Help! Hen with large growth on ear!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fosterfarm, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    We are new to farming, and have had hens for almost a year. The newest to our flock are 16 black sex link hens (almost 5 months old) and some of them have started laying. All seem healthy but one. This girl started out with what looked like an infected ear, with a fairly large hard white lump on it. It drained somewhat when we patted it with warm water and she has been eating and drinking well. We were putting ointment (polysporin) on it. Over the past two weeks it has gotten bigger, and turned dark in color. None of the vets around here will work on chickens, so one i talked to on the phone said it may have turned into a hematoma and will go away. She continues to eat and drink, but today we noticed her feathers on her head were all crusty (possibly dried blood, but her feathers are black, hard to tell) and the lump is much bigger (from 1 marble to a marble and a half) and it is very dark in color. We brought her in the house to isolate her from the others, as we have done for a couple hours a day for two weeks, as we aren't sure if they were bothering her. We have been giving her water with antibiotics in it as well. PLEASE HELP! We don't know what to do! Thank you!

    I would post a picture of it, but I'm not sure how to do that on here.
     
  2. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Also, she recently started to spit up a bit after she drinks water. [​IMG] poor girl.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    At the very least, get penicillin injectible and start the bird on 1/2-3/4 cc in the breast muscle for about 5 days. Poor thing is probably in pain. Water soluble antibiotics are probably not strong enough (Terramycin is basically useless).
     
  4. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you for the quick reply. what is this growth condition called. it looked at first to be a small wound but started to swell and has become obviously bigger and is now completly purple. is there anything we can do untill tomorrow .
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I am not a vet, but if this is an infection, penicillin would be a good thing to get the bird started on. I have seen chicken ear infections gone rampant in pictures and boy, that looks painful! If you could get a picture, that would help tremendously. I'm trying to think if there are parasites like worms or mites that infest the ears, but I can't remember.

    Sometimes, feather follicles will become ingrown and develop infection, too, but honestly, I'm not sure what your hen's problem is. At first, it sounded like a plain old ear infection, but could be more than that.
     
  6. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not quite sure how to attach a photo here but the growth is about the size of a medium marble and dark purple with dried blood in the feathers around it. it is like a giant blood blister. We are not sure if the others are making it worse of if it is something progressing.
     
  7. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It probably was a small scratch that got infected. Penicillan injected like Speckled Hen said is perfect and I would seriously consider trying to drain the infection. The procedure would be similar to bumblefoot surgery. There is a lot of information on that subject on this forum.

    One important thing to remember is that chicken pus/infected material is not runny or liquid like a human. It is more rubbery and solid like (sorry) a fried egg with a hard cooked yolk. After opening the area you should have tweezers or something similiar to pull the infected material out of the wound. Then flush it with a diluted betadine solution and fill the cavity with neosporin (without the pain relief medicine). Try to bandage the area so she doesn't try to scratch the area and contaminate it again.

    If you start the penicillan right away and them clean out the wound I'm sure she will be fine. Just get to it asap.
     
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Oberlin, OH
  9. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  10. fosterfarm

    fosterfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Above is the picture of the growth. Pretty hard to get a good pic of black on black. We had tried to poke it a few days ago, but only blood came out, suggesting it was something other than an infection. Now she seems to have gone a bit "nuts" pecking at her feathers, we are scared for her.
     

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