Henrietta's eye is swollen shut, advise please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by esjro, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    Hello,

    I am a first time chicken owner. I have a 12 week old EE that I bought when she was 4-5 weeks. This morning I found that her left eye is swollen shut or perhaps missing. Here are some pictures, sorry they are so crummy but I took them with my phone and she kept turning around - I guess she wanted to be able to see me with her good eye.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    She was fine yesterday, and other than her eye looking bad she is acting normal. No sneezing or runny nose that I have observed.

    I read the other post here which recommended terramycin and VetRx. I will try to find some at the grain and feed today. However, this chicken is the most skittish in my flock. She seems to know when I want to look at her or touch her because she runs away from me. My husband and I put some Bag Balm on a cut she had one time, and it was a big scene... we were both chasing her around, and when we finally caught her she was hollering like we were killing her! Is there anything I can do that does not involve handling Henrietta, perhaps putting something in her food? Also, would anything I put in her food be bad for the rest of the flock?


    She is also at the bottom of the pecking order, so it is possible that one of the other ladies pecked her eye. Is there any way to distinguish such an injury from an infection?

    Thanks in advance for any help. Even though I have only had the ladies for a couple months I love them and feel so bad for Henrietta. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    VetRx is really just a mixture of camphor and oils ~ not sure what your intended use would be, but it is definitely not something you would want around the eye area.

    Terramycin is an antibiotic, and as most folks know today antibiotics are far over-used, so be sure of a diagnosis before treating with this or you risk creating superbugs.

    The best way I have found to treat skittish hens is to wait until bed time. Go into the darkened coop with a flashlight and pick her gently, quickly and quietly off the roost. If you have an assistant to hold all the supplies, all the better.

    I would check carefully first to see what the damage actually is. The eye may simply have a lot of swelling around it and not be damaged itself, and you might do well to just gently clean it off with a damp rag. If the eye area has been pecked, and you have access to a vet, you might ask for some antibiotic eye cream and apply that each night. You should be able to cup one hand gently around her face so her injured side is exposed, and this will help you keep her still while you medicate. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling an animal with any possibility of infection.

    If your hen is at risk of being abused by the others, she is even more vulnerable now that she is injured. I would separate her immediately and keep her in a dry, safe place with plenty of food and water until she is healed. Some folks might also recommend putting electrolytes in the water to help with the stress of injury.

    Some of our very experienced folks may have more to add/correct. Hope that info helps! Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  3. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    121
    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    Thank you Jenski. In the other thread the folks were putting the Vetrx on the chickens noses and in their mouths (for eye worms?). I will try your bedtime handling trick - that sounds easier since she will be in the coop so I won't be chasing her around the yard!

    I exploited Henrietta's love of grapes to take some close up pictures with a better camera. Maybe these will help.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. M@M@2four

    M@M@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    USA
    Hello! Well, it could be many things, but the most important thing you need to do right now is catch her, seperate her from the flock(in case it is an illness)...also even if it's an injury, you will be able to get to her faster to apply the medicine and also to treat just her. Keep an eye(no pun intended on her nose for any discharge) Anyhow, you will first want to flush her eye out with saline solution. I read on here before that if you do not have this, you can make your own by boiling 1/4 tsp salt in a quart of water for five minutes and the of course let it cool and flush daily. You can buy Terramycin eye ointment at your local feed store... apply the eye ointment directly in the eye. I sit on the ground, lay my birds on their back--hold their feet and wings and they will stop flaring...hold the eye open(you will obviously need help with this if she's a fighter). I put a layer across the eye(try not to touch the eye with the tip)--I hold their eye open until I see them blink a few times and it has melted into the eye. The eye ointment is like a vaseline. It also does the job of keeping the eye lubricated. I would also medicate her water so that if this is a injury or infection, it will treat both. Oh, as far as getting her to calm down around you...I use sliced grapes--all my chickens go nuts over them. Hold some in the palm of your hand(hand flat) and extend it to her...try to be sitting when you do this as chickens are nervous if you are hovering! Keep me posted!!
     
  5. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    121
    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    Thank you so much for the replies. Here is the update on our saga:

    Friday - looked at Tractor Supply Co and local grain and feed for Terramycin ointment. TSC only had powder and G&F was out of stock. Per your advice, we decided to isolate Henrietta. I hand fed her grapes while my husband snuck up on her blind side (literally!) and grabbed her. We put her in the basement in an old dog crate covered with a blanket.

    Saturday afternoon - found Terramycin ointment at the other local G&F (which is REALLY local so closed before I could get off of work on Friday). We went downstairs prepared for Henrietta to put up a fight. However, here eye was about 3/4 open!

    No nasal discharge and she is eating well, so we have decided to hold off on the Terramycin - at this point I think it is more likely that one of the other ladies poked her eye.

    The feathers around her bad eye are missing, but maybe this was from her scratching it?

    I'm keeping her in solitary until she is completely healed.

    Thanks again to everyone for the prompt advice and concern... BYC is the best! [​IMG]
     

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