Dog Attack - Can we save her?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shirleybeth, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. shirleybeth

    shirleybeth New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Mesa, Arizona
    This young hen, about 4 months old, was attacked and had the whole back of her neck, and part of her scalp, torn off. She is miraculously still alive, though I don't know if it is merciful to keep her that way. It is about 36 hours since the attack. She is drinking through a syringe and hasn't eaten anything.
    She cannot hold her head up on her own, which I attributed to not having any skin connecting her head to her body, but I am now wondering if she also has a broken neck.
    This picture is how she sits. Does that look like a broken neck? Can you also see the gas bubble in her right *shoulder* area? Is that normal?
    Do you consider this hen able to be revived to live a good life? Earlier today I could tell she was really struggling and thought it best to put her down, but this evening she is much more alert and still more calm.
    I really need opinions and advice - I found four other chickens massacred and am not in an emotional state to make this decision - I just want to save her.[​IMG]
     
  2. kyleen

    kyleen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry you have to go through this. I lost two hens to raccoons a couple weeks ago. She looks in bad enough shape that she probably needs to go to the vet. If you're not willing to go to the vet, I would cull her and put her out of her misery. She's probably in a lot of pain and it will take a lot to rehabilitate her.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    How is your hen doing?

    Vet care would be best if you have one that will see her.

    Keep her warm and make sure she is staying hydrated.

    The "gas bubble" is most likely a ruptured air sac. This is air under the skin so it would need to be released (links below).

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/843992/q-and-a-article-from-a-peafowl-website
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/223/subcutaneous-emphysema/
     
  4. shirleybeth

    shirleybeth New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Mesa, Arizona
    Thank you @kyleen for your empathy and advice. And thank you @Wyorp Rock for your expertise. The information on the ruptured air sac is exactly what we needed for that issue.

    The hen is still living, however miserably. My husband and I counsel each time we nurse her that she probably needs to be put down, but then we still have hope.
    Trying to think long-term, I cannot imagine how her neck will heal up - I think it would always be exposed.

    We are not willing to take her to an avian vet, though I have spoken with my animal-vet brother-in-law. I guess if we're not taking the responsibility to get her the best care then we are probably being selfish in keeping her alive.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Were you able to release the air from the air sac?

    Wound like the one she has on her neck can heal and possibly feather back out.

    Continue to monitor her wound and apply a triple antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, Bacitracin or Vetericyn. Watch for infection (pus, oozing, discharge, odors) and provide her with some vitamins in her water. Some ill/injured chickens will eat wet foods with egg, tuna, mackerel or meat mixed in.

    It's always hard to decide when it's best to put one down. I'm sure you and your husband have discussed it extensively. Giving them a little time to see if recovery is possible helps make the decision a bit easier. If you don't see improvement in a few days, then I'm sure you will make the right decision.

    If she is in pain you can give her aspirin:
    ASPIRIN SOLUTION
    Used as a general treatment for reducing distress conditions of birds (fever or listlessness) that accompanies many diseases.
    Dissolve five (5 grain) aspirin tablets in one gallon of water.
    Offer this solution free-choice to the birds for the duration of an illness. The solution aspirin equivalent to 25 grains/gallon or 324 mg/gallon of drinking water. The dosage rate is about 25 mg/lb body weight per day. (REFERENCE : http://extension.msstate.edu/content/solutions-and-treatments)

    Keep us posted.
     
  6. shirleybeth

    shirleybeth New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Mesa, Arizona
    I think we need to get a thicker pin for the air to come out (I only have my sewing pins), and we will be trying again tonight.
    This morning she had white foam in her mouth that has been there whenever I've watered her today. We gave her aspirin last night, ando besides that I'm not sure what would be causing the foam.
    She opens her beak wide and slightly lowers her wings to breathe in.

    Thank you for all of the information - it has been very helpful in this situation.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I hope you were successful.
    As to what the white foam is, I don't know. I can only speculate that is may have something to do with the ruptured air sac, but that is just a guess.

    Keep us posted.
     
  8. Justagurllll

    Justagurllll Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2015
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    Absolutely she will survive! It's a long story but I hope mine will give you hope ... last thanksgiving I came outside and my Great Dane had my main hen in his mouth! I yelled at him and he dropped her but she was scalped just like yours and I was SO worried .. it was my first chicken injury so I panicked and cried for hours but let me tell you ... I sperated her and kept her in a small dog crate until her wounds were closed .. I did NOT give her antibiotics nor pain medicine ... I left her rest until it was ok for the other hens to be around her and I'll tell you now .. she's the strongest and most adventurous chicken I have! Don't sweat it .. I totally get freaking out about it but honest to God ... it'll heal in a week or so ... just keep her away from the rest and love on her and she'll be find [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. shirleybeth

    shirleybeth New Egg

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    Mesa, Arizona
    @Justagurllll that is an incredible story!
    Unfortunately here, we had to finally put her down last night. I think she had other inner injuries that we could not see. The second half of yesterday I could tell she was dying and she started putting off a strong rotting flesh smell. The white foaman increased and kept gluing her beak together. She had previously started having a little control over her neck again, but she lost all of that and her head hung lower than ever. She was struggling to breathe. Not sure if her injuries killed her or if she was just done trying to live.

    I am so impressed by the amount and quality of information I was provided here and am so thankful to all of you.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm so sorry for your loss[​IMG]
     

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