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Hen with multiple injuries part 2

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    OK, I'm getting conflicting advice, so just seeking another opinion. My hen was caught in a slamming door blown by the wind, and while trapped was attacked by our peahens. Her worst injuries are actually from the attack, rather than from the door. They pulled all the feathers off her head, and pecked her face and eyes. Her head is still oozing bloody serum on this, the second day. I've been applying saline and polybac ointment to her eyes, and it does help a lot, but it's hard to get her still enough to put it on the way it should be. Her eye did open for a bit this afternoon, but both were swollen shut again this evening. We put the ointment on again right before she went to sleep, so hopefully it will stay on in the night and have more effect. WE've been using Veterycin on her poor sore head.

    I got one syringe of antibiotic from the vet, but he did not see her, neither did he talk to me, his office passed on a message to him and he suggested the injection of Baytril. But it's just one injection, and I've been told by others that it needs to be several injections over a period of days. Probably true, but I think the vet was thinking the injection would jump start her and help her to get her eyes open, and then I could continue with Baytril orally if needed. I do have Baytril tablets. The Vet is out of town now til mid next week, so I can't ask him. There's always the concern about underuse of antibiotics causing resistance in future cases.

    I've also been told she probably doesn't need the Baytril injection or any internal antibiotic, but I don't know about that. Her eyes look very bad to me.

    I'm also concerned that she cannot see to eat or drink. I THINK I saw her grab a drink of water earlier today, but could not be sure. Her head is so raw and sore, it would be difficult to tube feed her, plus, I am sure she is sore from the door too and I don't want to make her worse by a lot of struggling.

    Someone else said I should be washing her wounds and eyes, but again I disagree. I think the Veterycin is designed to take the place of washing, and again, washing would be stressful and probably painful for the hen, who is not particularly a quiet tame bird.Her feathers are not matted with blood, and she does not have any crustiness on her eyes, probably due to us washing them with saline, and the ointment. So I don't see the point of washing with soap or anything else?

    This evening she was turning her head towards us as we worked with her dressing her wounds,as if she could partiallly see, and was trying to bite, which is an improvement from this morning, when she wasn't doing anything.

    This is the first bird we've ever had with a major injury, so I'm anxious about it. So here's my questions.

    Wash or not wash? Should I use something other than or in addition to Veterycin on her head? Someone suggested a Styptic pencil, but she's not really bleeding it's just serum. Antibiotic injection or not? And should I follow up with additional antibiotics?
     
  2. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually give a Pen G injection for infection when dealing with injuries. So, I think you should give the Baytril the vet gave you. It should be enough. Not sure what the serum leaking is, I have learned that chickens do not form liquid pus but cheesy like curds when it comes to pus. Is that leaking from her eyes or skin? I take it her actual eyes are not pecked out or damaged are they?
    I think the veterycin is good enough to take care of her external injuries. Perhaps just a damp washcloth to gently dab the leakage away would be sufficient instead of the whole soap and water thing. I usually use a product called WonderDust on nasty skin wounds because it dries it up quick and puts a scab on the wound quick, but I've heard good things about what you have also.
    She probably won't be too interested in food or drink for the first few days, but it is important that she keep hydrated. So, I would keep her in a small space where she won't have to look far to find food and water. You may consider some high water content foods for her like watermelon, grape etc. to keep her hydrated. Some chopped up boiled egg might tempt her to eat. If she still isn't eating or drinking in the next day or two, you will have to tube her. I had a rooster with a terrible head injury. Something got it and just bit his head. His eyes swelled, his head swelled, his beak went scissor on me. He couldn't eat or drink. I had to keep him going for almost three weeks by tubing water and food in him. I know it was painful to have his head held, beak opened and this done, but if not, he would have died. Swelling eventually went down, beak went back to normal and he finally was able to start picking up chunky food. It was a long haul with him, but he made a full recovery.
    So, don't give up, she will heal. Use a towel and wrap her up snug like a mummy if you have to work on her, it really helps. Hang in there.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have had some pretty bad injuries like that and all I did was separated them to a quiet warm place, provided feed and water, perhaps moisten food and left them alone, the big killer in my opinion is the stress, messing too much with them makes it worse, chickens are really good about healing wounds if just given time and quiet. I wouldn't force any food or water into it. I had my dog do some bad damage to a few a couple of years ago, they took a few days to begin to perk up a bit and a couple of weeks before they were looking like themselves a bit more.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thank you very much, your advice is what my instincts are telling me to do, too. She IS in a small hospital pen, it's wooden, and elevated, so it's dark and quiet and warm. She has shavings for bedding and a heat light during the day for warmth. I think she can find her water, as I said, I thought I saw her get a drink, just not sure. I have to agree that the vet knows what he is doing, he is a vet, after all, and one Baytril shot might be enough to get her eyes open. I can't tell if the eyes are damaged. I hate tube feeding, though I have done it...and will If I have to. I agree that stress is a big problem and I think it stresses them to tube feed them. Birds that I have tube fed in the past have never survived. I wish I could get her to eat..we have tried minced grapes and chopped egg over the past couple of days, as well as damp crumbles with no success. I'll see how she is today. :( My son's out there taking care of the flock right now. I don't know what the serum is from really..they pulled all the feathers off her head...there isn't really a wound..it's just raw and sort of bloody and seeping.
     
  5. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, if tube feeding, you have to make sure they are getting well hydrated before eating. Feeding them, without watering first, could kill them. I look at it this way, if they aren't eating or drinking (drinking being more important), they are going to die anyway. So either dehydration or starvation, or stress. Take your pick. Either way, it is a good idea to wait a few days before proceeding.
     
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  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes, I will. When I do tube feed them we give them a slurry consisting mostly of baby bird formula with sometimes other stuff, like yogurt or applesauce, but they would get fluids from it, woudn't they? So you think just give them water first in tube feeding and then maybe wait a bit before giving them more solid stuff?

    She is more alert today, and her one eye is half open. It looks terrible but I think she can see out of it. The other one is still closed and I'm worried about that one, but, regardless, she's showing a little improvement. Because of that, we decided to wait just one more day before giving the injection. We will give it tomorrow certainly if she does not eat breakfast, and if she is not eating or drinking by Monday or Tuesday I guess I should consider starting to tube feed her. Her head is beginning to dry up and scab over some, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mine didn't eat for a couple of days
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Well, it will be two days since she's eaten anything...just about 48 hours exactly. She is starting to act hungry.. vocalizing little hopeful noises. Makes me feel worse. :( I'm so worried she won't be able to regain her sight. She can see SOMETHING, we are sure of that. She follows my hand now when I am trying to apply her meds, and looks around her all the time. One eye is half open, one is open just a slit. But we tried tapping her food in her dish to get her to eat. After we stopped and closed her pen door, she swung around to look at the dish, but didn't touch the food.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    The fact that she's perking up is good, her appetite should return, she hasn't been moving around so she hasn't needed as much in calories, I would try offering her something warm so she can smell it as well, nothing you can do about her sight at this point it's either there or not. Sounds like things are starting to head in the right direction.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thanks, I hope so. I made up some fermented feed for the flock and it is ready, so I thought maybe I'd offer a little of that tomorrow. She will certainly smell it and I'm thinking it might stimulate her appetite, especially if she hears the rest of the flock tearing into it. They love that stuff, I give it to them once in a while.
     

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