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Injured Chicken - Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kcallis, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. kcallis

    kcallis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Florida
    I think a hawk (Possible a juvenile) got to my adult hens 4 days ago. One died of the injuries and the other was severely wounded (another survived unscathed). The injured chicken had a 1 inch by 0.5 inch (2 cm by 1 cm) deep incision to the rear left side of her back (along with no tail feathers left). No scratch marks, which is why we think avian predator. She was in shock (lethargy, dilated pupils). My husband (a field biologist) and I (doctor), cleaned the wound and realized the incision had penetrated her lung. We disinfected the wound as best we could and stitched her up with 8 stitches (using sterile technique of course). She also had a smaller cut on her right thigh that went to the muscle, which we stitched up with 3 stitches. We have been cleaning the wounds daily and applying topical antibiotic as well as feeding her Terramyacin in her water. The wounds are healing beautifully however she is wheezing slightly and has an elevated body temperature of 106.5 F at sundown (~104-105 is normal). She eats only a little and takes some water, but refuses to walk and stands only when necessary. We have her in a "clean box" where we change the paper bedding every time she excretes feces in order to keep her clean. I am worried she may have an infection that the Terramyacin is not treating. Does anyone have advice on an antibiotic that might work, or what else we can do to help her recover quickly. Any advice is greatly appreciated (my husband does not want to take her to a vet).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. You all being in the science fields probably know the following:

    VetRX is a general use topical
    oxytetracycline = (tetracycline)
    Terramycin = (oxytetracycline)

    Sulfadimethoxine (Albon[​IMG]) is used for coccidial infections

    Aureomycin = Chlortetracycline: A TETRACYCLINE with a 7-chloro substitution for fowl cholera(Pasteurella multocida), Infectious Synovitis (Mycoplasma synoviae), Chronic Respiratory Disease (Air-sac infection), Mycoplasma gallisepticum and E-Coli.

    Sulmet = Sulfamethazine sodium: Infectious Coryza, Coccidiosis, Acute Fowl Cholera, Pullorum (egg-transmitted disease of poultry caused by the bacteria Salmonella pullorum).

    I would use Sulmet or Aureomycin before I used Tylan, but I have heard that Tylan works when Sulmet or Aureomycin won't.

    Tylan = Tylosin. An antibiotic in the macrolide class. Other members of this class of antibiotics include erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, spiramycin, and dirithromycin. (Chronic Respiratory Disease caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum).

    Lincomycin is an antibiotic derived from cultures of the bacterium Streptomyces lincolnensis, used in the treatment of certain penicillin-resistant infections. It is however recommended for chickens. It is expensive

    So in the end there really is ONLY Lincomycin, Aureomycin, Oxytetracycline, Sulfadimethoxine and Sulfamethazine.

    Also, amprolium (brand name Corid or Amprol) is used for Cocci, but I would only use this if the feces was confirmed with the protozoa. This is a drug more commonly used for cattle and use in chickens would be off label.

    I use a product called wonder dust for open wounds or blue coat if you can not find the WD.

    I use electrolytes and vitamines in force fed water. I have had a greater success with this alone than any thing else I have tried with the chickens.

    Then there is Bytril which is a heavy duty drug to use on chickens.

    Being a doctor I am sure you could talk a vet into selling you a bottle of baytril- a fluoroquinolone. Most vets are not ignorant in knowing you do not want to spend money on a chicken with a vet visit.
    There is the post below that tells me different. I live in a small community and the vets here will work with you if they know you and have worked with you before. Personally, I would not administor Tylan (tylosin) or Bytril as they are expensive and you have to inject it. Although I dearly love each of my chickens, I feel if they are so far gone that I can not bring them back to health without these drugs it is better to cull them.

    The other drugs can be found at your local feed store. I saw Tylosin (Tylan) at the feed store, but it was expensive and it was not recommended for chickens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2008
  3. buckeye lady

    buckeye lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2008
    Rootstown Ohio
    Sounds like your chicken has pneumonia. She may have a pnuemothorax from that chest lac. Continue Tx with ATB's preferably Tylan if you can get it. keep her warm and quiet and well hydrated. Prognosis is poor. Best of Luck. Will add her to my prayers tonight.
     
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Chickens have small lungs and many air sacs. They can't really get pneumothorax in the way a mammal with a diaphragm has. If she had a penetrating injury into a lung or air sac, she could have foreign material in there, as well as a bacterial infection. Depending on what attacked her (Cat= usually pasteurella infection). Hawk I have no idea, perhaps normal skin flora where it shouldn't be.

    Being a human Dr, you know that the best thing would be to do diagnostics- you have a penetrating trauma and a FUO. X-rays, CBC and culture if you can get it! You also know that trying to get a prescription medication out of a Dr (veterinarian or physician) who has not seen the patient recently is illegal. Vets also have great concern in prescribing certain antibiotics (such as baytril- a fluoroquinolone) to hens that lay eggs that might get eaten because of the FARAD people. It is on the prohibited list, same as DES and Chloramphenicol. These meds do get prescribed from time to time- and they can be very helpful, but it would be unethical and illegal to do so without discussing the forever withdrawal time and off label use.
    Overrule the husband if you want access to legally obtained and probably more effective antibiotics than what can be bought OTC as well as professional advice on the patient. Or consider raiding your sample cabinet for augmentin & cipro- but you should still try to at least consult with a vet in your area for dosages and lack of published withdrawal times = never eat the eggs if you care about ingesting drug residues, and never give or sell the eggs to any unsuspecting person.
     
  5. kcallis

    kcallis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Florida
    Thanks for the advice. She does not have pneumothorax, however it does appear she has pneumonia. I suspect its from bacteria that entered the lung after puncture. I'm treating her with Terramycin, since I tried the avenues I have and could not get anything stronger (Since I'm foreign trained, I can't practice or prescribe in the US- which leaves me with few resources here). We are force feeding her electrolytes (300 cc 3x d) with the antibiotic. Her condition has not gotten worse in the last 2 days, but it has not gotten better either. I know the prognosis is poor, but I'm doing everything I can. My husband has firmly put his foot down about the vet, so I'm left with what I can do for her here.
     
  6. kcallis

    kcallis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Florida
    I take that back... she is getting slightly worse. She is now breathing many times with her mouth open [​IMG] I'm very worried about her (so worried that I havn't slept well since she was injured a week ago). But I'm not sure what else I can do on my own. does anyone know what the progress of the illness is in chickens (pneumonia)?
     
  7. buckeye lady

    buckeye lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2008
    Rootstown Ohio
    I'm So sorry that she's not doing well. Do you have any human ATB on hand, Cipro the dose would be 5-7mg per pound every 12 hours-(25mg). Taking her in the BR with a hot shower running may help her breathing. Have you been able to keep her hydrated.
    You'll both be on prayer list tonight.
     
  8. pebblessix

    pebblessix Out Of The Brooder

    Are you sure she is eating well? When my birds are injured or ill, they quite often do not eat enough, they then become very weak and start breathing heavily. Then they die. I have learned to give my badly injured and sick birds gatoraid. Mine like red best and don't like orange, at all. I also feed them diluted down cream of wheat with a couple of drops of poly vi sol and liquid vitamin B. If they are too weak to eat, I feed them with a dropper or syringe. Be careful not to give too much at one time with the dropper, they choke easily. After they have been dropper fed a few times, they catch on to how it's done and are much more receptive. When they are strong enough to eat on their own again, they refuse to eat from the dropper. I hope this helps. Oh and penacillin from the feed store. My husband will give our birds with injuries a shot to help prevent and fight infection. I am not sure of the dosage but I can ask him, if you are interested.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  9. Quote:I am interested. Penicillin G 300,000 units per ml is the only thing we can get from the feed store. We use it on our horses. We have always thought that one could not use this on chickens. It seems to be an off label use. If you have had success with this, what dosage (ml/pound body wieght) are you all using ? We have always used the Lincomycin in a small waterer with the chicken in isolation. This saves on the expense and we can force feed the chicken from the waterer with a baby pet feeder with the nipple cut.

    Thanks in advance
     
  10. kcallis

    kcallis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Florida
    Good news! Things turned around mid-afternoon and Little Red is on the path to recovery (finger's crossed). We have been force feeding her (syringe) 900ml electrolytes (like Gatorade) with terramycin 3-4 x d. Yesterday afternoon she started making chicken sounds and walking around. Last night, she even started pecking at some food (and other random spots, which is part her personality). Her body temp has gone down by a whole degree and is now within normal range. She is still wheezing some, but she is breathing at a normal rate with her mouth closed. This morning, she even started preening and pecking at her stitches (also her personality, and I was worried for the last week as she was leaving them alone, because she is not the type of chicken to leave things alone. She's our girl who is curious about everything, bold and stubborn). I am going to put a cone on her head if she continues picking at her stitches, as I want them to stay in a few more days. I just happy she is now standing to poop, and not pooping all over herself - small miracle. Keeping my fingers crossed, but it looks like she's on the right path (despite all the vets I talked to who said she would never recover, even with treatment)
     

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