DOG ATTACK! Massive injury to back!


7 Years
May 30, 2012
I found my smallest Rhode Island Red, "Four" today with a major wound to her back. It looks like our Sheltie got her though she is usually very gentle with the hens. Thank god for this forum where I hope I learned the right way to treat her... However, this is my first flock and I am looking for some validation that I am doing the right thing.

Her back from mid wing to neck is entirely torn open with muscle exposed. Below that most of the feathers on her back are gone. Her right wing the muscle is "filleted" away from the skin for about a half inch but fine below that. The skin on her neck is also torn and pulled back a little.

After I pulled myself together when I found my little baby so badly injured I immediately cleaned with warm soapy water and a clean rag dabbing the injury. The I brought her inside and really cleaned the injury as well as I could with warm soapy water and a rag but without removing feathers. Finally, I irrigated it with 1:10 iodine water solution. Then sprayed with bactine and packed with lots of triple antibiotic ointment. Covered all this with sterile bandages and vet wrap and put her in the bedroom to recover.

Her water has diluted arnica, electrolytes, and diluted 250mg cephelexin (antibiotic) in it. She hasn't drank anything since the attack and won't touch her regular food or her favorite treats, the worms her Daddy dug up in the garden for her. She did poop once in the tub while being cleaned. She seems sleepy (droopy eyelids) and looks like she is about to doze off, but will not lie down in her box. Everytime she almost falls asleep she wakes herself back up. I am not sure what shock is supposed to be like. Is this normal?

What should I give her so she will eat? Do you think I treated her correctly? If her flapped open skin doesn't heal should I stitch it up? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I can't stand the idea of losing another bird after the hawk got the last one! Thanks guys!
UPDATE: She is eating now! Hooray! I haven't seen her drink yet but I think eating is a good sign? She also tried to flap out of her bandages when I transferred her to her recovery unit (cardboard box). So I think she is not in shock anymore.

She is having trouble walking around with the bandages wrapped around her midsection and wings though. She is off balance and falls over. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to wrap her back and neck so they are covered independently of the injured wing? I want her to be comfortable tomorrow when I go to school all day and am worried about the extent of her injury. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated as I am a newbie to all of this. Thanks!
Sounds like you are doing all the right things. From what I read, it isn't unusual for a severly injured chicken not to eat or drink for a while (maybe even 24 hours) after they are injured because of the shock. She's lucky to have you.
hope she heals fast!

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