Help: pullet attacked by dog, cannot stand or walk!


8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
West Coast USA

Our 18-week old Delaware pullet was attacked by a dog last night. When the dog was pulled off, our pullet tried to flap away but fell over onto her side, wings splayed. We examined her and didn't see any external marks or bleeding. The dog had a small mouthful of feathers but the pullet wasn't even visibly rumpled. We felt up and down her legs and she didn't protest but she was panting heavily and obviously in shock.

I gave her water laced with electrolytes and vitamins, using a syringe last night and isolated her in a cage in our garage. She hasn't moved since, except to shift her weight from side to side or back. She won't drink from the syringe this morning, shows no interest in food, and seems glassy eyed.

She appears to be able to hold her left leg tucked under her body but the right leg seems useless.



This is the first time I've had to deal with an injury and I feel helpless. Could the leg be broken or dislocated? If so, what can I do? I'm also worried about possible internal injury. She's no longer panting but that's the only improvement I can see. I know she won't make it if I can't make her drink. At this point, a vet is not an option for us. I would appreciate any wisdom/advice on how I might help her.
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Sounds like your doing all you can for now. if you don't see or feel any thing wrong with her leg then I wouldn't worry about a pic. if your seeing swelling and heat then you need to post a pic. could the dog have injured some nerves in her back? where did he pull out the feathers? if he could have grabbed her across her back that maybe why she is having problems standing. I would do another look all over her again to make sure no punture wounds with all the feathers they have they can be easily missed. also you can give her baby aspirin for pain. dribble some water with the baby aspirin dissolved in it along her beak where her mouth opens. So sorry this happened, but it's not an isolated incident. hope she pulls through
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Thank you so much for responding! I didn't actually see the attack (I arrived just after) and our teenage daughter who did see it is hazy about what exactly happened, so I'm not sure where the dog grabbed her.
I wouldn't have known the pullet had lost any feathers if not for the feathers in the dogs mouth, and there weren't more than a few of them. She looks beautiful, not the least bit rumpled or ruffled, but her right foot is swollen. I haven't wanted to touch it again for fear of hurting her worse. I will go out right now and pick her up, feel around carefully, and see if we missed anything immediately after it happened. I'll also try to give her baby aspirin. I can't get her to take much water from the syringe but I'll dribble aspirin-laced water on her beak and hopefully she'll take some in that way.

A few moments ago she actually wobbled to her feet and stood for about five seconds - long enough to shift herself away from me and the water I was offering. I was surprised and happy to see that she could do it. It looked like she was having a hard time opening her right foot and getting her leg up under her. I took some photos:



She's also making a gurgling noise I've never heard before. I don't know how to describe it except to say that it sounds like something between a person breathing with congested lungs and a growling stomach.
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I don't see any marks on her body. It doesn't mean they're not there, just that I don't see anything. She is sitting with her rear end tipped up and more weight on her chest. I'm not sure if that says anything about the nature of her injury.
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