Help! Raccon ate chicken's leg!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jenb99, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. jenb99

    jenb99 New Egg

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    Hi! I am a new member, but have read lots of good advice on this site. I just had to join because I thought I might find some help on my poor chicken. We had a raccoon eat many chickens over the course of a week, unitl we finally converted an old playhouse into a raccoon proof henhouse. One chicken didn't die, but had its leg almost eaten off (this was 4 days ago). If you are squemish, stop reading now. We had the choice of amputate or cull. I love my chickens, I know each one like a pet. so, I chose to amputate. I didn't do it right, bone was left sticking out, and it got some maggots in the wound. So, I soaked her in sea salt water, tried to keep her quiet (isolated of course) and waited. It didn't get any better, but she stayed in good spirits, eating, drinking, looking around, pooping, etc. So, finally I thought I would perform a little surgery to try and remedy my first desperate attempt to save her life. By the way, we don't have a vet who would take care of her, and even if we did, the $$$ would be out of our range. That's the sad part. So, I went and purchased antibiotic for $8.50 (ouch for me!) and performed a surgery of her leg, finishing cutting off the bone. Now there is a little muscle showing, then skin. When I amputated the "dead" looking bone part, it did bleed a little (I used a tournequet), so I'm assuming that was a good thing, leading me to believe the tissue is still alive. I think I should have had enough skin to stretch over the wound? It just isn't there, is it possibly still going to heal ok? I now have it sprayed with an anti-germacide wound healer (another ouchy $5.50), covered with gauze, and wrapped up to keep out flies. Anyone have any advice or experience? I don't mind if you get quite graphic with your details...I am just interested in the right way to go about this. Thanks for listening [​IMG]
     
  2. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. jenb99

    jenb99 New Egg

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    Yes, I did read that, thanks very much for pointing it out. It did give me hope. So, she is doing pretty well. Time will tell. I can't believe the number of posts on this site! THey sure have a lot of problems!
     
  4. jenb99

    jenb99 New Egg

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    I mean the chickens have the problems [​IMG]
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Please DO keep her inside and alone so she can heal. You don't want maggots anywhere near her - they will finish her off. No matter what you cover her wound with, they will find her outside.
     
  6. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can't agree more about keeping flies away and the dressing clean. You've done a lot to try to save her. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. CammieSilkie

    CammieSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    keep putting antibiotics on the wound. keep it wrapped and tightly closed. wash it well and keep it clean, change the bandages daily. MAKE SURE to keep her inside for a month or so. until it heals. but one legged chickens aren't like other birds. they don't learn to cooperate on one leg well. they balance with their wings, that get cut and bloody from it, they get badly pecked from the other chickens, and can barley go anywhere with their bad hopping skills. I think wrapping, cleaning, and taking care of wound and attempting to set the bone then wrapping it up tightly up against her body would have been a better choice. and imagine how much more pain this is for the chicken. poor girl, hope she makes it. [​IMG]
     
  8. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What an ordeal you have gone through!! And your poor girl!! I sure hope she makes it. You might have to make a special place just for her to live without being picked on though.
    Good luck![​IMG]
     
  9. jenb99

    jenb99 New Egg

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    Thanks for all the responses, you are all too kind. I really wish i could have set the leg, but it was really just dangling by a thread. The choice was really chop off her head or chop off her leg. It was no fun choice, because i know she will not have a very great life. My 9 yr old wants to make her a fake leg somehow, and my husband is a machine designer, so we may just have the possibility of something she could use to walk on. Either way, no matter what happens, we will keep her inside, healthy,and away from other birds. Thankfully we have lots of space and lots of outdoor daytime cages where she will be able to spend time separate but near her other friends. I am pretty much resolved that if she does make it, she will be a pet to us, which is just fine. We homeschool and it will be a great learning experience for my kids. Oh, one really good thing is she had very watery poops that smelled beyond bad, but with one
    "dose" of a probiotic, she is back to normal (phwew!) , so one day at a time. The deal breaker is if the muscle is able to hold it's own without any skin over it. It seems to be scabbing up, but that part of Animal Biology I didn't study at all. I will keep researching and looking, from what I have found on human amputation, a skin flap is necessary. Hopefully chickens are different. Thanks again for all the support, it feels just like a big family here!
     
  10. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's good to hear she's doing ok so far. Gotta say that I'd have done the same thing in removing the leg if my intent was trying to save her. I'm one to cull hard but over the years have been known to go above and beyond in certain situations. Maybe you could find someone that's familiar with injury to take a look at your hen and advise on the lack of a flap and the best way to handle that. What I've seen over the years is that it will draw up from the bone as it heals, leaving bone exposed. After knowing about Mike the "headless" chicken that lived for a long time with good care, it shows that where there's a will there's a way...as long as the animal remains otherwise healthy and thriving...with quality of life being a judgment call in a lot of situations. And it sounds like your little guy might be on to something...out of the mouths of babes. Hoping the best. [​IMG]
     

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