Chicken attacked by oppossum-still alive, questions about rabies?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JC500, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. JC500

    JC500 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2008
    Help me please, one of our 6 chickens was attacked by an oppossum. it tried to pull it through the cage, but couldn't so instead it broke its leg and took most of the skin off of the upper leg, below the thigh. It is still living, day 3 after attack. We put hydrogen peroxide diluted with water and antibiotic ointment on the wound, and splinted the leg. she is still eating and drinking but not moving around much. I only saw the possum once, in the dark, don't think it was rabid. Should i euthanized the chicken? what are rabies symptoms in chickens? should i even worry about that?
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i dont know..heres a bump up....good luck!
  3. Cheryl

    Cheryl Songster

    I think most will tell you hydrogen peroxide is not a good thing...hope someone can help you with her
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Chickens cannot get rabies. It is a mammal disease. I would use caution for humans dealing with the injuries tho. Make sure to where gloves, especially if you have open sores. Any remaining saliva in the wound can make contact with your open wounds and cause you problems.

  5. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    I might be wrong but I dont think chickens get rabies? I thought only mammals did. However, as stated, I would be very careful in taking care of the wounds.
  6. Plum

    Plum In the Brooder

    Feb 4, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Possums don't carry rabies so no need to euthanize the chicken. It's wouldn't be a bad idea to put the chicken on an oral antibiotic and keep a close eye on the wound.
    Also, it would be a good idea to enclose the area where your chjickens sleep with 1/2 inch hareware cloth because the possum will be back for more.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  7. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Actually, any warm-blooded creature can get rabies. Chickens, too-- though I have heard that it kills them very quickly. Have you had a rabies alert in your area?? Chances are the oppossum was "clean", but if you have had frequent, nearby alerts, you may have to consider that.
  8. grandmachicken

    grandmachicken Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Williamson, GA
    Chickens don't get rabies because their body temperatures are too high. The virus needs a body temperature close to 100, as most mammals have. A normal chicken's temperature is around 104.

    Since a possum is a mammal, hypothetically, it can carry the rabies virus. But we very rarely see cases of rabies in possums, no one really knows why. The old joke in vet school was that you need to actually have a brain to carry rabies, and the possum - well, you get it.

    Peroxide is okay as long as it is diluted with water or saline, at least half and half. Check with your local vet as to what antibiotic ointment is safe to use on the leg.

    Good luck with your baby, she will probably be fine.

    Christi Ware, DVM
  9. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Chickens cannot get rabies. Here is a fact sheet from the CDC. Avian species do not get or carry the rabies virus.

    Any mammal can get rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, and cats can get rabies. Cattle and humans can also get rabies. Only mammals can get rabies. Animals that are not mammals -- such as birds, snakes, and fish -- do not get rabies.


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