Chicken attacked by possum...not good. :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by theburtschickens, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2009
    We had a possum get into our coop before we locked it up tonight. The possum's in the worst shape hanging from a tree with it's head cut off...but it got to one of our hens. (White cochin)

    There is a wound in the chest that I put the only antibiotic I had on it (terramycin) and cut the feathers around it a little to expose the wound. I tried to make her drink some sulmet mixed with water too but both eyes are swollen shut from the trauma. Her breathing sounds like there is fluid as well, kind of a congested crackling sound when she breathes in. There is a small amount of blood that came out the nose, and fluid that looks like it might be mixed with a few drops of blood that has come out of the eye area. I'm worried that the puffy closed eyes are coming from internal bleeding, but she is still breathing and is sitting up so there's at least some hope.

    What else should I be doing? I also put a good amount of terramycin on the swollen eyes. The chest wound is right around the bursa and isn't more than a half inch to inch big, but I can't tell how deep...judging by the fact that a big possum got a hold of her I assume it's pretty deep though. Obviously it didn't penetrate the heart since she's still alive...this happened about an hour ago. Should I bandage her or leave the wound open?

    Thanks for any help you can give to our poor hen.

  2. chicks4life

    chicks4life In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2009
    Keep her warm and calm. She may go into shock. I am sure some one will reply with more detailed info. Is she still bleeding?. If so maybe try to put pressure on the wound. I know animal wounds are likely to cause infection. Do you have access to Tylan or a diluted betadine solution? I would keep the would open for now unless it needs to be sutured up.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  3. pidgey104

    pidgey104 Cochins R Us

    Nov 10, 2007
    Panama City ,Florida
    keep putting antibiotic on her wound . I ahd one of my dogs get a hold of one of my ducks. the duck had a wound where you could see the haert pumping she made it
  4. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2009
    Thanks so much y'all. She's still alive, and I'd already brought her inside and keeping her in a comfy box. Here's hoping she makes it till the morning.
  5. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Songster

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    I will keep you in my thoughts.

    Keep us posted.
  6. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2009
    Well she made it through the night! Her wound is looking better...not open and bloody like it was last night. I applied some more antibiotic ointment and expect that the wound will continue to heal.

    Her eyes and breathing, however, are about the same...pretty rough looking. Her eyes are still completely swollen shut, and very puffy all around the eyes too. Ironically, I'm an eye doctor and don't know what to do for my poor patient...I don't believe the swelling is coming from an eye infection, but more from fluid buildup behind and around the eyes. So in that case I don't think it will help to medicate the area. I tried to get her to drink some water with Sulmet but she's not really taking it in too much as she can't see anything. I tried to show her where the water was and left it in her fairly small box so she can find it easily should she want a drink. Her breathing still sounds obstructed and very crackly, but obviously she's still breathing. I don't see any way her eyes are going to be back to normal in less than 2 days, so the poor thing will probably be sightless for a while long do you think she can live like this? Or is there anything else I can do besides be patient and let the natural healing process do its thing? Here's a picture of her head.


    Thanks again for all your help.
  7. Terri O

    Terri O Songster

    You could try to soak some good bread in corn syrup and push it is her beak a bit. Get her some energy to continue to heal. She might be able to find it if you "show" her where it is in the box. I dont know if she will actually eat mash if she cant see it? Terri O
  8. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I feel your pain. [​IMG] I am going through almost the exact same situation - we both had our attacks on the same day. Either a coon or opossum for us. We've got only one eye swollen shut, but she's not eating or drinking. She also has a torn up vent. Ours did make it through the night, but her rear is so tender. I'm at a loss as to how to get her to eat or drink as well. I'll be watching your post closely. It's going to be a long day for our patients.

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
  9. Our did the same thing!
    To get her to drink then put water in a little cottage cheese bucket and put her beak in it or use a dropper.
    To get her do eat we grinded up some food and mixed it with water.

    See if this thread helps!
    This is what happened to my hen and I hope it helps you!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  10. suburbanminifarm

    suburbanminifarm Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    N.San Diego County
    If it were me, I'd put the medicated water in a 6cc syringe and GENTLY open her beak by pulling on the lower "beard area. " Then put a VERY small amount of water in her beak and wait untill she swallows it. Repeat. Give approx 3cc then give her a break and try again in 8 hours. Good Luck! You seem like a caring guy.

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