Need help recovering from dog attack!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PatrickLove, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. PatrickLove

    PatrickLove Hatching

    Jul 4, 2013
    Five days ago, last Monday (now Saturday evening) my neighbor's dog broke through the fence separating our properties and attacked our three chickens that were roaming happily in the yard. It killed one, bit one in the bottom quite badly, and the third escaped by flying up on the fence (always the smartest one).
    I took the injured chicken, Lucy, a 5 month old Light Brahma hen, very healthy, happy and docile, to the emergency vet that evening. They thought she was a goner until they put her out and were able to stitch up quite a bit of her wound. The tip of her spine was showing and much muscle was missing, but her vent and cloaca are in good shape (miraculous). I brought her home and have been treating her with antibiotics 2x daily and pain medication (Metacam) in the evening. When she first came home she was wearing a bandage and "sweater" that covered her torso but had holes for her legs and wings. For two days she was very still and didn't mind it. On the third day she started pecking and picking at the sweater so on the vet's advice we removed it (Friday morning). She is becoming more bored and irritable by the hour, and has begun picking at her wound and especially at the skin around the wound. She seems to be removing all feathers around the area, including the remaining quills (they trimmed quite a few for surgery). There is feather cuticle all over and she has runny poop with feathers in her poop.

    She's inside in a clean 3x3 pen, gets lots of attention from the family. At least once a day for the past 3 days, I've brought her outside to the grass to get some fresh air, sunshine, and greens. I won't put her in the dirt as I don't want the wound to get dirty. I've also been putting the other survivor in with her for 20 minutes at time, trying to maintain their bond and help the other hen with her loneliness.

    What can I do to help prevent her from picking the wound and plucking her feathers? She hasn't picked it so badly that it has started bleeding again, but the skin around the wound is looking pink.

    How can I help ease her boredom without making chicken management a full time job? I am guessing it will be at least another week before she can go back in the coop with her sister.


    Oh, and we have mended and greatly strengthened the fence. **** dog.
  2. coop-er

    coop-er Songster

    Nov 28, 2012
    I know this must be incredibly frustrating for you, but I think you are doing all of the right things. Please continue to keep the survivors together ( even for a limited time daily) to help them maintain their bond- it sounds as though the wounds are healing and that is important. Hang in there- nearly my entire flock was killed by a fox.. I WISH I had my favorite hen (Sunny) to nurse back to health....I would gladly do this for her, had she been lucky enough to survive an attack- good luck, friend.
  3. PatrickLove

    PatrickLove Hatching

    Jul 4, 2013
    Thanks Coop-er,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your chickens. It's hard to explain to others how attached you can become to them. Did you rebuild your flock?
    Thanks for your encouragement. It really helped. I think my wounded girl is definitely on the mend and today is in the coop with her sister. If all goes well we'll let her stay through the night and then check her again.
    And I think we're getting two more Buff Orpington chicks this week! They won't replace Buffy, but they will bring the flock back up to size. Rather than wait until spring, we're going with the strategy of getting all the disruption over with in a short period of time. Hope it works.
    Good luck to you as well.

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