leg abscess PIC ADDED

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by norace, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. norace

    norace New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    My hen has a very large swollen abscess on her leg. It is hot to the touch, so obviously infected. I inherited my chickens just over a week ago, so I am no expert and am very worried and unsure what to do. I have removed her from the other chickens and put her in her own coop and put food and water within her reach (she cannot walk). I am not sure if I should try and give her antibiotics (are these available at a pet store without going to the vet?) or even put her out of her misery. My biggest concern is that she not suffer too much, but I certainly don't want to kill her if I could treat her.
    This came on very quickly - we noticed she was limping just a few days ago and then when we went out this morning, she was lying on the ground, unable to get up.
    Thank you for any suggestions.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    where on the leg is this and can you post a photo?
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    IMHO, I would pour some peroxide on it if it is open and get the infection out. Make sure it is clean and see if there is a thorn hole or something like that. If so see if you can squeeze it to relieve the pressure or whatever is in it.

    I would definately check the others for similar problems just in case. It would not hurt to put some of the (I forget what it is called) but the anti stress/antibiotic stuff you can put in their water. That cannot hurt one bit.

    A picture post would be most helpful.
  4. norace

    norace New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    It is on her inner thigh and it is very large and egg shaped (i would think it was a bound egg or something if it wasn't in her leg). It isn't really just a wound at this point, but a giant infection. I will post a picture when i can find my camera (we just moved in and things are still in boxes), but i am not sure if she is going to last much longer, she is so weak. What would be the most humane way to put her out of her misery? Should i try to take her to a vet? Anyone know of a good chicken vet in Portland, OR?
  5. norace

    norace New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    Just wanted to update the situation. I've gotten her some antibiotics (terracyclin) and sprayed the whole infected area with that Blue stuff after washing thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide. Also giving her vitamins. She is hanging in there, amazingly, though she is so weak and skinny, i don't really understand how. I've cleaned out her straw and cleaned her feathers, as she is having diahrea and unable to move. poor girl. i have been giving her small amounts of aspirin as well, to keep her as comfortable as possible. I had considered trying to put her down, but couldn't bring myself to do it and nor do i really know how. So i guess the best i can do for her is try my best to get her better and make sure she isn't in too much pain. i feel terrible that she has probably suffered more because of our inexperience (just inherited 11 chickens a week and a half ago and we really knew nothing - reading this forum has been so helpful). She probably wouldn't have gotten so bad if we'd caught it sooner.
    I was going to try and take a picture, but you can't see anything now that i've sprayed it with that Blue stuff. (i didn't realize it was really so BLUE). We may give her a bath tomorrow and i will post a picture if the blue comes off.
  6. Minx

    Minx Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    Western Australia
    Quote:Your doing great [​IMG] but has it actually burst open yet ?? If not, it really needs to be lanced and cleaned out thoroughly.
  7. JohnL11935

    JohnL11935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Your doing great [​IMG] but has it actually burst open yet ?? If not, it really needs to be lanced and cleaned out thoroughly.


    Ideally I would want to lance it and then submerge the area in warm water with epsom salts for 15 minutes a couple of times a day. This is especially true if you can feel a fluid collection inside the leg. That stuff will have to come out.

  8. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If the swollen area is actually filled with puss then you do definately need to relieve it by draining. It won't be pleasant but it is necessary if you want her to live.
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Is it involving her joint? Or is it well above or below? If it is over her 'hock' or 'knee' I would recommend culling her, as even if it is an abscess/infection- they have almost no soft tissue around their joints, and if this thing has invaded her joint space- you might be able to treat the infection, but she will be left with a painful arthritic joint. Chickens are heavy bodied birds and need both legs to walk on, and the normal leg will break down if she is forced to use it much more than the other.

    Joint infections are often associated with sepsis (whole body blood infections), so she may have more wrong with her than the abscess you can see. Or it could be a tumor.

    Tetracycline is a fairly limited spectrum antibiotic, as are most of the things available OTC from the feed stores. If you can, I would get professional help- and access to more appropriate antibiotics for the problem. Or humane euthanasia if it is involving a joint or is a tumor. I also cannot cull my own birds physically, and get someone else experienced to do it for me, or bring them to a place that it can be done with euthanasia drugs.
  10. norace

    norace New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    thank you all for your advice.
    my husband and I did try lancing the area this evening, but i don't think it did much good. it also didn't seem to hurt her at least. there was some blood, but no other fluids that we could get out, even when we applied a fair amount of pressure. I am actually thinking that this may be a tumor. It is so large and bulbous and there is no obvious wound we can find (other than the one we made by lancing), though it is warm to the touch, which makes me think there is some infection going on.
    Other than not being able to move, she seems okay and is not getting noticeably worse. I just wonder how long we can keep up the constant care and I am doubting she'll ever be able to use her leg again. I guess we'll keep trying for a while, but may have to humanely cull her. I don't think I will be able to do it myself, so we may take her to the vet to have her euthanized, though we are concerned about the expense. If anyone knows of any local resources for this sort of thing (in Portland, OR), we'd greatly appreciate it.

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