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Dog got at my chicken and had a feather feast

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Susan49, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Susan49

    Susan49 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2013
    One of our Red Rock hens flew over the fence this morning and our lab decided to have a play date with her. I don't see any sign of broken bones, bleeding or other trauma, but she's got a huge bare spot on her back where the dog ripped out a whole bunch of feathers.

    We rinsed the area with saline solution, slathered on some antibiotic ointment, and put her in a cat cage with fresh straw, water and a few treats. She's inside where it's warmer, and seems to be resting comfortably, though earlier she gave us a scare as she was lying on her side and actually looked dead.

    I also gave her a crushed baby aspirin in a bit of yogurt and she ate most of that. I was thinking she's probably in a bit of pain, that's why the aspirin. She's got some baked squash (one of her favourites) and a "chicken cake" that I make for my girls...full of grains, cornmeal, seeds, raisins, molasses, and other goodies, and it looks like she's been nibbling at those too. She's drinking a bit of water also, and has moved around a few times, standing up, etc.

    This happened about 8 hours ago so I'm hopeful that if the shock didn't kill her she'll be able to make a recovery. But I have a couple of questions.

    First, her back looks pretty raw but it's not bleeding from puncture wounds or anything, just a bit of oozing from the feathers having been ripped out. Should I continue applying antibiotic ointment or just let it "air dry?" How long would you suggest continuing? Should I cover the area at all, or just leave it alone?

    Secondly, she's isolated from the others now, and I worry about how long to keep her apart. Obviously I don't want them picking on her, and I'm concerned about her staying warm out in the coop as she's missing a good sized patch of feathers. But I also don't want to keep her away from the flock for too long. Can anyone suggest an appropriate time frame, or what her condition should be before I put her back in with the others?

    Any other suggestions or recommendations gratefully accepted!
  2. Susan49

    Susan49 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2013
    Sorry, forgot to mention that I didn't have a chance to take a picture but can do that tomorrow if it would be helpful. The patient is tucked in for the night now. :)
  3. kkenney

    kkenney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2013
    Roscommon, MI
    I would keep her in for the night. Do you have any hen saddles? If not, they are pretty simple to make and would help with the pecking from others as well as the warmth part. I have a hen who is missing some feathers and the other girls were making her bleed until I put the saddle on and its seemed to keep her warmer while there is some regrowth. As for the aspirin, I would strongly recommend not giving any more. Aspirin can actually be toxic to birds, cats, dogs, mainly most animals other than humans. It can cause swelling and hemorrhaging of the livers. But that does get me wondering, idk if there are any pain relievers that are safe for birds! I will have to look into that! :) Poor things probably just as shook up as you are over the whole ordeal! I bet that's the last time she flys into that yard!

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