necrotic wound on head and neck, need wound care advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pleasanthill, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    I am a new chicken owner. We have four pet chickens. Two days ago we found a young, feral bantam-type chicken, sitting on the ground near the coop with eyes closed.

    She/he has a wound from just behind the eyes extending down the back of the neck to the base of the neck. It does not appear to have any skin on it and just behind the eyes there is a patch the size of a nickle that I think is bare bone. When we found her the wound was dry. Husband googled chicken first aid and I picked off ants and spritzed it in bactine and applied neosporin on it. Took it to the vet and they thought it was a result of inflammation from mites and treated chicken topically for that. Also gave me an antibiotic to give once daily but didn't have any advice on wound care - said cleaning up the wound at that time would cause too much stress.

    I am wondering if there is anything else I can do to help the wound heal - it looks unhealthy and it has a rotten smell.

    She is in the house away from flies/ants in a cat carrier in a quiet place and I am rinsing the wound with sterile saline solution and applying more neosporin twice a day. I have been spoon feeding her wet layer feed and water and she has started eating on her own and has opened one eye. I've been giving her water laced with aspirin (from chicken first aid google) 1/2 of a 325mg aspirin in 2 cups water.

    Is there any other wound care I could try - am worried about necrotic tissue stopping healing and also about how the patch of skull could possibly heal over?

    If chicken heals it will join our other ones but I understand it is a long shot.

    Thankyou
     
  2. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    check for external parasites and treat promptly, add some vitamins to her water, and get some blukote for her wound. it's an antiseptic spray that coats the wound and prevents infections and from bugs getting in there. i used it on my dog with a huge laceration that i didn't know would heal but it did. make sure she's clean all over, perhaps a warm bath would help. it's good she's eating again.
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  4. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Thank you very much for the replies. She is more alert today and definately eating on her own. Will try the suggestions and see what happens.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. ChicksOnBikes

    ChicksOnBikes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    My suggestion would be to try crushing the aspirin and putting it in some yogurt. She should eat that all at once, and it will take her a long time to drink 2c of water. 1-2TBSP of plain yogurt and cooked oatmeal are easy to digest and can help the gut.
    I relied on that article suggested in the post below when my hen was injured. It sounds like what you are doing is really good. Please keep us updated. I think as long as she is alert, eating, and pooping, you should be optimistic.
     
  6. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Thank you for the additional advice. I am now rinsing the wound with an iodide tea as suggested and then coating it with neosporin ointment, doing this twice a day. I have done it three times so far and I think the wound is starting to look a little more healthy. I could do this 3 times a day, but would that interfere with the healing process? Also, I was worried the neosporin ointment might prevent oxygen from getting to the wound but I guess really the oxygen is coming from chick's blood supply to tissues? Seeing as there is definately no skin on the wound, I didn't think I should leave it to dry out as it would with no ointment, but I don't know if that is correct or not.

    I am putting toddler vitamins in her water. I wasn't sure how long to give her aspirin - don't want to give her stomach ulcers in addition to the head wound! I don't know if that is an issue or not... If I did give her aspirin in the yoghurt, would it be the same dilution i.e. half a 325mg tablet in 2 cups of yoghurt?

    She seems steadily more perkier and the other eye is starting to open now. She is finishing off a small bowl of feed "soup" every day now and I think her breast feels a bit plumper. I will try the cooked oatmeal and yoghurt and try to get some peidalyte/ gatorade. I tried to chat to her in "chicken" this afternoon and she was very attentive and seemed to appreciate that!

    Thanks again for all advice.
     
  7. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Good news - the wound looks healthier and no longer smells horrible, but now her left eye is looking worse. It is not sealed shut but the lower eyelid is puffed up so that she can't see and the skin is cracked and spotting blood. I saw her scratch her head and maybe she is scratching it. What can I do to help that? I know I can't put neosporin on so that it gets in her eye, but is there something else that would be okay? I'm thinking a cone around her neck so she can't scratch? But don't want it to irritate the wound on her neck. I have sterile saline solution or optrex for people. Maybe I have gotten some idodine tea in it by mistake or neosporin... Don't know.

    Any ideas would be gratefully recieved.

    Thanks
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Saline eye drops would be fine to wash the eye out. I'm thinking people use teramycin ointment in chicken's eyes for certain infections. You might check it out in the search engine--it would be available at Tractor Supply or other farm stores. Also, you may be giving too much asprin--I'd probably give only a baby sapirin which is equal to a 1/4 adult aspirin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  9. Lorimary

    Lorimary Out Of The Brooder

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    If you just want to soothe the eye, you could use plain petroleum jelly. You could also clip her nails, in case she accidentally got herself while scratching normally.
    Seems to me that mending chickens is more of a merry-go-round than anything... you start to see one thing getting better and something else pops up... then that gets better then it's something else. You just keep going with the TLC until eventually everything is finally fixed. It can be a struggle, but it's worth it! Sounds like you are doing a very good job getting this chicken healthy. So glad there are people with your level of compassion and dedication to take on the hard-luck cases. He/she was lucky to have flapped into your yard, that's for darn sure!
     
  10. ChicksOnBikes

    ChicksOnBikes Out Of The Brooder

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    You can mix the amount of aspirin in 1-2TBSP of yogurt, that way she will eat it all at once, and you can give her that dose once every day, knowing that she will eat it all. You can mix the yogurt, aspirin, and a small amount of feed/oatmeal as desired, depending on how well she is eating. Yes, I agree that you should use a baby dose, usually that is approximately 80mg, or 1/4 regular aspirin.
    i know it is gross, but you might want to take a picture of it, if she lives, you will be amazed at the progress of the wound, and it would be nice to share with others this experience when she is healed.

    Good luck!
     

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