Is it ok to spray BlueKote on skinless wounds?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mellephone, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. mellephone

    mellephone New Egg

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    My chickens were attacked by dogs yesterday; two of them rather badly. The dogs pulled the feathers off their rear ends and it took the skin with it, you can see muscle and fat underneath. I didn't see any obvious puncture wounds. I soaked the wounds in an epsom salt bath. It has been 36 hours and neither of them has gone into shock. Yesterday they continued to walk around with the flock, eat, drink and run so I let them be until bedtime when I separated them to avoid pecking issues and they were fine all night long. They ate breakfast and drank water. They continued to eat and drink all day like normal (mealworms, grain mix, sunflower seeds, apples, snails and free access to crumbles). I gave them another epsom salt bath today, trimmed feathers away that were sticking to the wounds and put on neosporin (without painkiller). But I have not seen very much poop from either of them. I know Marlene pooped on me yesterday after her bath and Beth pooped on me today after her bath, but I haven't actually seen them doing it otherwise. Both have full crops. They spent the day in their private coop sunbathing and essentially just doing a lot of standing around and perching (there really isn't a ton of room for them to do much else). Marlene even laid an egg though she seemed uncomfortable when she did so and there was a drop of blood on her vent afterwards (and a smear on the egg). Both have pink/red combs and seem fine except for the fact they look god awful.

    Here is my concern. After I trimmed the feathers their wounds were a bit more noticeable to each other and they did start pecking each other's butts. Beth can reach and peck at the wound on her back so I had to cover that one in gauze. I separated them after that, though tonight they are sleeping together. They were too upset to be alone and in the complete dark they seem to not be pecking.

    What can I do? I definitely want them to survive and I am worried as it looks so awful. I have to go back to work on Monday and I am worried about leaving them alone. I was locking one inside the coop (3-4 chicken coop) and one inside the attached run and switching them every few hours. That won't be possible when I'm at work and I'll be helpless to stop Beth from eating herself if her gauze comes loose again.

    I'm wondering if I'm doing enough to keep infection away. I don't see any green, but I do seem some yellow in spots. There is no smell. I was thinking if I could spray bluekote on the wounds it might alleviate some of the pecking issues and also help fight infection. Is it safe to do so?

    Here is a picture of their butts post bath and neosporin (hence they are wet and shiny).


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  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you're doing everything right and 36 hours without deteriorating is good, plus the fact that they're still eating and drinking and laying eggs. I don't know what to say about the poop, but maybe you're just missing when they do it. Can you construct two chicken hospitals for while you're at work? I use a brooder I made for my chicken hospital. It's a giant, clear storage tote. From the lid, I cut out a big rectangle and drilled holes all around the cutout, then I used washers and nuts and bolts to attach hardware cloth over the hole.

    I honestly don't know if Blu-Kote can go on such an open wound, but I just read the description and it seems like it would be the perfect thing because of its antibacterial properties. I think I would call my vet for an over-the-phone answer to that question. I'm resistant to taking chickens to the vet, but maybe you're not, in which case, maybe you can take them to an emergency vet today (Sunday).
     
  3. EggsnQuackers

    EggsnQuackers Out Of The Brooder

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    I used Blu-Kote on my roosters' combs before when they were getting pecked. It worked great.
    This winter we had two birds that needed doctoring at the same time. We ended up putting one in a wire dog crate in the bed of a pick-up (with a topper on) and the other we just put in the truck bed loose. That way they could still be together and not peck each other.
     
  4. mellephone

    mellephone New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2013
    48 hours and they are still eating and drinking and this morning there was a substantial amount of poop in the coop so that alleviates that concern. Plus, their vents don't seem as swollen today. Marlene's comb is a little paler (more pink) today but much paler than some of my other girls. Both Marlene and Beth are Easter Eggers (from mypetchicken), about 5 lbs, and 9 months old. They just started laying in December/January. Marlene is a trooper and never flinches at my touch. She let me clean the heck out of her twice now and even helped by moving her wings for me. Beth on the other hand is upset at being touched and squirms and flaps to get away. She finally buried her head in my armpit and just cried a bit while I finished cleaning her wound. I think she knew she needed it (there were feathers stuck in it and it was filled with black dry blood) but it didn't feel very good for her. She is preferring not to be touched now. I'm inclined not to soak them or put more neosporin on at this point as it looks like both are starting to scab a bit. I don't want to interfere with that.

    I'm wondering if it is ok to let them out with the other girls ONLY while I can chaperone them just so they can be social and stretch their legs. Plus, the other girls seem to miss them. They come and sit outside the coop/run and talk to them throughout the day. Or is it better to keep them confined and make them rest?

    There are no avian trained vets in the area. There is a semi-trained vet I've taken my older girls to in the past when they had a respiratory thing but she doesn't work today. The vet technician working today said she isn't avian trained and she's guessing it could be irritating to spray it on there without a scab. She seemed unsure. She said one of her chickens was attacked by a raccoon and split from stem to stern and still fully recovered with only betadine tea baths. I'm tempted to try doing a test spot and see if it irritates them. Beth is getting some yellow-green spots and one of the wounds has looked kind of black from the get go, but she still smells very sweet and not an ounce of sour. I'm just paranoid about infection. Everything I've found online implies that they can heal the skin no matter how bad it looks and infection is the bad guy. Any advice on what to do next? I keep worrying I'll go out there to check on them and they'll be gone.
     
  5. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Boy. As a nurse, my thinking is that a wound that size needs to stay moist. LOTS of Neosporin with gauze over top and whole chicken wrapped in that self-stick vet wrap is what I'm envisioning. Easier said than done, I know. Or sterile saline-soaked gauze with a layer of dry gauze over top of that with the vet wrap all the way around. You want the wound to stay moist so new skin cells can be mobile as it heals from the edges in (don't let good skin get wet or it will break down). Also, the gauze will stick to those yellow/green/black areas as it dries and when you pull it off, that stuff comes off with it. You want to get rid of that stuff--debride the area. Especially the black stuff (black eschar).

    What a pain for you and your girls! I'm so sorry you all have to go through this--especially them. Get some of that water supplement (Big Old Bird or the like) to boost their systems while they are healing. Supplement with LOTS of protein (dried meal worms, yogurt, raw beef dog food from the pet store [the brand I feed my dog and occasionally my chickens is called Vital Essentials. It's in the freezer section of many pet food stores], etc).
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  6. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    How did they do while you were at work today?
     
  7. mellephone

    mellephone New Egg

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    They did good. I did spray Marlene with the bluekote and put her out with her sisters and watched for four hours. I wanted to get her away from Beth, who wanted to peck at her wound. She did fine and the flock treated her like normal. I put her back in with Beth at bedtime and slathered her with neosporin. Marlene was out with her sisters all day today and it was without incident (a friend came and watched them for most of the day). She is still eating, pooping and drinking and acting totally normal despite the huge gaping wound on her tushie. I'll put her back in with Beth and slather her with neosporin again tonight. Rinse and repeat I guess.

    Beth was more difficult. She discovered she could peck at herself as well as Marlene. I tried everything; anti-peck paste, covering it with gauze and vet wrap. I even tried duct tape to keep the gauze on. She can take them all off. It was like watching a chicken Houdini! Finally I put her in a small child's t-shirt and it did the trick. She looks hysterical but she can't peck at it and isn't even trying anymore. Yay! She is eating, drinking and pooping like normal but is staying in the private coop/run until she has healed enough I can take the t-shirt off and test drive her with her sisters.

    Both wounds still smell sweet as opposed to sour. It is a bit hard with the blukote on to tell if there is any green, but I'm trusting on smell for now. Any idea how long it will take them to scab? And once they scab will the girls stop trying to eat themselves??
     
  8. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, it's hard to say without actually seeing it. If the entire dermis, epidermis, and subcutaneous tissue are gone and muscle is exposed, then scabbing is actually dried out muscle tissue. That's why I was thinking it would be best to keep the whole thing moist, so skin cells from the margins can start migrating in. But it sounds like since they are doing so well, then you should probably just keep on with what you are doing. You're a great nurse!! =)
     
  9. mellephone

    mellephone New Egg

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    I don't think there was any chunks of muscle missing and it seemed like there was something over the muscle underneath. I saw some pictures in other threads with obvious muscle showing and it didn't look like that. After I cleaned them up I wasn't left with bright red tissue, more like fatty yellow tissue covering red tissue, but definitely no top layer of skin. It just looked like the skin was either split or pulled off with the feathers, exposing the fatty tissue. But, I'm hardly an expert and I don't know... it could be. These are pictures of Marlene the day it happened, immediately after we found her (maybe an hour after the attack?). Beth's wounds are much the same except she has it to a lesser degree under her vent and another one on her back above her tail.

    They now both officially hate me touching them. They were very mad at me tonight when I put neosporin on them. They are really feisty and just want to be free and with their flock. Marlene was doing fine until she realized I was putting her back in quarantine and then she was very mad at me. I got yelled at by my chickens! She wanted to sleep in the big coop. I don't want to stress them out, especially since they are doing so well... so I'm inclined to go minimal until I see signs they need more help but at the same time I don't want to be courting disaster.

    It is REALLY hard to get the vet wrap on this area and since it's right below the vent it seems prone to getting filthy quickly. I have no clue how to wrap them without going across the breast, but then it interferes with their legs and they walk real slow and awkward. And then they pick at it, pull it up and just take it off. Is there a trick?

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  10. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ─Žal Luqa, Malta
    Oh my, poor sweethearts.... You are doing a great job...
    I don't know if the BlueKote is the same "blue spray" we have here (don't even know the name but there is a VERY good one we have in animal pharmacies), and we did use it on the back of a henny's head which was picked almost to the bone by her mate (it looked absolutely horrible) - it took a long time to grow everything back (not to mention that for the first week I only hand fed her because she couldn't even bend her head down) but the blue spray worked truly magic. We have used it in many cases and it has so far worked miraculously.
     

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