Injured chicken - need advice with stitches

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AmyRey, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    We suffered a wild dog attack. They killed one girl and the other girl and our rooster were missing. The second hen just showed up in the coop (still haven't seen the roo) but she's got a pretty bad gash on her back. It looks like a flesh wound. I don't see any serious internal damage.

    She needs stitches to close the wound.

    Any advice on how to proceed? What sort of cleansing should I do? What threading material?

    I know lots of you here have had to sew up your girls before.
     
  2. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I am so sorry for your loss. I don't have any experience with a dog attack but havve had some pretty large gashes on the backs of a few of my girls from my roosters. I could see the movement of the leg and wing in one and I never stictched her up. I used Betadine and saline and gave them antibiotic in their water to help aid against infection.

    Can you post any pictures so we can see what the wound looks like?

    Good Luck!

    BTW they healed up very well on their own and can't see any problems.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  3. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ireland
    Chickens heal very well from what would seem really really bad injuries - Wash out well as Dog bites are full of bacteria. Keep her away from other birds as they will attack her. Give her infant vitamin drops NO IRON in her water this makes the water yellow not too much though!!! keep her in a quiet place. yogurt and scrambled up eggs are full of protien which helps with healing. She should heal up fine if you continue to wash the wound out well to stop infection. If you try to sew the would you could make it worse your better not doing that if possible!!!

    Oesdog - good luck and I hope your roo makes it back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  4. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    It's fairly large. Probably 6 inches around. But all the skin is still there, it just needs something to hold it on. This wound is under the wing and the hen (surprisingly) acts as though she's fine. I don't see any major tissue damage nor do I see any other wounds.

    One picture with the flash on and one without.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    Whew! All the cats are accounted for now. (We were worried about one who hadn't shown up yet for dinner.)

    Our roo doesn't have clipped wings and has a habit of roosting in a nearby tree during the summer. I'm hopeful that he just sought shelter over there for the night.

    ETA: Just went and looked. No rooster in the tree. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  6. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    Okay - I cleaned out the wound really well with peroxide last night. Then I coated it really well with Neosporin and folded the flap of skin back up over the wound. The Neosporin sort of held it together. There were no signs of infection.

    This morning, I got her out and checked the wound again. I did NOT do any additional cleaning today, but did coat it again with more Neosporin and folded the flap of skin back over it again. There are still no signs of infection. She is acting fine, eating and drinking fine, but pooping little (probably because she hasn't really had much to eat until this morning.

    My concern is what should I do with/to this flap of skin? Should I secure it up with a stitch? Should I let it fall, leaving the wound open? Should I ... try and cut it off somehow? [​IMG]
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    People doctors won't ever sew up something over about 4 hours old. It would have been better not to move the flap after the initial cleaning. I'd just watch it at this point and see what happens. The flap to a point will function as a wound dressing, keeping the wound a bit cleaner. Otherwise just keep Neosporin on the area. With luck the flap will eventually dry and a scab will form at its edge. You may have to change your approach if you see a lot of pus or a lot of black rotting tissue (as opposed to a dry scab; a scab would be good.)
     
  8. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I have heard to not use peroxide on any types of wounds because it destroys good tissue. That is why it is suggested to use the Betadine for cleaning the wounds well. Afterall it is used for surgery so it must be good stuff. Right?

    In looking at the pictures I can remember one of my Barred Rocks having a flap of skin between under her wing and you could see right down inside of her. I used the saline and betadine daily and tried to use the neosporin but it was hard to get it inside the wound so it took her a little while but she has healed up and unless I pick her up I can't tell which one of my 4 girls it is. She funtions normally. I would not stitch the tissue back together, I believe you said she was seperated from the rest of the flock so that noone will peck on it. Oh you can also use the Blukote on it also it has stuff in it to help promote healing also. I don't think that I would even snip the piece of tissue off either. It should heal. Unless you see it getting infected then I wouldn't worry about it.

    I would try to give her things like scrambled eggs, yogurt and things that are not hard on her system. Anything that she loves to have to snack on.

    Have you put any antibiotic in her water?
     
  9. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    Peroxide was all I had last night. I will pick up some Blu-kote and Betadine today.

    She appears to be the only one to have survived. [​IMG] Still no sign of the roo. She is inside and confined, calm and appears to be pain-free.

    I have not been treating her water with antibiotics, although I do have some. The thread I read last night seemed to frown upon giving oral antibiotics. Perhaps because diarrhea would become an issue? I am giving her Poly-Vi-Sol in her water.

    She ate her regular laying pellets this morning. I will pick up some yogurt today as well and give her some of that too.

    So should I expect that the skin flap will dry up and fall off on its own?

    What should I expect the wound area to look like? Will that new skin be feathered?
     
  10. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Quote:I have given antibiotics to all of mine that had large cuts and abrasions from the roosters spurs. I have not had any trouble with diarhea or anything. I use it for mine but that is just my way of treating them. Now I don't use the antibiotic for everything just when there are risk of infection and to me the wild dog could be carrying who knows what and the risk is high to not use it to kill any kind of bacteria that it was carrying. I have used it on many hens and have never had a problem with it. I think the vitamins is a good idea but that won't get rid of any infections that she could get. She prob won't lay an egg right now due to the stress of her injury so the eggs won't be a problem.

    Oh I didn't mean anything about the peroxide, I prob would have used it before if I hadn't read anything about it. I was just meaning to not use it in the future. I think that I got the generic form of the Betadine cause it is much cheaper and it is the same identical ingredients.

    I am so sorry about your other chickens, maybe the rooster will come back safe and sound. Thankfully your one girl is going to be ok.
     

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