Dog Attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lindsay44, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. lindsay44

    lindsay44 In the Brooder

    My neighbours dog was in my yard today - went right for the girls and caught one of my beautiful Speckled Sussex hens. Luckily we were able to get him off her in time, but she's badly hurt and very shaken.

    I think her leg is either broken or dislocated. It doesn't seem swollen but it's limp and she doesn't seem to be able to control it well or put weight on it.

    There is a significant puncture wound in her back. I have applied topical hydrogen peroxide to it and it doesn't look infected but I worry that there are more that I haven't seen.

    This particular bird isn't used to being handled so it's difficult to realize the full extent of her injuries. I plan on waiting until it gets dark and then examining her more closely.

    I have isolated her and have her inside. She's not eating and will only drink if I dip her beak in water. A more experienced chicken keeper friend says that I should put her back in the coop with her friends, that she will be less stressed around them. However I am afraid they will peck at her since she can't really move. I was thinking of keeping her in the cage but putting it back in the coop since she does seem really stressed inside.

    Any advice would be most welcome. I hate to see her hurting and will do anything I can to help her heal.
  2. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    I agree you shouldn't just put her in the coop. Your idea for the cage in the coop is great! I would do that and hang around for a little while to make sure she's doing okay like that.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I definitely would not put her back in with the flock. I would cover the cage she's in and give her some time in a quiet place with food and water to recover from possible shock. As well as for you to evaluate what's going on with that leg and decide what to do about it. She may very well get pecked in the flock and at the least have a hard time getting to food and water.
  4. Sarevan

    Sarevan Songster

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    I agree keep her calm and separate until you can check her over throughly under feathers for other injuries. You can make a sling from a towel or scrap material to keep her feet from barely touching the ground, depending on how serious the leg injury is to prevent movement or weight bearing. Have food and water within reach. Add electrolytes vitamin to water help with shock. Can mix water into feed to make it easier for her to swallow and to give additional fluids.

    If refusing to eat read the thread "go team tube feeding" can find it by searching for it. I can't put the link my smartphone is being stupid right now.
  5. fultonfamily

    fultonfamily In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2014
    We also recently had a dog get a hold of our pullets. 1 was badly injured with severe injuries to her back, wing and leg. We really didnt think she would pull through. After 4 days she was looking very poor. She was basically not moving at all. But on the morning of day 6, she came out of the coop with the rest of the chickens and looks better every day. I just wanted you to have some inspiration. She also was a skiddish bird, so i chose to leave her in the coop in a corner. My other chickens left her alone. I have 9 pullets and 1 grown hen and rooster. I really think it depends on your instinct and situation.
  6. lindsay44

    lindsay44 In the Brooder

    Thanks everyone. Here's an update on Phoebe. I hope I am doing the right thing for her.

    I am pretty sure she's in shock so I decided to keep her in the house in a dog cage. She's in the laundry room where it's quiet. I also didn't want to put her outside with the open wound as I was afraid of flies getting in it.

    After thorough inspection, it appears there are just two wounds, the one that is really bad is actually on her side under her wing. I cleaned it with topical hydrogen peroxide, put her to bed on some towels and covered the cage. I plan to clean it with a saline solution in the morning and then apply an antibiotic. The antibiotic I have is a silver sulfadiazine cream, which my vet cousin recommended as being safe for chickens.

    Regarding her leg, I don't feel any break, but there's no resistance in it. If I put my finger on her foot she wraps her toes around it so I am taking that as a positive sign, but again there is no resistance and something is definitely wrong. She cannot put any weight on it and stretches it out straight when lying on her side. I am wondering if it's dislocated. The puncture wound is also directly above this leg on her side so I'm thinking it could be nerve damage from the bite?

    I am nervous about her being warm enough. I don't have a heat lamp or a hot water bottle so I am hoping that she doesn't get cold. Her body feels nice and warm to me but I know injured chickens get cold easily.

    I got some children's asprin and gave her a third of one crushed up with water. I also gave her some Nutri Drench.

    Hoping that I am doing the right thing. If anyone more knowledgeable spots any glaring errors please let me know!

    Thank you for reading and for your advice, this forum really is a goldmine at times like this!
  7. lindsay44

    lindsay44 In the Brooder

    Well, Phoebe made it through the night so I am hopeful! I gave her a little more asprin and Nutri-Drench this morning and she is currently mowing down on a warm mash of her food and soft boiled egg.

    I cleaned the wound out with saline solution and I don't see any sign of infection. I did have to cut some feathers back. Here's how it looks right now. I will let it dry a little and put the antibiotic cream on it.


    I am worried about the leg as she can't stand up at all. She flops over from one side to the other. She also didn't poop at all overnight but given the shock that doesn't surprise me too much. I will wait and see if she poops after eating.

    I've spent ages looking at some of the horrific dog bite wounds on this forum and seeing what some of your chickens have recovered from gives me great hope! I really don't want to lose Phoebe - my laying hens are pets and are as much a part of my family as my own dog (who was not involved in the attack!).

    Any other tips on caring for her are welcome. I've only been keeping chickens for a year and while I have had an ill chicken before, this is my first time dealing with something like this.
  8. lindsay44

    lindsay44 In the Brooder

    Can anyone tell me if I'm on the right track here?

    Phoebe is still alive and is drinking water and eating a bit. I've been giving her warm mash with soft boiled egg and tuna, as well as small doses of asprin and Nurti-Drench.

    I have been keeping the wound clean and it is not infected. I'm washing it twice daily with saline solution and putting silver sulfadiazine cream on it. Yesterday I caught her pecking at it and realized there were a few feathers stuck to it so I cut them back to keep it clean and left alone. I haven't caught her pecking since.

    I am really concerned about her though. She can't get up at all and now I think her wing is also damaged. When she gets spooked she tries to flap her wings and just kind of flops over and lays there. It's really heartbreaking.

    Here she is today.


    How do you tell if there is internal damage? I just don't know and the fact that she can't move really bothers me. This happened on Wednesday afternoon and part of me thinks if she made it this long she can pull through but the other part of me wonders if I am being cruel by keeping her alive. She's a beautiful bird and is only about a year old. I hate to see her suffering like this.
  9. If she's eating and drinking and her poops look pretty normal, I'd keep doing what you're doing. Her eyes look bright which is a good sign. You're doing a good job caring for her. It's hard to tell regarding the leg and wing, but if she's able to eat and drink she has a good chance at recovery. If you're not seeing blood and her breathing sounds normal, she's probably ok internally. Listen very carefully to her breath and any odd sounds as she inhales/exhales. Is her crop filling when she eats and emptying overnight? Have you thought of a sling for her to get her up off her belly a bit?
  10. lindsay44

    lindsay44 In the Brooder

    Her breathing sounds normal and there is no blood, so that is very reassuring. Her crop does fill when she eats and was empty this morning. Her poop is not normal though, it's almost all liquid. I've been picking her up and changing her towels when she goes so that she's not laying in it.

    A sling is a good idea, I think it would be good to get her off her belly. I am nervous about hurting her leg and wing more but it might be better for them to be secured rather than laying awkwardly as she is now.

    Thanks so much sbhkma, I really appreciate your input!

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