Help for cockerel attacked by dogs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fire Ant Farm, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Three small terrier type dogs got into my yard this afternoon. When I drove up, I found feathers all over the driveway, and the dogs around. I chased them off, and after some searching, found my Cream Legbar cockerel wedged into a hiding place behind a fence. He was apparently able to get away from them enough that his only injuries were that all of his tail feathers, a lot of the feathers along his backside, and some of his wing feathers were plucked - some bloody. He's got abrasions, but only one wound (not terribly big, though a gouge) on the top of his tail nub. He has no broken bones that I can tell. I do not think he has internal injuries though time will tell. He appears "in shock" for lack of another term - sort of stunned. I brought him inside, in a large dog crate lined with pine shavings, and a cardboard box at one end, on its end, with a towel. There is a cup of water and he is drinking well. His mouth is a little open. He seems a little off balance, but can stand.

    I find that, even though I've read plenty, I am "in shock" myself and my brain just isn't working on what to do. I cleaned his wounds with Vetricyn, examined him, and gave him water. I was going to give him some scrambled eggs. I wanted to know what other advice anyone had for supporting him at this time.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) Cream Legbar cockerel, 33 weeks
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. NA
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Acute attack about 2-3 hours ago.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? NA
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. Bleeding and some abrasions where plucked, one tail wound. Abrasions around wattles and comb (which are very red/purplish).
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. See above. Dog attack - I believe he was leading them away from the girls.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Has been offered water, drinking ok, have not offered food yet - wondering what I should offer.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. No poops so far. Vent seems ok, but abraded area.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Cleaned wounds, brought inside.
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Will likely treat myself, not take to vet.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. I will try to get one. Need to get the other birds put up for the night.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use In 48" dog crate lined with pine shavings, with large cardboard box on end at one side , and towel in it.

    - Ant Farm
     
  2. luvmypets

    luvmypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a similar instance happen over the summer. A young german shepherd picked up our young cockeral and ran around with him in her mouth. He suffered no outside damage, however he was in shock, limp neck, not standing, unresponsive. I wrapped him in a cloth and stroked, talked, to and held onto him for about four hours. He recovered well, and he is now the fastest chicken in the flock.

    Good luck with your guy [​IMG]
     
  3. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Thank you so much. He is acting "shocked" but is alert, can walk, is drinking well and even eating a little. I've cleaned his wounds as best I can and am now letting him be quiet and sleep. From "forensic analysis" (following the feather trail), I have come to the conclusion that the dogs did not make it across or breach any of the paddock fencing. The oddest thing about all of this was that I found the feathers in the DRIVEWAY (way far away from the back yard, across lots of decking and obstacles). As best I can tell, Dumbledore saw the dogs and and preemptively flew out of his paddock and drew the dogs up toward the front of the house and away from all the other chickens. I hope he makes it - he's a good protector. Meanwhile, I'm starting to save eggs from his girls, just in case.

    The one bite injury is right by the oil gland - that's worrisome given what some have said about the consequences of a damaged oil gland. I tried to clean it out as well as I could. I will have to watch it.

    I'm now having some wine and trying to calm down myself.

    I tell you, this is a VERY good lesson in needing to have a chicken "hospital" set up and ready ahead of time - fortunately he wasn't too badly injured, so he sat quietly in a large cat carrier while I ran in circles for a while trying to figure out how to set up his "hospital" housing. I really knew better and should have been prepared. I will be next time.

    - Ant Farm
     
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  4. luvmypets

    luvmypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is he?
     
  5. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    My apologies for not following up. He is doing very, very well. I was so frazzled that I ended up finding a good chicken vet to take him to the following morning. She and her assistant helped me get a more thorough exam to be sure that we hadn't missed any major wounds, and she agreed that he was mostly plucked and bruised and road-rashed with some shallow bites, but nothing really deep or dangerous. She put him on antibiotics and pain meds and said he'd be fine. Indeed, he crowed the next morning (which, by the way, is very loud inside! Heck of an alarm clock!).

    He's going to have some scarring, and we'll see how well his tail feathers come back in (or not). We had our first "hydrotherapy" session in the tub today - spraying warm water on him to increase blood flow to wounds for healing. He LOVED it - you'd think he had gone to the spa! When blow drying him afterwards (which he also loved), I got the best view of where he had lost his feathers - it was even more than I had realized (as longer feathers overlapped the bare areas). Many/most from the back and side of neck, upper chest, outer part of both thighs, much of the wings, and entire back half of body. That would make sense considering how many feathers were in the driveway. He really WAS halfway to plucked for the table!

    He needs to stay inside in a crate for a little while - after he heals well, I'll need to play it by ear in moving him outdoors, because of how few feathers he has to keep him warm. Depending on the weather, he may get some daytime outside and sleep indoors for a little while.

    Maybe he'll be super fast like yours was! He certainly had to run very fast to get away from those terriers...

    - Ant Farm
     

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