Injured hen not eating after 4 weeks and in slow decline!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ti22girl, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. ti22girl

    ti22girl New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2010
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    One of my Pekin Bantam hens was attacked by a cat on October 11th. She sustained a bite wound to her right rear neck/ear flap, and a good two inch laceration in her chest. Our avian vet stitched her up and she was put on Sulfatrim [antibiotics] and Metacam [for pain]. She spent a week and a half in the house which she disliked. She also refused to eat, so we had to syringe feed her.

    Understandable right after the accident, but the problem is that 4 weeks later she still doesn't eat well. Her weight checks have gotten worse even though her wounds have healed nicely and she's completed her meds. I still syringe feed her [20ccs in the morning] with poor results – as I fear the trauma I'm causing to her by the feedings plus trips to the vet is doing more harm than good. It really seems to set her back a little each time.

    At this point I can't afford any more expensive procedures - each gavage is $50.00 and her surgery and treatment was over a $1000.00. I feel awful but I'm wondering if I should simply let nature run it's course.

    At least she seems happy to be back in her coop and free-ranging in the garden with her sister. [​IMG]
     
  2. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry, it doesn't sound like she's doing well, I was in the same situation earlier this year. My sweet Daisy was attacked by a hawk while she was free ranging with her sister, she healed well and had nothing but a scar, then she deid very suddenly, if she's not eating and not looking good I would have her put down by the vet, but please get her sister a freind fast, my other poor chicken, gloria, didn't do so well after daisy passed on. Please listen to other people before doing anything, they probebly have some better ideas.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. ti22girl

    ti22girl New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2010
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    Thanks Roxyblue,

    That one last vet visit might be in the future for my poor Bella very soon. Slow death by starvation would surely be an awful way to go. [​IMG]
     
  4. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree,
    it's amazing how attached people (including myself) can get to their chickens. It's awfull to part with a dear pet, but I always like to think about them in a happier place with all the bugs they can eat [​IMG] it makes me feel better. Your chicken is very lucky to have had a life that was free and joyfull, and you should be proud to know that your the person that gave that to her. If you do end up putting her to rest, or if she dies on her own, at least you have this forum to look to for support.
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Her GI system is probably in complete chaos. You should get some probiotics into that poor bird. Some organic ACV in her water and a couple tablespoons of yogurt each day should help to sooth her innards. If she won't take yogurt try some buttermilk. This is why I rarely use antibiotics. They have their place, but once you start them you usually need to follow up with a probiotic regimen to rebuild the gut bug population. If you don't the bird frequently takes a long time to thrive again after an injury, or ends up with some completely unrelated GI problem. Try the probiotic regimen for 2 weeks and see if you don't see an improvement in her eating and weight.

    You also need to minimize her stress. Stress is often more dangerous to a bird than any illness or injury. If that means you need to stop the tube feedings and the vet visits, then so be it. She is not going to heal if she is constantly being harassed. Birds don't do well in constant crisis mode. Maybe by lowering her stress level she will be able to recover.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I hope she makes it.
     
  6. ti22girl

    ti22girl New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2010
    San Francisco
    Thanks everyone for the kind words and helpful advice.

    I agree that chasing her and tube/syringe feeding was far more damaging than helpful for my poor girl. I stopped that two days ago and have let her be herself without the fear of being constantly harassed.

    I have tried giving her yogurt, low fat cottage cheese which was once a favorite, and I do mix pro-biotics into their morning mix of fresh veggies, grains and fruit [without force feeding of course]. She pecks and goes through the motions, but doesn't actually eat it.

    In having cared for and nursed many different animals over the years, there does seem to be the occasional one that just can't get over the initial stress event. I guess the best we can do as their care takers is to respect their wishes and allow them decide their own outcomes as comfortably as possible.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2011
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    [​IMG]
    all I can say now is that I hope all goes well, I really do think your doing the right thing letting nature run its course.
    best wishes
    -roxyblue
     

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