Deep wound care?


Jul 15, 2019
NW Ohio
We found one of our bantam cochins lying on the coop floor two days ago. She is unable to stand. I thought that was her only issue but then realized that she has a gash all the way through her skin and you can see her "breast meat" if you move her the right way. Is that too deep to be treated with Vetricycline Wound spray?
We put here in a sling for a few hours a day and allow her to lay on her side the rest of the time. She is eating and drinking with shocks me.
A picture of the wound itself would be helpful for the experts to get an idea of how bad it is. I use a saline wash to flush deep wounds, rarely anything but antibiotic ointment without painkiller, but the real experienced members might have some insight.
Chickens are incredibly hardy animals. That being said, shock is something that they can be prone to, but if she made it this far, as long as there's no underlying issue that's going to keep her from thriving, I've had hens survive from much worse. Washing the feathers out of the wound with some gentle saline, it's easy enough to make at home with common ingredients, and trimming them back with as little fuss as you can to keep them from sticking in the wound as it heals would be where I would start.

About the sling, have you noticed any injuries to her limbs or spine? Chickens bruise green, so it may be difficult to see (or down right shocking) depending on how well you can spot I through her feathers. Check for tenderness as well. I would be concerned about closing the skin on a would like that without oral or injectable antibiotics for fear of infection. I have a hen who lost a wing and had a gash from the bottom of her thigh, up across her ribs to just behind the torn wing which I kept extremely clean with several flushes and then an antibiotic ointment mixed with Vaseline to keep the visible meat moist. It took a long time but the skin did finally heal over the down right ugly visible flesh, with no infection. My fear is if your girl is not able to move she may have broken something, but there's always hope for a recovery if the paralysis is caused by inflammation.

I'm in Canada, so what we can get our hands on to treat wounds or any illness for that matter can be rather limited. If you're in the states, someone else might have a better suggestion for you.

I'm wracking my brain to remember the names of those that would serve you best, but I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet, so the old power plants not up and humming at anywhere close to full capacity yet!
For deeper wounds saline is very good and gentle. Vetericyn with hydrogel is alao good. Initially, chlorhexidene 2% or Hibiclens 4% diluted with water can be good to disinfect the wound, or if infection happens. Leave it open, and coat with plain Neosporin or triple antibiotic, polysporin, or similar ointment. It can take weeks for deep wounds to fill in and heal. Are her legs affected, or any swelling or green bruising? Do you know how she was injured? Are they locked up securely at night?
@Eggcessive , @Wyorp Rock , I know I can do better than this, but maybe after another cup of life giving caffeine I can force my brain into thinking.

Can you possibly add your expert advice to my floundering in the dark with what's worked for me? 🙏
What' you have posted sounds good to me.

I agree, I'd trim the feathers from the wound to help keep it cleaner.

If Vetericyn is what you have, then use that. I like Chlorhexidine to swab out wounds and apply triple antibiotic ointment to keep it moist.

I would not close the wound at all, too risky of sealing in bacteria. It will granulate and close from the inside out.

An oral antibiotic like Amoxicillin may help with infection, but if there's no odor, pus, etc. then keeping the wound cleaned and monitored may be all that's needed.

Eating/drinking is good.
With a wound like that she may have suffered internal or nerve damage which is affecting her ability to walk. Hopefully she can heal and recover from it all.
Thank you all! I will clean it out and trim the feathers when my husband gets home. I'll apply the Neosporin to keep it moist too. There is no smell at all. Thankfully.
She leans to one side and keeps both legs forward, but bend her left leg. Sometimes she will cry out when she's moved.
Last night it seemed as if she was trying to scratch the wound with the leg that she bends. It's part of why we "re-slung" her last night, to protect the wound.
She didn't want to drink this morning, but I dipped a scrambled egg in electrolytes and she ate the whole thing. Otherwise she just hangs out and sometimes purrs.
I'll get some antibiotics for her asap. I'm worried that in the end she will still be lame, but if she can have a decent quality of life we will keep her around. She's now known as Princess, since we are doting on her like one.
I was going to put her out for a little bit in the grass and sunshine but got a little worried that flies could lay eggs in that wound. Is that a real concern or am I being paranoid?

As far as her pen goes, they are temporarily in a tractor as we built them a new coop.It is predator proof. It's a low tractor and has three roosts, two low and one high. She was in the enclosed portion of the tractor laying under one of the low roosts when my husband found her. At first I thought maybe it was a "sleep pile" injury because they still like to pile up together, but once I saw the wound, I have no idea what it could have been.
We couldn’t find any bruising. I did realize that the leg she keeps straight is what hurts her when it’s moved. It’s on the opposite side of the would. I can’t feel a clear break on it. I gently bed it to try to keep it mobile. The wound was pretty dry. 😕 We cleaned it and put neosporin on it. Oh, and we trimmed it and her butt.
I was going to put her out for a little bit in the grass and sunshine but got a little worried that flies could lay eggs in that wound. Is that a real concern or am I being paranoid?
Yes, it would be a concern for flies getting on the wound and laying eggs. This would be called FlyStrike and you don't want to deal with that. Maggots cause a significant amount of damage to wounds.

The leg she's keeping straight and indicates pain when manipulated, can you tell if there's a lump or break? It may be fractured or just possibly very sore. It can be really hard to know since chickens can be so stoic.

Do the best you can, tend to the wound and encourage her to drink and eat. See how it goes. The sling may be helpful as well.
Keep us posted on how she's getting along.

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