DIY Chicken Sutures

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TroyBlackburn, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. TroyBlackburn

    TroyBlackburn Out Of The Brooder

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    For those that may have a chicken injured with a severe cut and not know what to do, I thought I'd share the following.

    About a week ago I came home after having been out of town for a month (I'm in the Navy and was overseas). I was only home for 1 day and on the evening before I was leaving town again I noticed that one of my Buff Orpington Hens had a deep cut over three inches long. It wasn't infected and it could not have been too long since it happened because although it wasn't bleeding, areas were still raw and some scabs.

    Taking her to a vet wasn't an option (it was late Saturday night and I had to leave first thing Sunday morning), so I decided to sew her up myself. I washed the wound out with a liberal amount of hydrogen peroxide, removing any dead tissue, then i sutured her up with white cotton thread that I soaked in alcohol and a small sewing needle. I then treated the area with Neosporin, which my girlfriend repeated daily for the first few days after the "sutures" were put in.

    It's been over a week now, no infection at any time, some of the sutures have come out on their own, I'll take the remaining sutures out in a couple of days. The wound is healing nicely.

    This is not my first time doing this sort of thing, I did the same with an injured cat years ago with the same results and the cat lived a long, healthy and happy life. Other than some knowledge of first aid, I have no medical training or experience.

    I certainly wouldn't want someone to have to do this, however the point of the story is that if the available options are do it yourself, leave it untreated or cull the bird, you can successfully do it yourself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Glad the operation was successful! Thanks for sharing this information!
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for sharing. Sometimes people just need to hear that it's been done successfully before to overcome that last disinclination and do what's necessary. It's such a shame when great animals whose genetics were needed are put down over a little wound someone could easily have fixed. Often we put animals out of OUR misery, not theirs!

    Recently I found some 'Vinylon' (if I recall correctly) thread that states it is water dissolvable. I intend to try that in any deeper wound I ever have to stitch, with non-dissolvable or slow-dissolving stitches at the outer extremities of the wound. Knowing what I know now, next time I have a severely crop bound chook I'll simply cut it open if it doesn't respond to other treatments immediately.
     
  4. TroyBlackburn

    TroyBlackburn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2012
    I agree completely, in fact at this point I'm planning on buying or putting together a small emergency surgery/suture kit with actual instruments including suture needles and thread. If an injury is serious enough and taking the animal to the Vet is an option, I'd still prefer professional medical attention when possible; however this is the second time it hasn't been an option and the results were good, so why not just be better prepared in the future.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Agree completely. For me it is often not an option to use a vet anyway (expensive and mostly pointless) so the more I educate myself on these things, the better. Once upon a time a farmer was expected to handle pretty much everything themselves. I'm tired of taking losses I didn't need to suffer because I didn't educate myself enough in time.
     

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