terrified.

    Upon further examination she had a gash down her back from the base of her neck all the way down to about her oil gland, and had a big flap of skin hanging open. Probably about 5-6" long. They hadn't severely slashed her muscles (um, looked like chicken in there!) but had completely ripped her open. I went off to buy first aid supplies at a regular drug store. Reading on here at first I thought I was going to superglue her shut. But a friend counseled that you don't want to do that with an animal bite.

    I ended up irrigating with sterile saline solution. I then disinfected with hydrogen peroxide (upon reading further, after the fact, I might not have done that - for one thing it hurt like hell and put the chicken into shock for about an hour). I kept her warm and dry. I then packed her wound full of triple antibiotic (without -caine painkillers in it) and sort of pushed her skin flap back together. I kept her in the living room in a dog crate and put aspirin in her water (one ground up tablet per quart of water), along with some vitamins & electrolytes. I also ground up some food for her and made a mush, tried to feed her yogurt.

    She drank some but didn't eat much for a couple days. She seemed to be having problems eating pellet food, but was OK with smaller stuff. I enticed her to drink with drops of water on my fingers, dribbled over her beak. When she started making noises on about the 3rd day, I thought she might recover -- because fatally injured chickens hide in the bushes and are completely quiet so predators don't find them.

    In a couple days, I went to the feed store, and bought some vetericyn spray as well as some penicillin and syringes. I gave her 4 shots of penicillan, one per day, about 1/10 cc, and squirted her wound down with the spray. I watched a couple YouTube videos on how to give a chicken a shot. Note, she claims I was not very good at it, because she squirmed more each time so I figure it hurt. But, she is alive. The penicilliin was about $8 for 100 ml at the feed store and the syringes were about 40c each.

    I also packed her wound full of antibiotic ointment twice more over the next couple weeks and kept her in the dog crate.

    After about a week, I put the dog crate outside next to the main coop/run.

    After about 3 weeks, I put her back in the main coop with the other girls. She had also started laying by then. I am still not eating her eggs to make sure the antibiotic is completely out of her system (I'm also allergic to penicillin!)

    She seems to be doing fine. At some point in the next week, I will peek under her feathers to see how her wound is healing.

    The cost of the supplies including the penicillin was about $50. The most expensive item was the vetericyn spray, and I'm not sure honestly if I would buy that again.

    She is just over a year old so definitely in a productive time of her life; even if I ran my coop more like a farm than pets, I think saving a chicken at this time in her life is worth it compared to the time and cost of raising a chick.

    Good luck everyone with your flocks, and I hope this might help someone else have the courage or knowledge to take on treating a chicken who has been attacked by a dog.

  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Glad to hear she is back with the flock, thanks to your TLC[​IMG]

    Thank you for sharing with us!

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