Hen with abcess (?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jerseyridgearts, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. jerseyridgearts

    jerseyridgearts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Lurker here....tonight I found one of my Black Orpington Hens with a strange growth on the back of her head. At first I thought her head feathers were fluffed up but then I saw what appears to be a boil. She wasn't interested in me getting a closer look and I can't seem to find any reference to this in any of my chicken books. The growth is 'floppy' if that makes any sense...like a round growth the size of a gumball that flops when she moves...strangest thing.

    This hen is very healthy; she's eating fine, laying well...running around with the other hens and goats. I did not notice this lump this morning when the flock went outside.

    Any ideas? Suggestions for treatment (assuming she'll let me catch her?)
    Thanks to all

    Catherine
     
  2. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    I would try puttin a poultrice(try your feedstore or drug store) on it or make a solution of warm epson salt and soak it with a warm cloth for about 10 minutes. I've never had a chicken with an abcess, but this has recommended by my vet for my horses.
     
  3. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    The mention of "floppy" makes me wonder if it might not be an engorged tick? When we first got our dog she was covered in ticks, and the big ones looked a lot like "skin tags."

    Either way, you really need to get a good look at it -or get a vet to.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Montana
    I'm going to second the tick idea. A big floppy rapidly growing lump on any animal in springtime could easily be an engorged dog tick. The head and legs are incredibly subtle if the tick is that well attached. If it is a tick, you may want to have a vet remove it to ensure your chicken doesn't get a localized infection from the torn skin or possible tick mouthparts left in the wound.

    Gross! Good luck.

    -MTchick
     
  5. jerseyridgearts

    jerseyridgearts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    thanks everyone - the "boil" is even bigger this morning but the hen doesn't seem any worse for wear - still eating, running around. I may try to take her to the vet when they open this afternoon.

    this morning I tried to get some antibiotic cream on her but most ended up on her back. She simply will not cooperate.

    thanks for the ideas.

    Catherine
     
  6. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    Engorged dog ticks are the nastiest critters around...

    A tip on restraining the bird by yourself...if it's an adult standard...

    Straddle the animal's back while on your knees facing the same way the animal is. The animal needs to be big enough for that to make the animal crouch down. Cross your feet behind you and sit your butt on the heels of your feet. It's like sitting on her without really sitting on her.

    The crossed feet behind you will help prevent her from backing away...a favorite method of escaping restraint. Your thighs should prevent her wings from flapping. Use one hand on her chest to keep her from squirming forward (or use it to keep her from pecking at you). Use your free hand for observation or whatever it is you need to do.

    It's easier when there's a second person, but if you ever need to really get a good look at an animal big enough for that method to be effective and you're by yourself, it's very effective. It's like creating a restraining box with your body.

    It also helps to place a towel or cloth over the animal's eyes if possible to help calm the animal.

    Hope all goes well.
     
  7. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    For one I have never in all my years raising birds seen a tick get on them and I live in tick country. It sounds to me like she could have been biten by a spider or something. She could also have an infected feather folical which happens every now and then. If you are brave you can lance it and then treat it with neosporine. Another option is to take and syringe and needle and drain it. Next step VET.
     
  8. jerseyridgearts

    jerseyridgearts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    You guys are great.

    Wes, I think you could be right...I tried lancing but no drainage. The hen is still active and eating...I'm wondering spider bite too, Wes...we just haven't had any ticks here yet. Tomorrow I try the Vet if he'll see her.

    thanks all again

    Catherine
     
  9. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    Catherine

    How is the girl doing?
     
  10. jerseyridgearts

    jerseyridgearts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wes, she's doing fine despite no resolution on the 'abcess'. Talked to the vet and he recommeded that I cull her. I've decided not to as long as she is eating, drinking, running around and acting ok. She seems none the worse for wear despite the big growth. No one has a clue here what it could be.
     

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