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Chook attacked by a dog - help please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rio-sunnycoast, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. rio-sunnycoast

    rio-sunnycoast Hatching

    Aug 21, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm newly joined to BYC but have been using it as a search tool since we got our girls a couple of years ago..so thank you for all the second hand advice I've gotten, it's great!
    Our girls have been totally free range on our farm and getting layer mix, food scraps and anything else they could scrounge off us, they are very personable!

    Last Friday night my friend came over with her little terrier dog and he got away from her, he quickly dispatched of one of my girls, I managed to prise the other one out of his mouth (he had her by the flank).
    She was shaking and very stressed, so I put her in the coop box for the night to see what she wanted to do (live or die).
    The next morning she was still alive, and would eat and drink a little...
    She is bald across the back towards her tail (still has feathers on her shoulders) and has five deep puncture wounds that I can see.
    The next few days I washed her with salt water, and smeared betadine on the wounds, and today I started medicinal honey.
    She is getting vitamin c added to water and food, as well as oregano... I don't think she's eating enough and she isn't too interested in layer mash or rolled oats, but seems keen enough for some things (white bread, yoghurt, boiled egg, ham fat etc)...
    What's worrying me most of all is that at 6 days now she's still not taking any significant weight onto one of her legs, she hops, sort of, in the smaller cage I have her in now to get to food and water but spends most of her time lying down, preening, head tucked under wing....she feels a little warm, but not feverish..
    Is it pointless to keep her going if she's not walking on that leg yet??
    If there's a chance she'll recover, what else can I be doing?
    Thanks in advance,

    PIGSinSPACE Hatching

    Aug 21, 2013
    Corning, California
    I dont know about the leg. Hopefully she will pull through with time. We pulled one of our chickens out of a pitbulls mouth, and she was in shock for weeks. she just sat there, and never ate. (eventually got her to eat yogurt, and we would mix stuff in like fruit smoothies for vitamins)We would go in and hold her and talk to her every day. Well eventually she snapped out of it and now is the lead hen. She loves to be picked up and we just walk around with her like a housecat. I really hope the same thing happens for you.maybe you could make a little splint. Thats what I would do, so she doesnt put weight on the injured leg. If the leg done for good, maybe a little wheel she could kick around on. I know thats nuts...good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  3. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing 7 Years

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi Rio,
    Sorry to hear about your ladies.
    Couple of things to consider - would your friend pay for vet costs? I ask because predator (dog) bites are notorious for getting infected. You may not see any signs of infection, but it's probably brewing which maybe why your hen is listless. She may need antibiotic therapy which will cost money and technically your friend is liable for costs incurred by the attack.
    I don't think there is much else you can do for her, seems like you have all the bases covered, maybe try some antibiotic ointment rather than betadine on the bite wounds & pray. Don't give up on her yet! Keep us posted, best of luck, Sue
  4. rio-sunnycoast

    rio-sunnycoast Hatching

    Aug 21, 2013
    Thanks PIGSinSPACE!! your story gives me comfort and hope.... She's a plucky little girl that's for sure...and is so relaxed when I treat her.
    I just hope the leg recovers... A couple of the puncture wounds are around that hip so I'm hoping there's no internal injuries just a lot of pain and swelling.
    She can lie down and stand up fairly well so fingers crossed!
    Lol she's currently enjoying some boiled egg, rice, corn and lettuce...she certainly is picky with her food at the moment...
  5. rio-sunnycoast

    rio-sunnycoast Hatching

    Aug 21, 2013
    Thanks Sue, I hear rave reviews of Neosporin as an antibiotic ointment, but living in australia there is NO equivalent (believe me I've looked!)... I am using medicinal honey at this point but any better ideas will be gratefully received!
    I normally hesitate using Betadine at all, but with the severity of the bites I figured it would give her a good start...
    I even put some TuffRock on the wounds initially (it's a clay poultice that I use on horses) and left that on for about 18 hours... Not sure how much good it did but it always works wonders on the horses...
    Are antibiotics oral or injections? Will I need to take the chook into the vet to get a prescription?
    Thanks guys for the speedy response, I'm feeling a little more relaxed about it all already. :)

    Cheers, Rio
  6. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing 7 Years

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi there,
    Any improvement?? As a nurse I have to let you know that Betadine on human wounds is a no-no, it doesn't promote wound healing at all. As far as taking chook to the vet.....do you have a really good vet for your other livestock? If so, I would be tempted to give them a call, tell them what has happened and they may prescribe over the phone for you. The antibiotic will probably be oral although not 100% sure on that.
    Good luck, I'm keeping my fingers/toes crossed for ya, Sue
    1 person likes this.
  7. raewhitewolf

    raewhitewolf In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2013
    Oh dear, I had a chicken in Israel who survived falling off the back of a truck on it's way to the slaughterhouse and having her wing torn off, then weeks after surgery to rmove what was left of her wing properly and close her up our stupid neighbour's husky attacked her and tore into her back.
    I just kept the wounds as clean as possible, rinsed them with saline, and then let them dry, I gave her homeopathic remedy for shock in her water (arnica I believe) and yes the medicated honey ointment has worked really well for me on both the chickens and my ducks.
    I am also a great fan of using the homeopathic arnica to treat their shock in the beginning, that can be such a big hurdle for some birds to get over, and I've found it really helped.

    Good luck I hope she will be okay.
    1 person likes this.
  8. rio-sunnycoast

    rio-sunnycoast Hatching

    Aug 21, 2013
    Hi guys, thanks for the ongoing advice, it all helps so much!! Please keep it up!
    Thanks so much for thinking of me Sue, Our vet is pretty good, he's primarily a horse vet but has stitched up and euthanised dogs for us....never gone to him with a chicken enquiry but tomorrow will make that a first. :)
    When I got home from work today there was poo all over the cage instead of just one quarter - a sign I think that she's moved around a lot more! :)
    She had another really good thorough wash with warm saline today and apart from having a good wing flap when I picked her up she was super relaxed and happy to be treated. I am gradually chopping off more feathers that are in the way of her wounds as they come free...

    Thanks raewhitewolf, your comments make me feel better as I have been crushing up an arnica tablet and spreading that over two feeds in the hope it works as well as it does in humans. Nice to know I'm on the right track...wow your chook sounds like an absolute trooper! And you're amazing for persevering with her recovery!

    Quick question, does vitamin c have the same healing power in chooks as it does in mammals? I have used it with huge success as a replacement antibiotic and also for shock, poison, tick bite, and as a general tonic after injury for all my four legged guys.
    I have been sprinkling powdered vitamin c over her feed daily, just want to make sure I'm not doing any harm...

    After her bath, once she had dried off a bit today, I put more medicated honey on the wounds and popped her back in her small cage. But then she had the first really thorough preen I've seen her give herself, and she was pulling off more feathers than I was game to...the gooey ones with honey on them...I can only assume from that she is in less pain??

    Again and still, any advice you can give is gratefully received, just want to get my Chicky back up and running...her mate was Dixie-rip (the pair of them were the Dixie Chicks)

    Thanks guys,

  9. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Crowing 6 Years

    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    Hi Rio, just read through your thread and you are doing great. First, terriers and jack russels are notorious for this behavior . If your friend was not aware of that then hopefully she is now.
    Do you have a horseland store near you, or a rural supplies. Terramycin antibiotic spray is something you should have in your first aid box. I had a goat lose a horn, that left her skull open. I irrigated it with Otiderm( for the removal of debris and necrotic tissue ) then sprayed it with the Terramycin every couple of days. If you can get your hands on some doxycycline ( at the chemist) I would start her on that. If you can't find these products, cetrigen purple wound spray is a good alternative. All of these products are available at Horse supplies direct, on line. We have used medical grade honey and vitamin C with great success , but you may need to pull out the big guns. Dog saliva is full of bacteria . Good luck .
  10. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    It sounds like you're doing great and she's coming along. I wonder if you should stop the gooey honey, though. It might be irritating her if it's sticking the feathers down into the wounds, and that might be why she's pulling out so many feathers. I would give her another saline bath and then just let her dry and watch her. I have had several chickens attacked by a neighbor's dogs. It's amazing how resilient they are.

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