Fox attack, bird dropped but 4-month old bird has two puncture wounds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sueami, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. sueami

    sueami Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 23, 2008
    where the skin on her wing comes to meet her back. He thinks they're maybe a quarter inch long. Looked a bit bigger than that to me, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
    It's middle of the night, so my husband cleaned the wound with betadine and she seems pretty strong. She's in a box in the bathroom to stay warm. Didn't want water but she talk to us a bit before settling down. If, by morning, she's still doing okay, I'm wondering what stage two of her care should be. We could take her to the veterinary hospital teaching school in town, but I don't know if it's worth the trauma and cost.
    Does anyone have any advice? Can flesh wounds heal without stitches? How much cleaning of it should we do? Antibiotics?
    We lost a second bird as well, so, for the kids' sake, I'd like to be able to save her....
    many thanks in advance,
  2. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    I'm just going to bump you and hope someone else has some more definite answers for you . I wouldn't take it to the vet personally...but it's your call . There are many on here who have stitched up thier own you might be able to glean some advice off of previous posts or someone else that will give you info hopefully soon . I know dhlunicorn is one of the best ...but I don't think she's online now . Sorry .[​IMG]
  3. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    antibiotic, chickens heal well from cut and bruises....

    What you need to check for is her breathing, with most predator attacks, the internal injuries sometimes are more deadlier than the superficial.

    Is her breathing sounds normal? Not raspy....

    You might want to keep her warm just in case shock settling in..
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This is good advise. Use an antibiotic ointment on the wounds and check her breathing for sure.

    I would be concerned about security. The fox will return.......Pop
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Neosporin without pain relief ingredient for surface wounds. Puncture wounds are a concern. She may well need oral or injectible antibiotic - neosporin is reallly only going to help with a surface wound.

    Cleansing wound - 9 parts water to part part betadine.

    Aspirin for pain if she's not bleeding and you don't suspect internal injuries - 1 baby aspirin crushed per cup of water (or five 325 mg aspirins per gallon). No substitutes without confirming okay for chickens.

    Rescue remedy -a drop or two on water for stress. Electroltyes for stress - a bit of pedialyte if you don't have poultry electrolytes or search BYC under "electrolytes" for homemade recipe.

    If she needs sewing up I would have a vet do it if you don't have experience with this, though there are plenty of folks on BYC who have written about home sewing if you want to read up on it. I had a vet do surgery on my hen who was attacked by a dog in December, not for anyone's elses sake but her own joy of life. She is fine now. I wasn't comfortable with doing it myself though had I been, I would have. In the case of your hen, the opening sounds much smaller than the one on my hen, so vet surgery may not be necessary though likely something will need to be done to hold the skin together so it can heal.

    Hope she'll be okay.
  6. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Just wanted to say we had something similar a month or so ago, and the cleaning with lots of warm water, rinsing with diluted betadine, neosporin and all worked fine. We did not stitch.

    The hen stayed in one night with us and then went back out to the coop with her remaining sister (your mileage may vary on this, we had only one other hen left, so they seemed glad to be together and there was no picking at wounds). We did have to help her off the roost in the morning for several days, so watch out for that.

    Our hen's wounds were about the size you describe, but not particularly deep, plus she had a lot of raw skin from pulled feathers.

    She is fine now and began laying again a month after the dog attack.

    This was in the cold weather so we did not have to worry about flies or maggots.

    I agree with Pop, the fox or whatever will be back, so you probably need to fortify the chicken fort! Or get out the weaponry.
  7. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    You could start her on the oral tetracycline from the feed store, then keep the wounds clean and if possible do a butterfly closure to prevent it from opening and not healing.
    We had one grabbed by a coyote at lunchtime! My dad threw a shovel and he dropped her...puncture wounds...she lived to a ripe old age...
    good luck!
  8. sueami

    sueami Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 23, 2008
    Oh, thank all of you for your replies. What a comfort to wake up to them!

    Our girl made it through the night and she seems pretty alert, her breathing is normal and we're keeping her warm. I'd like to ask a few more questions to make sure that we're doing the wound care right.

    When you are rinsing the wound, how much water/betadine solution are you putting on it? Are you dabbing it with a soaked gauze pad, are you pouring water over the birds injury? I'm hesitate to pick her up and hold her over a sink, but maybe that's necessary. I have some butterfly closures for wounds, and we may try one of those on her later in the day, depending on how her wound looks. We need to give her a more thorough looking over as well.

    The ironic thing about this attack is, our four layers, in the coop under our deck, are fine and well protected, with fencing dug into the ground and out from the coop.

    The fox went into our garage and grabbed two of our 3 pullets out of a not-very secure wire run with one end blocked off with cardboard.

    The door was open when I raced outside (crud, my fault), and we'll be blocking the dog door in it off from here on out. I know that fox will be back.

    Strangely, I feel badly that the fox dropped our second bird in the yard. It seems like her death's been a total waste...
  9. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    You could flush the wound once today, but from then on I'd just dab with soaked don't want to pull open the wound after the first "wash", just wipe away any discharge and apply neosporin.
    I'm sorry the other gal died, but i'm glad the dumb fox didn't get to eat her! Who does he think he is getting a free lunch! [​IMG]
  10. sueami

    sueami Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 23, 2008
    Thanks for that feedback, MrsE. I think we're doing as good a job as we can with her, then.
    I called the local vet school hospital this morning, when DH found two more wounds on her, but they were going to charge $95 right off the back because it's the weekend, and then their usual and rather expensive rates for treatment, so I declined, with frustration. You'd think a teaching hospital would appreciate the opportunity for its students to work on more "exotic" animals and make the treatment affordable, at least....
    I also called our feed supply store, and oddly, they didn't recommend an antibiotic. They said just to rinse the wounds and let them scab over. I don't know if they rejected the antibiotic because they don't sell it (or because they *do* sell replacement chicks [​IMG] ) but I wasn't entirely confident about their advice.
    I'll report back on her progress, if only to complete the record for posterity...
    Thanks again all,

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