Hawk attack, large wounds, injured leg

ChocolateMouse

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Jul 29, 2013
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Hi. So I am helping a friend nurse a very injured chicken well. She was attacked by a hawk but managed to live through it but with severe injuries. They spooked the hawk away mid-attack but she was wounded and had a leg caught under the fence. So here's the information.

Chicken is a smaller bird, almost but not quite bantam sized. No precise weight. Only a couple years old. Responsive.
Injuries are a few minor looking nicks around the face, an eye that she doesn't want to open all the way (though she can) and a leg she won't put weight on with no obvious injuries. The leg was caught under the fence during the attack. Her back has been stripped of a lot of skin from shoulders to tail in two BIG open wounds, a few inches across and a couple inches wide with about an inch of skin between them, plus a few other minor puncture wounds. Almost all of it seems to be dermal tissue, no muscle damage, but they're big wounds.

We isolated her in the bathtub on towels, trimmed all the feathers away from the wounds, washed it and removed all debris. We rinsed them with watered down peroxide, applied iodine, then triple antibiotic ointment. She's hesitant to eat so we're feeding her electrolyte water and whisked eggs cooked into a custard (so just whisked eggs, cooked but still liquid). She ate nothing for the first day and a half, but today took electrolyte water and 1/3rd cup egg custard.
We're gently washing the wound with warm water and re-applying the iodine and ointment twice a day.
Now that she's eating a little we're giving her 1/8th tablet adult asprin twice a day for pain relief and about 180mg amoxicillin twice a day for 7 days all ground into the eggs for her food. She has access to layer pellets and water which she isn't taking right now.

We're concerned about her leg, since she's not putting weight on it and we're not sure what to do as there's nothing obviously wrong with it, no obviously bruising or swelling. If her eye gets worse we have terramycin for her eye. We also have probiotics for when her antibiotics are done.

Any thoughts on anything else we should be doing? Suggestions for her leg? Thanks!
 

Farm life101

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Jan 9, 2018
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Sounds like your doing everything right. Just keep her normal food for her available all the time just in case. You can put her in a diy chicken splint (look it up on YouTube) and see if that helps.
 

ChocolateMouse

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Jul 29, 2013
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Thanks. There's just a shocking amount of exposed flesh, and her leg concerns me. The fact that she ate today was promising. I mentioned it to the owners before, but I will suggest the sling to them again and just touch wood and wait.
 

Wyorp Rock

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How long since the attack? 2-3days?
I'm not surprised if she is still not using the leg if it was hung under the wire while she was attacked and she suffered injuries to her back.
She may have suffered a sprain, internal damage or even nerve damage.

It can take a good while for them to recover. Try to gently work on the eye as well to see how damaged it is. Not being able to see well will make her more timid all the way round.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
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Cleveland OH
How long since the attack? 2-3days?
I'm not surprised if she is still not using the leg if it was hung under the wire while she was attacked and she suffered injuries to her back.
She may have suffered a sprain, internal damage or even nerve damage.

It can take a good while for them to recover. Try to gently work on the eye as well to see how damaged it is. Not being able to see well will make her more timid all the way round.

It was early afternoon the day before yesterday. Friend chased off the hawk and thought she was a goner. When he nudged he with a shovel she made noise and moved so he decided to untangle her from the fence, bring her in, and treat her and contacted me immediately. So I packed up my meds, cleaned her wounds, and got them a plan to care for her.

There was a very tiny scratch on her eyelid when I treated her but it didn't seem to be bothering her, but now she doesn't want to open it. I told them to keep an eye on it for swelling, redness or seepage and I would give them my terramyacin eye ointment to treat it.

Since she's immobile because of her leg anyhow, I'm suggesting the chicken sling to them. It might make her more comfortable and keep her from injuring either leg further.
 

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