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Infected facial wound on hen!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by maritown, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. maritown

    maritown Out Of The Brooder

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    I was doing chores in the barn tonight when I noticed one of my Barred Rocks walking into the barn. This was unusual as the chickens always go in the coop around this time of evening. I picked her up and she had some fight when I grabbed her but made no attempt to run when I reached for her, again unusual.

    Then she turned her head and I saw, and smelled, why. She has a yellow/green/black rotting hole in her face. It smells absolutely putrid. Her face is very swollen on that side around it, to the point where her eye is shut. The wound is right next to her beak, and I would guess about the size of a pinky fingernail with the smelling then surrounding it and migrating up the face.

    Her breathing isn't raspy at all and there is no discharge or anything abnormal on the non-wounded side of face. I checked her over otherwise and she looks good, clean vent etc, though definitely under weight. I isolated her and watched her for a bit and she doesn't walk much, mostly just stands with her tail drooping very low, clearly not well. She tried to eat but I'm not sure if she physically can?

    So, my questions are as such:

    1) It looks like she got an injury, maybe pecked, which got infected and is eating a hole in her face. Is this even possible? Is there a chance this is contagious?

    2) Is there anything I can do for her? Antibiotics? Any way to fix this or is this too far gone? She looks like she might pass on her own tonight.

    I've had chickens for years and never seen anything like this. I feel so guilty for not catching it sooner.
     
  2. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry to hear that![​IMG] I would flush it out with saline and or swab with rubbing alcohol. You could give her probiotic or ACV in her water to keep her immune system up. Also, maybe a little yogurt or cottage cheese would coax her to eat? if worst comes to worst you can always try syringe feeding her. personally, I would do what I can and let nature take its course, but its up to you. Hope this was helpful!
     
  3. maritown

    maritown Out Of The Brooder

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    She seems to have a good appetite, but physically I'm not sure if she can open her beak due to the pain/swelling. Thanks so much for your reply though, if she makes it through tonight (it's pouring rain) I will clean it out and see if I can get her eating.
     
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does seem like she got pecked by another chicken causing it too infect with no human interaction too help the matter. Most likely not contagious.

    At this point you need to buy a poultry disinfector such as Vetericyn.Which can be found at tractor supply or any other feed store.Spray it on daily. Offer her eggs and tuna often as well as giving her water via eye dropper or syringe.When doing this be carful birds can be aspirated easily.I would recommended looking at a few video's on giving birds oral medication. Keeping her hydrated is very important,dont worry about feeding her as much as the water.If you let the infection do its course it will probably progress further into the head possibly causing death.Keep her separated in a warm/dark/quiet environment until it heals.Keep us updated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    First thing is going to clean it well. Wrap her in a towel, both to secure her and cause you're going to drip a lot. Use a home made saline solution or plain tap water. If it's a hole, sounds like you'll need a syringe to irrigate the wound. You'll need to flush it thoroughly, get all the pus and whatever out of there. Press around the edges, looking for channels where the infection has tunneled.

    After it's cleaned, you can use dilute betadine or peroxide once, to help kill off bacteria. Those things aren't advised for ongoing wound care, like when the tissue is regrowing, but at this stage you're not worried about that just yet.

    After you get it cleaned, can you post pictures?
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The Vetericyn or saline (nasal saline is sometimes available in our medicine cabinet) would be good to flush out the wound. Betadine or chlorhexidene are also excellent. It sounds like this may have been festering for awhile, so if a vet is at all possible, I would get her there in the AM. Once a wound is cleaned out, then plain bacitracin or neosporin is good to use to apply twice a day. Not many antibiotics are still available OTC, but procaine penicillin G injectable can be used 1/4 ml once a day for 5 days as a breast muscle injection 1/4 inch deep. There are many other oral antibiotics that may work as well. This sounds like either a hawk or other predator injury, but chickens can fly into things, or get pecked by spurned cockerels. Let us know how she gets along.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. maritown

    maritown Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone! I will clean and spray tomorrow and post pictures. Do you think the spray will fight the infection on its own? It just seems so severe!
     
  8. maritown

    maritown Out Of The Brooder

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    I know, I can't believe it's this bad. I check them every AM and PM so she must have literally been facing me with her good side every time.
     
  9. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As suggested pictures would help to see how bad it is.I think the spray will fight it.You should consider adding more feed sources. It seems like she is at the bottom of the pecking order, Getting bullied from the feed sources and getting pecked at.
     
  10. maritown

    maritown Out Of The Brooder

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    There is no issue with feed sources. There are two distanced feed sources between 10 free range hens.
     

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