Dog attack -- 4" tear and puncture wound

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lsomers, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. lsomers

    lsomers Hatching

    Mar 23, 2010
    My dog got a hold of one of my chickens last night. (It was all my fault, too...I let the dogs out without checking to see if my husband had let the chickens out first...) He ripped out most of the feathers on her back and bit her back, resulting in about a 4 inch tear and a single puncture wound. The tear went through the skin and fat layers, but seems to have left the muscle intact.

    I cleaned the wounds with boiled water and rinsed with them hydrogen peroxide. However, I didn't have any syringe or such on hand, so I was unable to flush the puncture thoroughly, and in retrospect (after reading some of the first aid posts on this forum) I worry that I did not flush the tear with enough H2O2 either. I then packed the tear and the puncture with Neosporin (pain reliever-free), and sewed the tear mostly shut with a boiled needle and regular sewing thread (3 sutures total).
    My suturing technique wasn't great, so the edges of the wound are not quite touching (about 1/8 " gap).

    Since reading a bit more first aid advice on this forum, I am tempted to clip the sutures and allow the wound to heal spread open as seems to be more typically recommended, such that the wound airs without anaerobic infection. But without the sutures, the tear spreads to about 1 inch wide (so about 4" x 1"), exposing fat and muscle...

    General info: She is a 5 month old Speckled Sussex hen, who just started laying a couple of weeks ago. She is currently inside in a small pen with pine shavings over cardboard. I fed her a scrambled egg this morning, which she readily consumed, though I haven't seen her eat pellets or drink yet (though I am not watching her constantly, so perhaps she is eating pellets and drinking). She seems fairly alert this morning, and is standing. She is holding her tail low, though.

    So, my questions are:
    1) Should I remove the sutures to allow the wounds to heal open? (And also to re-flush the wounds with saline or hydrogen peroxide, to ensure that they are well rinsed of debris?)
    2) Should I get oral or injectable antibiotics for the bird, or wait until I see signs of infection to do so?
    2a) What antibiotic is recommended? Injectable penicillin seems to be a popular choice ...?
    3) I am also concerned that I put too much Neosporin inside the wound prior to was quite a lot. Is this excess concerning enough to warrant removal of the stitches?

    I would really appreciate any help you could provide.
    Thank you, and pictures will follow..
  2. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Having had to deal with a roo recently who had had a severe mauling from a fox i am in a good position to answer.

    Remove stitches after about 10 days...they may be a bit stuck, but use hydrogen peroxide or iodine solution on them. Don't use antibiotics unless the wound gets infected. Don't worry about the fact that your 'sewing' edges weren't neat.....they will be fine.

    I would not remove the sutures early, more harm will be done than good.

    My ripped and battered boy is back to belting out his ownership of the hens after a couple of weeks, hopefully the same will be true of your hen,

    Good Luck,

  3. I would not have used stiches but since you did leave them. Stiches depending on what type of material you used could be really hard to get out. I use superglue to close wounds and lots of neosporin. I am not sure why they say not to use the pain relief stuff. That is all I have an I recently had to do crop surgery on one of my Bantam Cochins. I used tons of it on her and she healed up great. (Back to laying eggs when it is not 100 degrees outside.)

    I used superglue to close the wound then I put bluekote over the closed up wound. I also covered the wound to keep her from picking at it, but if your hen can't get to the wound she should be fine with it not covered.

    I also kept her on duramycian the entire time and ended up adding some penicillin in the pill form to her the last couple of days because the area looked a little puffy and red

    Dogs have tons of bacteria in their mouths and with it being a dog that got her and since there is a puncture would I would give meds. If a person gets bit by a dog, they are automatically put on antiobiotics.

    If you are not sure, call your local vet and ask their opinion.

    Just my two cents.

  4. lsomers

    lsomers Hatching

    Mar 23, 2010
    Here are the pictures:

    Pre-stitches, filled up with neosporin:
    (The puncture is near her tail, and looks deceptively minor...if I hadn't seen it fresh and open, I might have missed it..)
    More like a 2.5" tear, after all...funny how the mind exaggerates these things.

    Stitched wound:

    And she has a good stance this morning:

    Thank you for your replies -- I too think that antibiotics would be very prudent, especially given the puncture.
  5. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go??? 8 Years

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    When I worked ER we didn't flush deep wounds (only surface wounds) with H2O2, due to fear of creating an embolism. So I wouldn't worry about not using enough of that. Saline is a good rinser, for future reference; 2 tsp to a quart, add a drop of lavender essential oil.
    Sounds like you did the right thing. I like the antibiotics & bluekote idea. Some sort of coating to keep off dirt & 'germy' dust. Personally I am now using 'Plague Juice' in lieu of traditional antibiotics. I have a friend who makes it & trades it to me for eggs etc. I tried a drop on the poor bare headed girls' heads to see if it tasted bad to the boys... the jury's still out on that one.
    Oh and cooked rice with cayenne or any red pepper, & garlic, egg, etc. is always good.
    I hope she does well!
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Songster 9 Years

    Good pics, lsomers. You did a lot more than actually needed, but You did good. The tricky part about back punctures is the lungs, which are located close to the back. As long as you can`t hear wheezing or breathing rattles, she should heal fine. ........Pop
  7. MikasGirl

    MikasGirl Songster

    Apr 17, 2009
    Coos Bay, OR
    I agree with the antibiotics and Blu Kote. You could also put some honey on it, because of all of the sugar bacteria can't grow in it. I've also read a lot about "sugardine". It is a mixture of povidone iodine and sugar that you smear on the wound and it keeps out bacteria as well. Good luck!
  8. Quote:Looks like she is doing well. Keep a close eye on her and watch for infection. It looks like you did a really good job and she looks pretty happy. Get though the 1st 3 or 4 days and if she still looks good I'd say she should be fine.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010

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