Hawk attack - wound infection?

make way for ducklings

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
9
33
31
Louisiana
One of my Cuckoo Marans was attacked by a hawk about 3 days ago. She got a deep gash in her back left side (venous bleeding, no muscle damage). I cleaned it as best as I could without causing it to bleed excessively and stitched it up to decrease bleeding and promote healing. She's doing better each day: walking around a little bit, eating and drinking well, etc.
Here are my questions:
- Does it look infected? (it was a very dirty gash and it has a slight smell to it - not sure if that's infection or just dried blood)
- Should I allow it to heal open (stitches out) or closed (keep stitches in longer)?
- Should I start her on IM penicillin and if so, what dosage?

Thanks!


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A few hours after the attack

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Most times it is best for a dirty wound to heal from the inside out, although a vet would clean it very well and stitch or glue it closed. I would clean the suture line with chlorhexidene, betadine, or Vetericyn twice a day. If you see pus or fowl smelling drainage from the wound, I would open a stitch or two, and flush the wound with a syringe or turkey baster and disinfectant above. Antibiotics are hard to get except from a vet. But occasionally, you may find amoxicillin (FishMox) on the shelf at Tractor Supply, and in the refrigerated medicines, they may carry Procaine Penicllin G which can be used with a small syringe with a needle. Dosage of PenG is 1/4 ml given into the breast muscle once a day for 4-5 days. Fish Mox dosage is 125-250 mg twice a day given by mouth for 7 days.
 
Last edited:

boskelli1571

Crowing
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Mar 7, 2011
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Wow! Very impressed with your sewing - you must be medically oriented ;)
The wound looks amazingly good. One or two areas look a little reddened - watch them closely, if they start to ooze, take out one stitch from the area, express the area and allow to drain.
I would try Neosporin on the skin area - hold off on the pcn unless you feel there is something brewing.
Chickens are amazingly resilient and some truly awful wounds can heal well w/o any significant intervention - they are survivors :) :)
Please keep us updated on your patient...
 

coach723

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Feb 12, 2015
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Infection will smell like rotting or turning meat usually, it's an unmistakable bad smell. A healthy wound will just smell like fresh chicken. Blood generally smells coppery, not really bad. If there is a foul odor then I would probably do the round of antibiotics. If you are unsure, then I think I would do as @Eggcessive said, and remove a few stitches, flush it well, and take a better look and smell.
 

make way for ducklings

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
9
33
31
Louisiana
Most times it is best for a dirty wound to heal from the inside out, although a vet would clean it very well and stitch or glue it closed. I would clean the suture line with chlorhexidene, betadine, or Vetericyn twice a day. If you see pus or fowl smelling drainage from the wound, I would open a stitch or two, and flush the wound with a syringe or turkey baster and disinfectant above. Antibiotics are hard to get except from a vet. But occasionally, you may find amoxicillin (FishMox) on the shelf at Tractor Supply, and in the refrigerated medicines, they may carry Procaine Penicllin G which can be used with a small syringe with a needle. Dosage of PenG is 1/4 ml given into the breast muscle once a day for 4-5 days. Fish Mox dosage is 125-250 mg twice a day given by mouth for 7 days.

Thanks so much for the info - I've been cleaning it daily and applying antibiotic (without analgesic) to the site. So far there has been no drainage from the wound or infiltration into surrounding areas - so that's a good sign.
 

make way for ducklings

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
9
33
31
Louisiana
Wow! Very impressed with your sewing - you must be medically oriented ;)
The wound looks amazingly good. One or two areas look a little reddened - watch them closely, if they start to ooze, take out one stitch from the area, express the area and allow to drain.
I would try Neosporin on the skin area - hold off on the pcn unless you feel there is something brewing.
Chickens are amazingly resilient and some truly awful wounds can heal well w/o any significant intervention - they are survivors :) :)
Please keep us updated on your patient...
Thank you :), yes I am a nursing student, but these stitches were a first for me! Agreed, I think I'm going to play it by ear with the pcn right now - she seems to be doing well and is gaining strength daily. I'll definitely keep y'all updated :)
 

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