Hen attacked lost skin skin on back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kim65, May 21, 2010.

  1. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't find her until some time after this happened, don't know if it was the coyote who basically denuded my tom turkey of his entire fan and most back feathers or if it was the turkey who did this himself, after I shut him in with the hens.

    She is almost five months old and an ameracauna. She is injured from the base of her neck to her tail stub, and the skin over her back is gone with some torn loose skin around the periphery. She has minor injuries to her face as well.

    I brought her in last night, used weak betadine solution on the open areas, clipped the loose feathers as best I could, hitched up the loose torn skin to cover what it would. She has an area 3 x 3 inches completely without skin. The fascia over the muscle is torn in a few places but looks just like the skin pulled away.

    She is not eating or drinking (bad sign, I know) but standing in my laundry basket with a pee wee pad and food/water. I have been forcing water mixed with a kitten/puppy nutrition paste and gagged her good with a bit of Durapen orally.

    I don't know if I should even try [​IMG] if I'm prolonging her pain. Oh yeah, gave her half a baby aspirin too.

    I know chickens are surprisingly tough, I had one who lost the skin on a leg and she healed up and went on with her life. This is just such a huge exposure of what shouldn't be exposed. I guess I'm interested in opinions of what you would do in my shoes, and reasonably humane ways to euthanize her. What would a vet do to euthanize a chicken? That's an option too.
     
  2. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I had a RIR once that had been attacked by the other chickens - was a bigger skinless wound than 3" X 3" and she survived. It has been a while, but I'm pretty sure she never stopped eating, though. I can't remember where I found the suggestion, but I read essentially the following and it worked. Clean the wound gently and rinse thoroughly. Blot, and apply nitrofurazone ointment (available at feed stores). Apply a covering - I know I used duct tape, and I think that is what the article I read suggested. You make a covering big enough to extend well beyond the wound margins on all sides, by tearing strips of duct tape the correct length and sticking them together by overlapping the edges of the strips. Then turn that over and make another duct tape patch big enough to just cover the wound, then stick the two duct tape assemblies together (sticky sides together) so that the part that goes over the wound is centered and sticky tape ends to apply to the feathers extend out from there. Not sure if my description is good enough. After nitrofurazone ointment is on, put the "patch" on. I can't remember how often I cleaned this. You need to keep it anointed with nitrofurazone and covered so it doesn't dry out while new tissue is creeping over from the edges.

    My chicken healed amazingly well.

    I would keep her inside, too.

    I'll see if I can find the original article - if so, will post a link.
     
  3. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you for your reply. I am going to attempt to tube feed her with a very small foley catheter.
     
  4. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I may have had to tempt mine to eat with chopped tomato, fresh corn, etc., until she started getting a little better. Good luck!
     
  5. gwill23

    gwill23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry to hear that. I had two who had an incounter with a dog. They had no feathers at the back of the neck and a whole as big as my finger. They were easy to catch but they seemed ok. I just went out every night while they were on the roost and filled the wholes with neosporan and before long they were off and running, eating, and dusting themselves with the rest. They did move right to the bottom of the pecking order though. Kinda funny how that works.

    If they are missing skin I think I would have put some type of bandage over it or something. I think I read somewhere they had healed up ok when they were missing skin.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much gwill [​IMG] I heard that they've survived from this too. I just couldn't give up on her. I just syringed baby food (turkey, peas, probios and a few vitamin drops) in her beak. She's swallowing, not much choice with that syringe in her mouth. I still want to tube her, heck I'm a nurse and I'm panicking over tubing a chicken. I have directions and everything [​IMG] I don't like to put tubes down people either!
     
  7. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, Moaning Myrtle (the chicken with no skin on her back) is still alive. She eats and drinks on her own, and has now for about a week. Her poops are normal, and she can actually fly up to perch on the playpen I keep in my room for the geese at night.

    She doesn't do much else but eat, drink, poop and perch, but who can blame her, she has no skin on her back [​IMG]

    Up until today, I've been putting silvadene cream on her back, it's the stuff used on burn units for humans. I used up the whole tub on her this week, covered her open area with it, and taped a gauze dressing over it. I've been giving her a shot of Durapen twice a day up until today.

    The wound has no odor, it seems to be covered with a thin layer of dried tissue over the muscle, and over that a layer of dried silvadene cream. Today I bought regular neosporin and began using a thick layer of that with no gauze. I figure the wound needs some air, and the neosporin is oily enough to not let it dry out. The muscle beneath appears a normal pinkish color.

    My question for those of you who have had "scalping" injuries . . . this is a large area, from the base of her neck to the base of her tail, and extends from both shoulders down to both hips.

    What kind of tissue will form in this area??? [​IMG] I am sure it will be some kind of scar tissue, no feathers of course. I bought a hen saddle online today in preparation for her to go outside and not get reinjured or sunburned. Will it "scab" over? I'm not sure what to expect. I know skin cells will begin to migrate from the edges of the wound, but that's a big wound and that is very hard to imagine, but will that be the case? Barring infection, of course.

    She's eating chick starter and lots of mini meal worms, and I'm putting vitamins in her water. She is of course in the house.
     
  8. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbor here had the exact same thing happen to one of their older hens. Because they are Basque farmers, they didn't do any of the things you did, they just waited to see if she's make it. She was normal in a few days and looks fine now, albeit a bit rough.

    They are tough.

    Pete
     
  9. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    Kim~~believe it or not, your hen will regrow skin AND feathers in that area.

    I know....it doesn't seem possible. The same thing happened to one of my Silkie hens (dog attack) and had NO skin from the base of her neck to the beginning of her tail.....just open area, just like yours. After I knew she was going to survive, I thought, what is going to cover her back?? just scar tissue?? Nope~~she grew skin that filled in with feathers within a month. To look at her now, you'd never know she'd been attacked.
     
  10. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll be dammed, completely [​IMG]

    A human being with the skin of their back missing down to their muscle would be in ICU and probably dead no matter the latest medical intervention. A chicken, once beyond the shock of it all, barely notices [​IMG]

    Thank you both for your very encouraging words. They've helped a lot. My brain still wants to obsess about it, so I'll tell it to chill out and just let her do her thing [​IMG] Thanks again [​IMG]
     

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