Dog Attack! Injured Hen, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by damselfish, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    We had a dog attack this morning. Lost two hens, and have another injured.

    Don't know how she managed to get away, but I found her in the woods a few hours afterwards (there was no body, so I knew she had to be out there somewhere). Just standing there, in shock, I think.

    Her injuries are as follows:
    1. Torn skin on back where a big bunch of feathers were pulled out. A few toothmarks too.
    2. torn skin underneath and in crease of legs, same as above. One area slightly worse than the back.

    Here's the good part:
    Hardly any blood, no guts showing, vent is intact.

    Here's what we've done so far:
    1) brought her in, cleaned up the debris from her skin as best we could with warm water and rag. There's still some stuck to feathers and skin.
    2) slathered everything with a Neosporin-type ointment.
    3) ran the blow dryer on her to dry the feathers we got wet, tossed a lightweight towel over her back for heat
    3) put her in a dog cage indoors, with a mash of cooked egg with moistened oatmeal and regular food, plus water. She has eaten a little, drank a little water, pooped once (no blood)
    4) cage has a rug under it for insulation (our floor is concrete), newpaper and towels inside.
    4) the water sulfadimethoxine in it, mixed as best I could to the right levels (one of those darned packets with 107 grams in it for 50 gallons of water, and my best scale only goes in 5 gram increments)

    She is somewhat alert, on her feet, but not moving much.

    Sorry this is so long, but wanted to cover everything. My main questions are:
    1) should we give her a heat lamp? We have an extra red one. It's about 68 degrees in there without it. Cage is 2x3 so she wouldn't be able to get away from it very well if it was too hot.
    2) am I right to put sulfa in the water...I know it's usually for cocci, but figured it would help fight off bugs from those nasty dog teeth. Oh, and does anyone have a teaspoons-per-gallon type measurement for it?
    3) ongoing care, how often to put salve on her, etc.
    4) anything else we missed?

    Thank you all for reading this whole thing.
  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Sorry to hear...povidone iodine to clean her wounds. Neosporin on the wounds is good too. Make sure it is not the painkilling kind. Just plain. Keep her warm and dry. Make sure she is eating and drinking. Electrolytes in her water will help. Yogurt is a good treat too. Hope this is some help. Good luck and keep us posted.
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Just because there's no blood doesn't mean there's no internal injuries. Watch for blood in her droppings. Keep her in a warm dark room and don't bother her at all. You can play soft music in her room to let her know that she is in a safe area (silence = predator). Stop by your nearest health food store and purchase Rescue Remedy. It will keep her from going into shock. Give her a single drop (if she's large, dilute it if she's a bantam). Do what chickensioux said too. Don't give her any antiinflamitory. Good luck, I hope she recovers soon!
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    - - Most important thing is to prevent decline from shock by comforting her and providing electrolytes. BYC search under this topic will provide info. A bit of pedialyte or gatorade in a pinch if you don't have poultry electroltyes available quickly.
    - - Rescue Remedy drop or two in her water for stress.
    - - Pain relief if you do not think she is suffering from internal injuries - a baby aspirin per cup of water (~= to five 325mg aspirins per gallon of water)
    - - As you are doing, keep her warm, in quiet stress free area with comfy bedding. She may need comforting company and sounds of the person she trusts the most. And to see her best feathered buddy if she has one.
    - - Hydration important. If she's not willing to drink (and even if she is) you can offer some bits of fruit that she likes (dunk in the aspirin water or the Rescue Remedy water before offering to her).
    - - For puncture wounds she may well need oral or injectable antibiotic in addition to topical neosporin. I don't know about the sulfa drug for that. Vets I've seen with injured birds generally give baytril.

    I hope very much she'll get better and I'm so sorry about the ones who were killed - it's so wrong. Do you know whose dog it was?
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    listen to her breathing, one of the most damaging thing a dog can do is puncture the lung of the bird.
  6. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Thanks all, she is still alive although not very lively. I adjusted the sulfa water so the dose is right (did some more calcs of my own and also there is a dosage thing in the stickies), and added electrolytes to the water as suggested. Don't have aspirin but she doesn't seem? to be in pain.

    She doesn't seem cold, no shivering. Didn't bring in her (only remaining) chicken friend as the cage is small and they were not best buds anyway. Pecking worries.

    Room is dark now and she has crouched down to rest a while and my husband and I are taking turns resting in there to let her know it's safe. Not messing with her, just making a noise if she makes one, and hanging out.

    To the person who asked about the dogs...we don't know. We didn't see them, but there was a light snowfall this morning and the tracks were very plain. We live on 40 acres in the country, so they would have had to come quite a ways. Doubt coyotes as the coop is pretty close to the house. DH tracked them off the prop, but never saw them. 12 gauge is by the door.

    Three lighter notes:
    1) we have chicks in the indoor brooder right next to her. She can hear them but not see them and it's clear that she finds the little chirps very puzzling.
    2) we have guineas too, and when we went out this morning to do treats, before we knew there was a problem, we stood there and marveled at how high up in the trees they were...up in the top of two of our tallest oaks. Well, now we know why they were up there. Wish our chickens could fly that well.
    3) when the remaining birds went to coop tonight, a bunch of guineas all came and hung out in the chicken coop with my lonely remaining hen until she got settled. Then they went home to theirs. Awww...

    Would still like to hear if anyone else knows for sure if giving her sulfa is a good or bad thing. Anyone?

    Thanks for listening.
  7. mirecipes

    mirecipes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2008
    One of my hens got attacked by a hawk almost a year ago..
    She had 2 pretty deep puncture wounds..
    I use the triple antibiotic ointment (generic neosporin/no pain relief in it) And gave her oral tetracycline in her water for a couple days..

    I kept her inside my bathroom for about a week, in a box half covered with a towel..With another towel inside to cushion things.

    I got my roomate to buy fishing worms from walmart, and went outside to catch more bugs for her..

    She is healthy and happy these days [​IMG]
    Not laying right now, but I figure she is just on a winter break like her sister (They are EEgers)

    Happy healthy healing thoughts being sent your way [​IMG]

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