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Closing a large wound on back?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by epeloquin, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. epeloquin

    epeloquin Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I belong to a small local chicken forum in Western Massachusetts and someone posted that they have a roo who has opened the back of her hens several times. Personally the roo would get some stewpot therapy if this kept happening. Anyway, recently he put a 2 1/2-3" wound on a hen's back. She is asking about stitching it up. I thought I had heard of people using sutures they purchased from the vet. I think after the better part of a day it is probably too late to stitch because it must have started to heal over some by now, but for future reference. I asked her to post a pic but nothing yet.

    What might be an alternative to sutures?


  2. cbrown86

    cbrown86 Songster

    Mar 7, 2011
    I was told to use new skin. It's for humans, but the vet said it would be ok for chickens as well. I know Walgreens sells it.
  3. BJnMe

    BJnMe In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2010
    West Michigan
    I gently cleaned and put Neosporin in the wound. it healed fine.
  4. edselpdx

    edselpdx Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Sutures work on fresh (hours old) clean wounds. Once the wound's been open for more than a few hours or is visibly dirty, it's better to keep it clean and open to heal that way instead, so you don't close in any infections. A suture alternative: You can also use "steristrips" which are available at any drug store with the bandages. They are essentially little pieces of strong tape. Generally, though, they also shouldn't be used very long after the wound occurs either.

    Keys to healing any open wound are:
    --Separate from the other ladies (and the very rude gentleman) to keep anyone from pecking at it.
    --Keep the wound clean and moist. Wash with saline (mild salt water solution) or a very dilute betadine solution (mostly water with just a little betadine to look like brewed weak tea.) Slather with neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment without and "-caine" additives (so NOT the pain killer kind you'd use for a human scrape) to keep the whole wound moist until it's healed.
    --Protection from flies who will lay eggs in the wound which will hatch as maggots.
    --Make sure she has access to high-protein feed and all the water she wants for optimal healing.

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