Neck Wound (Large Skin Flap) - What should I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aggielady, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    My 3 month old SLW was attacked by a hawk last week, leaving her scalped on the top of her head and down her neck
    Rosemary is healing well, but now I can see the extent of the damage to her neck. It turns out there was a flap of skin that was sheared from her neck hiding beneath the feathers. It is live skin- about 1/4" wide by 2" long. I was trimming the feathers that were stuck together and discovered it. I cut a small part of it by accident and it bled a bit. She didn't react, but I'm unsure of what to do. I don't want to sever an artery or anything since its on the side of her neck; but the flap is something I would trim if it were on one of my other animals (my horse had a similar injury on his shin). Should I leave it? Try to "trim" it?
    Ugh. The thought gives me the willies.

    Thoughts? [​IMG]Suggestions? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  2. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is an image of the injury taken a couple days ago. She has made progress since this photo was taken. The flap is on the side you see here, where the feathers are going the wrong way. I can try to get a better picture in the daylight, if needed.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    A more detailed picture of the wound would be helpful. I wouldn't fool with it if the pullet is acting normal and there appears to be no infection, exposure of bone, nerves, etc. Did you clean the wound with an antibacterial like iodine? Be careful not to allow other chickens to peck at her since they are attracted to wounds. I'd suggest supplementing vitamins in the water. If the bird becomes lethargic or an infection is likely, I'd recommend some antibiotic therapy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  4. Jacob Temple

    Jacob Temple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have this happen many times and normally i do nothing they normally only need nature to do its thing but every once in a while i will put a little bit of neosporin or peroxide and send them on there way but depending young or old i will separate them from the others for it protection .
     
  5. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I continue to clean the wound with saline and apply Mupirocin (strong, prescription triple antibiotic- more concentrated than Neosporin). It seems to be working well and while it is all scabby now, its healing very rapidly. Her "sister" is the alpha in the coop and is VERY protective of her. They are actually very careful around her so the pecking has not been an issue (fortunately!!)
    She is active, energetic and since she started eating again, has been eating a bit more eagerly than she did before the attack. I will take a picture in the morning and post it so everyone can get a better idea of what I see.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Glad to hear that. A covered yard is important to me since many hawks hang around my pasture after it is cut. Fortunately there are a good number of trees they can find cover under while out ranging. Things that flash tend to repel hawks also, like a CD hanging on a string or piece of wire. When the sun shines, and the wind moves it, it will flash in different directions.
     
  7. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    I just brought her in to treat her wound (this is before cleaning and ointment).
    Here are the photos of the skin flap. I hope this helps.
    Thank you for the info on the hawk deterrent idea. It was a fluke that the hawk snuck in the coop that day. I have since added hawk-proof security measures and added a hawk-proof "run" area attached to their coop to let them run around and graze outside the coop when they aren't able to free range safely. I will add those CDs too. What a great idea!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  8. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    I have added the photos of the area in question. Please let me know what you think I should do...

    Side note: Its funny how much she trusts me now. She was a flighty bird before the attack, and now she knows the drill. She lets me catch her, take her inside and she holds perfectly still while I clean and apply her ointment. Last night the cat walked up to investigate and she turned to look up at me as if to ask, "is she going to eat me or are we okay?" Of course I responded, "she's fine Rosemary", and she just went on like she understood and it was no big deal! She knows if she behaves, I'll hand feed her treats when we're done.
     
  9. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I cannot see the wound. if it is a puncture the risk of infection is greater. If it is a laceration that wasn't allowed to get dirty, the risk is lower. I nursed my rooster back after a bobcat attack once. I used penicillin for 5 days after cleaning the wounds, and he bounced back to full health. R-Pen is a water soluble powder of penicillin you could choose to put in the water if you see inflammation on the wounded area. Other than that, supplementing the water with vitamin-mineral powder and probiotics at least 3 days a week, and making sure she eats well should help in recovery.

    Of course, keep the wound clean and use the Mupricin sparingly. You want the wound to be able to breathe so it can heal. Dead skin will drop off as the wound heals.
     
  10. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    The issue I have concerns with is the large flap of skin on the left side. I have edited the pics so you can better see the skin with the feathers in the first picture; and in the second picture, the flap is over my finger so you have an idea of its size. It is from the word "is" to the arrow.
    The wound itself is healing well and I'm happy with the progress, but I didn't know what to do about the large flap of skin. It seems large to fall off or shrivel up, but also too large to try to remove...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013

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