Injured turkey - need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by coop21denk, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. coop21denk

    coop21denk Hatching

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    My favorite turkey hen has acquired some pretty severe injuries. I had a chicken receive similar injuries last year and assumed it was from an aggressive rooster. At first I thought the same thing of my turkey. I noticed 2 days ago the larger injury. It measures approximately 5 X 6 inches and is located under her wing. The skin is peeled back clear down to her muscle. There is also a puncture within this area that is about 1/2 in. X 1 in. and is approximately 1/2 in. deep. I'm afraid to cut the loose skin away at this point to avoid the chance of her going into shock. I'm also afraid to scrub this area to clean it. I doubt she will hold still for me. The first night, I coated the larger wound with Triple Antibiotic ointment. While doctoring her, I also noticed a smaller wound directly under this larger wound that is approximately 2 X 3 in. It looked like an older wound that had already scabbed over, but today it was freshly open again which makes me think it was just coated in dirt.
    I tried to irrigate the wounds with clean warm water to clean them (without scrubbing), but don't think this is enough.
    Yesterday I was able to get to the farm store and purchase some wound care products. The one I've sprayed on is Vetericyn - Wound & Infection Care. It specificies: hot spots, rain rot, rashes, post-surgical sites, burns, skin infections, scratches, skin ulcers,...
    The other spray is Cut Heal - Aerosol Wound Spray, but it cautions against using on food production animals. So I haven't resorted to it yet.

    While inspecting her last night, I noticed a 3rd wound on her other side. It is about 3 X 1 in and is a little deeper. I hadn't noticed it the first night.

    I have lost a duck and another female turkey this past week, so am wondering if a predator had tangled with her rather than an aggressive tom. Or could she possibly be doing this to herself?????

    She IS a broad breasted bronze turkey so am considering butchering her.

    Need advice quick!!!
    I have pictures but not permissions to upload them yet.


    I have her separated form the others to avoid furthering the injuries. She is acting fine and wants to be with the others.
    Tonight as I was doctoring her, I noticed possible egg binding.
    So now what do I do?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    This sort of injury is generally caused by an aggressive tom breeding the hen. Whatever the cause she should be seperated from any toms so that the injury is not further aggravated. The vetericyn is generally a good product.
     
  3. coop21denk

    coop21denk Hatching

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    Just wanted to update all on my injured turkey. She's been separated from all the other birds, especially the toms. I've continued to use the antibiotic spray along with a couple cleanings with very diluted salt water. All 3 wounds seemed to just be drying up and still looked bad. In the largest wound, the meat appeared to start drying out and cracking. Last weekend I decided to just coat the wounds with a thick layer of Vaseline to help with the dryness. Then the following days it rained and she was out in the elements. Two days later I looked at her wounds and the smaller ones were remarkably almost healed!!!! The larger one is still very large but continues to look better. I really can't believe she has survived this!!! She continues to lay eggs and continues to act normal. It's been about a month since I started treating her. But the larger wound still has a long way to go.
     
  4. LaceFace

    LaceFace Hatching

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    I had an incident similar to this happen today. Our dog attacked one of our famle turkeys and she is pretty beat up- gashes in her neck and side. However, she didn't seem bad enough to put down. I wiped her as best I could with warm salt water and applied Corona- which is a horse antibiotic cream that we have good success with. She has been walking around all morning and just laid an egg which I think is a good sign. Hopefully she won't get an infection.
     
  5. coop21denk

    coop21denk Hatching

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    It still amazes me that my turkey survived her wounds. They are pretty tough birds!!!! Honestly, I read all the information I could find and when I look back on the treatment I gave her, I didn't do anything consistent like others treated their birds. She even dusted herself a few times in the dirt with the open wounds! You'd think they would have gotten infected...but they never did. The antibiotic sprays, antibiotic powder, and Vaseline. I washed her wounds maybe twice during that month. That fall she molted and I thought she'd always have those scars, but here it is over a year later and she looks like nothing ever happened. Feathers all came back and she's as healthy as can be!!!!! Olga and Helga (broad breasted turkeys) are my "Fat Girls".
     
  6. KristiK

    KristiK Hatching

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    I'm not giving advice, just need to get it from anyone that might know. My son's turkey was attacked last Thursday night by two dachshunds. It looked pretty bad, and she was lethargic. Friday morning she was better, and has seemed to get better as time goes on. She still has a hole in her neck we need to hold shut when she eats and drinks, otherwise the stuff comes out of the hole. We have been putting Vetricyn on the wounds, and have been giving her some animal antibiotics. My concern is her wounds. She was ripped up pretty bad. Much of her skin (and meat) on her back are gone. She is starting to smell bad, and she has lots of places with puss on them. In a few places the skin is darkening....black and dark green. There are no maggots on her. Does anyone know what this all means? We are not sure when she should be put down. This is a "pet" turkey, and is very friendly with people. She's in our kitchen right now.
     
  7. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

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    For wound treatments: the website linked in my sig below has instructions on how to Super-Glue wounds closed, as an alternative to stitches.

    However, it sounds like your turkey has gangrene setting in. I'm thinking that gangrene has to be cut out / off in order to prevent infection that will kill?? If that's the case, I'd guess she needs to be put down to minimize suffering.

    I hope someone else will read this post & contribute more thoughts or experience...

    Very sorry for your bird's injury. [​IMG]
     
  8. coop21denk

    coop21denk Hatching

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    I think as long as your turkey is acting fairly normal then keep treating her. When mine was injured, she continued to lay eggs, so I continued to treat her with the powder antibiotic. I also used Bendadine every so often, triple-action antibiotic (from Walmart) and a few times used Vaseline. I had her quarantined from the others but after a week, I let her outside where she could dust herself. I didn't have any other place to keep her at the time, but looking back, I think that helped her. It doesn't sound very healthy getting dirt in her wounds, but that's what happened. I tried to follow most of the information that I found on the site and the internet, but most said they cleaned the wounds several times a day. I was lucky to be able to clean her wounds a couple times a week, but I did keep the antibiotics on the wounds daily. They never turned colors though and there was never a bad odor. As far as the neck injury, if there's a way to close it (I'd try the super-glue suggestion), I think that would be the thing to do.
    I'm not an expert by any means, but this is how I nursed mine back to health. That was 2 years ago and she's still doing well.
    I wish you luck. I know how hard it is when you become attached.
     
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

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    Kristi,
    How have things been going?
     
  10. manylittle

    manylittle Hatching

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    I would take the turkey to the vet if she is a pet. The dying, infected and possibly gangrenous tissue has to be removed...they call it wound debridement,..where the bad tissue is removed by scrubbing it away aggressively, until the wound bleeds, this encourages bringing a blood flow to the area and thus the infection fighting white blood cells. Then, not only a triple antibiotic wound salve should be applied, after a thorough dousing with hydrogen peroxide to kill any bad germs, etc, but she should be on an oral antibiotic that is specific for turkeys...maybe your vet would give you advice as to what to use over the phone if you absolutely can't afford a vet visit, but the visit is the best option. Turkeys are tough animals and as long as she is eating and drinking and moving around freely, she has a good chance at recovery, although the wound in her neck should be closed, maybe try the super glue like another commenter suggested. The wound or wounds need to be cleaned daily and new triple antibiotic cream applied. Hope this helps.
     

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