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Help! Her head was chewed on by a fisher cat!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WestChesterfield, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. WestChesterfield

    WestChesterfield New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2007
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    This happened at around 4:00 this morning. She's a full grown black sexlink, and her beak was chewed into shreds, the top beak almost completely gone and the bottom one is just stringy shreds. She keeps sticking out her tongue and lapping the fluid coming out of her mouth. She's still breathing okay, just a little wheezy. The skin on her face has been torn off from her beak all the way to the back of her scalp. Her eyes are shut, and I can't tell whether her eyeballs are intact or not. She's a pretty gruesome sight but she seems fine otherwise, walking around and making her usual cooing sounds.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to treat her? Or do you think I should just put her down?

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions. I feel so bad for her!

    ~Carol
     
  2. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fear she is in a great deal of pain. It might be best to put her down for that reason alone- no need to let her suffer.

    It is a very hard situation. I'm sorry to hear she was attacked.

    -MTchick
     
  3. WestChesterfield

    WestChesterfield New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2007
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    Thanks MTchick. I know you're probably right. I just found info on this forum about euthanizing with starter fluid. I really hate to do it though if there's a chance she'll pull through, but I don't suppose chickens grow new beaks? I was surprised to find that she just laid an egg, and she's drinking water just fine (fed with a straw).

    Thanks again!

    ~Carol
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I guess it all depends on if this bird is your pet or not...such injuries can often be healed/ fixed (however, unless you post a pic it is impossible to estimate the degree of damage)... sometimes this will involve a visit to an (avian) vet. What the previous member said about the pain of the beak area is quite true...plus she may need fairly intensive care with help for water and feeding etc. and being separated from the others etc....if you feel this is impossible to do or that her injuries are simply too extensive for your experience level to treat and can not get to a vet... I am sure you will make the right decision within the boundaries of your individual circumstances ... :aww
     
  5. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks Out Of The Brooder

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    Basic first aid can help stablize the bird so further assessment can be made (as of the extent of damages that can be seen). Clean wounds with hydrogen peroxide...rinse with water and do so two to three times a day for about two weeks or until scabs or new skin develop.

    Eye damage...

    Rinse with water, pat gently dry and use terramyacin (a common anitbiotic ointment for dogs and cats...safe for eye use). Cover the eye with a gauze eye patch. They can be found at most basic drug stores and supermarkets. Use a gauze bandage to secure the eye patch. Change this every time it gets cleaned, which should be at least twice a day or even three times a day if it's really bad. Do this for at least two weeks.

    If she stops eating and/or developes infections...put her down. If she heals with simple cleaning of her wounds, then you still have your chicken.

    If you can keep her isolated, clean and have the determination to try on your own to heal her up, give it a shot. This type of situation needs a 'rescue' approach...and if she can avoid infection, she has a chance to heal.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  6. WestChesterfield

    WestChesterfield New Egg

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    Apr 1, 2007
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    Thank you so much for your advice, but we put her down yesterday. It's such a sad story, it's hard for me to talk about.

    I didn't want her to suffer, and I didn't think her prognosis would be good, especially with all the blood she had coming from where her beak used to be. So, I bought a can of engine starter fluid, a technique for a "humane" euthanisia I read about on this forum, which made me believe it would be a quick, quiet death for her. Unfortunately it didn't work that way for me. I sprayed an entire can onto paper towels and put them in an old ice chest, just big enough for her, and I put her in and closed the lid. I could hear her shifting her weight every now and then, but she was quiet. Then after a long drawn out tearful (for me) twenty minutes she got really jumpy and actually popped the lid off the cooler, which was pretty heavy, and she jumped out! I was already upset as it was, but when this happened I really fell apart.

    When I put her in the ice chest her eyes appeared to be sealed shut, but when she jumped out they were both opened and runny. And her head was sort of twitching. I felt so angry and ashamed for torturing her and causing her more pain than she was already in. I was also filled with doubt about whether or not I should have given her a fighting chance to get better. Anyway, I knew that she definitely needed to be put out of her misery now, after inhaling those fumes for so long, and since I have no experience or nerve to use an ax, we had a friend come over with their gun and put her down that way.

    Anyway, I've learned lots of lessons with this experience. (Lots about chickens, myself, and also lots about fisher cats! BEWARE of those nasty things!) Sorry about this long and drawn out story, but I felt I needed to get it out there.

    I am so greatful for this forum. I have learned so much here over the last couple of years. Thank you all!

    ~Carol
     
  7. poppycat

    poppycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I'm so sorry you had to go through that. You did the right thing by putting her down though. Thanks for being candid about your experience with the starter fluid. Hopefully it will benefit someone else down the line
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2007
  8. Mr.Dad

    Mr.Dad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry to hear about your bird and your experience Carol....find some peace in the fact that you cared enough to do the right thing.......
     
  9. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Oh Carol...you poor thing...[​IMG] Im so sorry you had to go through that with her. I was wondering about the starter fluid thing as well. Im no fan of useing a hatchet....however, its very fast and painless for them. Just know, you did the right thing by her..she is no longer suffering. But, may I ask one thing?? WHAT is a Fisher cat???
     
  10. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2007
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