Help please! Chick appears to have had stroke after rat attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MereBear, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. MereBear

    MereBear Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2013
    Rochester, NY
    Hi everyone,

    We've been having rat troubles in our coop for the last few weeks. We have six 6 week old babies being raised by two broody mommas in there and last night a rat attacked one of the babies. We heard the commotion from the momma and when we got to the coop, the baby was laying on the ground with a wound on her head. She had two bit marks on the top of her skull.

    When I picked her up she was limp and appeared to be barely with us. I brought her inside and cleaned her wounds, they're very small, two cuts that are deep, but don't appear to be big enough to penetrate the skull. Last night she steadily improved, and was peeping and trying to flap her wings and get up but kept collapsing. When I look at her it seems as if she's weak on her left side, she keeps her left eye closed, although she can open it and does for a moment. Her left wing is drooping although she can flap it, her left leg is weak and she can't stand. She refuses to put weight on that leg but I can't feel a break anywhere. When I touch her right foot it curls around my finger but the left foot is totally limp.

    Last night I thought she was just in shock from the attack and we gave her a night inside of peace and quiet, but today it seems more like a stroke. She won't drink water and when I try to dribble some into her mouth it just runs back out again. Other than her obvious left side troubles, she's very alert, is peeping and struggling to move normally but just can't. I've heard of chickens recovering from strokes, but if I can't get her to drink water she doesn't stand a chance. I'm at a loss this morning.

    Does anyone have any advice? If it is a stroke, is there anything I can do about it, or is culling the only option at this point? Thank you for reading and responding

    -Meredith
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It does sound like the chick has some injury to the right side of the brain, since she is showing left-sided weakness. With brain swelling it can go down in several days, and she may be better or not. Chicks can be crop fed with a tube, and you could add some water to her feed to make it soupy which might get her to eat it better. I think a lot depends on the amount of time to devote taking care of this chick, whether or not to put it down. If it starts eating and drinking, then you could give it as much supportive care as you can, and see if it improves. There are some good rat poisons and I would invest in 1 or 2 locking bait boxes, located outside of your coop. I have used the following with good results:
    http://www.amazon.com/Farnam-Just1B...&qid=1408035321&sr=8-2&keywords=just+one+bite
    http://www.amazon.com/Protecta-LP-Rat-Bait-Station/dp/B003OS18HE
     
  3. MereBear

    MereBear Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Feb 10, 2013
    Rochester, NY
    Thank you for the response. I did manage to get her to drink a little water, so I'll try softening her food and see if she'll eat. We've been battling the rats with traps for awhile and we're almost to the point of resorting to poison, but I worry that if the rat dies somewhere out in the open and one of the chickens or our dog or cat eat it, they'll get poisoned as well. I keep going back and forth because of that.
     

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