Goose ripped into by dog, breathing raspy. Need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Honk and Tonk, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Honk and Tonk

    Honk and Tonk In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2019
    Last night the farm dog attacked the male goose at the barn where I keep my horse (not my goose, not my dog, but I was given permission to try to save it).

    The dog and ducks/geese have co-existed peacefully for quite some time so I have no idea what happened. When I arrived to do evening chores, the dog was aggressively ripping into a white lump on the ground. He was obviously trying to eat something, shredding it in the process. Then I saw that the male goose wasn't with the female and there was a trail of feathers from the barn to the patio.

    I intervened. "Honk" was a bloody lump, then a saw his eye move slightly. He was still breathing. I carried him to the barn. He was open-mouth breathing and raspy and laid in a lump without moving. Flies set in immediately on the sticky blood. His bonded partner wouldn't leave his side and sat next to me cooing as I tried to assess his injuries (she normally is aggressive and bites me).

    I brought Honk home with me, cleaned him gently in a tub of warm water and Epsom salts, then set him up for the night in a dog kennel in the garage with bedding and cracked corn and water.

    This morning I took him to a vet -- he doesn't know much about geese but looked in his exotics book and gave Honk a shot of torbugesic for pain and a shot of DCP (antibiotic and steroid ... Dexamethasone, penicillin, and something else).

    Honk's breathing is still raspy and he has a pretty large wound on his chest as well as bite marks and missing feathers and tissue throughout his body.

    He will drink a little for me but is refusing to eat so far.

    He is, as I understand, old for a goose. Maybe 8 years? I'll have to check that.

    Any advice or suggestions? Did the vet do the right things? Should i put anything on the wounds or try a different food? Any idea on prognosis?

    I'll do my best, just really appreciate any guidance. Thank you!
  2. courtsmarans

    courtsmarans Chirping

    Jun 8, 2019
    NW Ohio
    I'd for sure give him electrolyte water if he's not eating. I would also but antibiotic cream or antiseptic spray on the wounds and keep them VERY clean. I have never had geese, but look up what high protein tasty people food geese like, that might entice him to eat.
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Most geese can not resist lettuce. Give him some cut up romaine. Good sign he made it through the night.
  4. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Crowing

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    I'm so sorry :hugs

    You've done an amazing job and if he makes it that will be a result of your immediate care. The only thing I'd add with confidence is a supplemental vitamin for poultry like Nutridrench or Poultry Cell Rooster booster. Just to help the healing process while he's off his food.

    If you're right and he's "elderly" there might be nothing you can do but keep him warm, hydrated and comfy. Having warned you of that I've witnessed some miraculous recoveries under similar situations.

    Great job and best of luck! Keep us updated!? :hugs:fl
  5. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Crowing

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    Just a quick afterthought; if you get the opportunity try and take some pictures of his injuries? There are several gurus on here that could suggest cleaning and dressing ideas if they had an in depth picture of the type of injuries!

    Thinking of Honk!
  6. Honk and Tonk

    Honk and Tonk In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2019
    I will try to get some photos to post. The ones I took shortly after the incident are dark and grainy.

    Honk will drink water if i hold it in front of him but still won't eat. I'll pick up romaine lettuce to try. I couldn't find vitamins at the local feed store but got probiotics and electrolytes. Is there any kind of mash or gruel I could make? Can you syringe or force feed a goose?

    His poop is very watery and almost a neon green/yellow color with no form. is that normal for an injured or stressed goose?
    Miss Lydia and NewBoots like this.
  7. Honk and Tonk

    Honk and Tonk In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2019
    Honk is standing and sometimes lying down but still doesn't seem to want to eat. He had been drinking when I held the water up for him but has stopped doing that too.

    He has cracked corn, an all-flock food, romaine lettuce, a plain water bowl, and a water bowl mixed with probiotics and electrolytes available at all times. Any suggestions? How long can an injured goose go without eating? Am I just delaying the inevitable?

    I'm thinking about giving him a tub of water tonight and maybe gently bathing him, maybe with Epsom salts again. Good idea or not?

    He's taken to bending his neck and tucking his head close to his body when I come up his crate ... maybe "hiding" or playing dead? Does that body language say anything relevant?

    Finally, the garage might get too warm. Is it better for a goose to be in a very warm garage or a cool but perhaps a bit musty basement?

    I've added a couple of photos of his injuries. One shows the puncture wounds on his back near his tail. The other is the wound on his chest. The chest would is deep ... I can stick my fingers in quite far though it's hard to capture a photo. He also has bite wounds under both wings and up and down his back.

    Attached Files:

    Miss Lydia likes this.
  8. Squishychicken

    Squishychicken Songster

    Oct 13, 2017
    North carolina
    Hes most likely in shock. Keep him in a cool dark place with feed and water. I'd take away the plain water that way he gets some electrolytes. If you have nutri drench you can give him some directly in the mouth that'll give him a boost. You said he had a bonded partner? Is it with him?I'd put it in another crate by him so he feels that's he is safe and can relaxed more she may encourage him to eat. As for a mash mix the water with food soak it really good then blend in a blender. I'd add some scrambled eggs maybe some mealworms before grinding as well. Lavender helps calm animals down I've used it alot on poultry.
    As mentioned about lettuce or other treats may encourage him. I'd take away the cracked corn though if eaten to much they get fat and feed is more nutritious.

    I've had much worse wounds on poultry and they survived. Trim away all feathers around the wound. Spray some antiseptic on it maybe some neosporin without pain killer on the wound and wrap it up somehow to keep it clean. As mentioned above the cleaner the better dont want infection to set in. At least you have a vet or somewhat of one to get him to. Also colloidal silver has helped alot of my birds get through infections and illnesses. If you can get some you can put it in the water give him some orally and some on the wound should help 8t heal real quick
  9. Melodychick

    Melodychick Songster

    Jun 27, 2017
    South Mississippi
    Poor goose! Thank you for trying to help him. I agree that you should trim the feathers around the wound so you can better clean and treat them. Maybe flush with saline. Did the vet give you any pain meds or AB’s? @casportpony
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  10. Honk and Tonk

    Honk and Tonk In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2019
    The vet gave Honk two shots -- Torb and a mix of dexamethasone/penicillin and a third drug I don't recall. The vet is out of town now so we'd have to seek out someone else if we need another vet visitl.

    I spent the last hour trimming feathers. There are many more puncture wounds than I was aware of. I'll keep working on it. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Question: if I move him into the house, is there anything I need to be aware of (mites, etc)? There are a few small black things I find as I'm working through the feathers and, although I will do what I need to do to help him, I really don't need another problem so would rather be proactive than reactive.

    I'm not sure about bringing his bonded partner home. I can ask about that...not sure how that would work but I was wondering the same thing. Oh the things I gets self into, lol.

    Any idea how much healing needs to occur before he can return to the barn? My instinct is that the sooner it's safe to take him back to his home environment, the better. Flies will be an issue so I know we need to wait awhile, but I'm thinking a pen set up in the barn where he can be near his partner and the duck, but in a controlled setting safely away from the dog, might be good for him mentally. The problem if course is cleanliness and flies.

    Thanks for the advice. I've done plenty of medical care on dogs, cats, and horses, but a goose? I might as well be working on a Wookie.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: