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Hen Recovering from Dog Bite

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MrRadio915, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    One week ago (injury happened Oct 29, 11), our 9 month old hen was bitten by a golden retriever. We didn't expect her to make it more than a few minutes based on the severity of her injuries: substantial gash at base of neck, at least 3 puncture wounds to crop and numerous areas of feather loss.

    Well, it's been a week. We've treated the wounds, glued the holes in the crop shut.

    THERE IS NO SIGN OF INFECTION.

    The chicken is gaining strength, and stretching out her neck more every day. She stands more than she sits. Her small comb seems to be standing more erect than it did early in the week. We've been dispensing a honey/yogurt/pulverized grain mixture to her, and making sure she's stays hydrated.

    We want to make sure she heals, so we're not in a hurry to do anything that might jeopardize her recovery.

    Here are some questions so we can make decisions at the right time:
    1. Is there benefit to a healing chicken being with the rest of the flock? Dangers?
    2. Our outdoor temps are in the 40s during the day, 20s at night. How do we reintroduce her to the outside?
    3. She seems to have trouble maneuvering her tongue and getting solid food down. She seems to tire easily when eating on her own. Is there more we could look for there, or is she just tired/weak?
    4. During the "surgery" to close the crop, we removed quite a bit of normal material so that the crop could close. Should we provide her with grit/gravel while she's inside?
    5. How much should we try to get her to eat during the day?

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated. We'd really like this to end up as a success story!

    Thanks!

    -Dan
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm glad she has made progress!

    As far as being with the flock, it sounds like she still doesn't quite have the energy level to stay out there with them, but maybe you could have some supervised visits out side with the others to see how she does. The others may pick on her while she is weak and if she has scabs they could peck at them.

    If she is still weak, I am not sure she is ready for the cold temps. But once she improves more introduce her to the coop at night when the others are roosting and you may avoid initial confrontations from the others. Check to make sure others are allowing her to roost near them so she can benefit from others' body heat.

    As far as food, maybe you could add in some scrambled egg, too for extra protein.

    Regarding adding grit: you may want to hold off a week or so since her crop is healing, just make sure the grain is really pulverized.

    I'm not really sure how much she should eat. because she gets kind of tired of eating, really nutrient rich foods are helpful. I think you should look for some increase in food consumption from day to day to show that she is improving.

    Keep up the good work.
     
  3. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Scratch'N'Peck (any relation to Gregory (Peck)?)

    We just got some meal worms for her, and she showed more interest in that than I've seen from her EVER since the dog event.

    The weird part is, she's having trouble conveying food into her mouth? A meal worm would normally be down in seconds... it took her 2 minutes to maul this one, and the skin is now pinched in her beak...

    Still gonna syringe feed her for a while, but the eagerness she showed while trying to get the meal worm is really encouraging.

    Would love any more advice anyone has for helping a chicken recover from a dog bite resulting in damaged crop.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    A damaged crop can take a long time to heal. It doesn't have air to help it heal fast so it will be slow going. Just give her time and foods easy for her to handle. Offer her foods first and then finish her off by syringe feeding her. Have you tried giving her yogurt? That would be good for her. In addition, you can also make a sort of warm gruel and see if she likes that. I'd also offer her extra vitamins, high in B12. You can buy ionfant vitamins WITHOUT IRON at any pharmacy. You may have to ask the pharmacist, I don't think it's over the counter. Costs less that $2.50.

    One thing you could do to give her encouragement is to bring in another hen that gets along with her and put her in a cage next to hers. The two can keep each other company and when you eventually put the injured hen back there will be two of them, sort of take the pressure off of just the one. I wouldn't put her outside at all until she is 100% healed. Supervised visits when she's better and close to being reintegrated into the flock would be great.

    Hope she makes it. You're a good chicken dad for trying so hard!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the insightful replies. We'll keep helping her along.

    If anyone has ever experienced a similar situation, we'd LOVE to learn what you know.

    This is our first set of hens, and we knew we weren't immune to chaos, but didn't expect it quite this soon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    Just gave the hen another epsom salt bath. She seems to LOVE them, and relaxes during and after.

    During the bath, we discovered ANOTHER wound. Did not appear infected, but still we're wondering if what we're doing is humane. We irrigated it with the epsom salt for some time, and "glopped" some neosporin on the wounds.

    Following the bath, she's standing beneath the heat element - more erect than I've seen her for a few days.

    She is definitely favoring the area of the wound, and much of the time doesn't like to extend her neck... which stretches the wound(s).

    <<< S I G H >>>

    We appreciate the support of the forum...
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

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    sounds like your doing a great job, I was just wondering what type of glue did you use to close up the wounds on the crop. I have had one of our dogs kill my chickens, so your extremely lucky to be able to save her. Needless to say that dog went to another home, without chickens around... I would be giving her Polyvosil, I swear by this stuff, works wonders..
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  8. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll get some Polyvisol today. (Without iron.) She's a full size hen. What dose of the vitamins?

    We used a walgreens brand of antiseptic skin glue.

    Thanks everyone for your support. This is really stressful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  9. MrRadio915

    MrRadio915 Out Of The Brooder

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    From another thread on the forum, it seems that 3drops morning and 3 drops evening is the recommended dose.

    She really doesn't like the taste, so I let her chase it with a couple of meal worms and a sip of water.

    I started the vitamins last night, and (maybe I just want to see progress) she seems more "up" already this morning.

    Time will tell.
     
  10. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    keep up the good work. I hope she continues to steadily improve.
     

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