Opened Ear Canal

Samloveschicks

Chirping
Aug 23, 2019
49
59
64
Southern Louisiana
My silver laced polish mix chick that I have been raising alone (found on the street) has been slowly introduced to the outside group of three four month old pullets and three adult hens. They have been free ranging together for about 2 weeks during the day in my yard, and while they dont like him they don't seem to bother him much. Until today.
I believe this is a peck wound to his ear area, and when I clean and trimmed feathers away from the wound I noticed that his ear canal is underneath and is partially exposed. I think the wound would just open back up if I were to have my vet stitch it back, because this skin is incredibly thin and a bit is missing. The ear canal itself is intact, its mostly soft tissue damage right in front and around the ear itself. Does anyone have experience treating this kind of injury? Particularly with the ear canal partially exposed?
So far I am giving him nutridrench, keeping him inside, and will supplement egg. He is lethargic, but it seems to be pain induced because there was not a ton of blood loss. No bone is showing or harmed, but the muscle layer is visible. He still moves around but hunkers down and tried not to move much. I would rather him not move, so Im going to hold off on antiinflammatories until tomorrow or the next day at least. Treating topically with vetericyn as well, but not saturating because I do NOT want to get liquid in this ear canal.
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azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
17,818
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Colorado Rockies
It probably looks worse than it is. Probably it was an injury he brought with him and your flock went about making it worse. All pretty typical.

I certainly would not worry about fluid in the ear canal. Any excess would evaporate or drain out. The wound needs a good flushing to wash out bacteria.

When I lived at the beach as a kid, I would be submersed in the ocean all summer. I got so much water in one ear, it hung around for six months, all of a sudden draining one day. It startled me because it restored the hearing in the ear. No lasting consequences, and that ocean water certainly wasn't sterile like Vetericyn is.

Then I suggest coating the wound, even getting it inside as much as possible, with antibiotic ointment to protect and moisten for faster healing.
 

Samloveschicks

Chirping
Aug 23, 2019
49
59
64
Southern Louisiana
Someone will come along shortly. Could it have been an abscess that ruptured, leaving that mess behind for you to tend to?
I check him every night because he spends nights in my bathroom (im in an urban area with racoon pressure so Im not leaving him in the dog kennel outside at night, jist dont wanna chance it), and so far he has looked ok. He was imprinted on people somehow, so he follows me around and sits next to me all the time. I ve been checking his beard thats growing in so I think I would have seen an abscess. This looks like fresh damage, too.
 

Samloveschicks

Chirping
Aug 23, 2019
49
59
64
Southern Louisiana
It probably looks worse than it is. Probably it was an injury he brought with him and your flock went about making it worse. All pretty typical.

I certainly would not worry about fluid in the ear canal. Any excess would evaporate or drain out. The wound needs a good flushing to wash out bacteria.

When I lived at the beach as a kid, I would be submersed in the ocean all summer. I got so much water in one ear, it hung around for six months, all of a sudden draining one day. It startled me because it restored the hearing in the ear. No lasting consequences, and that ocean water certainly wasn't sterile like Vetericyn is.

Then I suggest coating the wound, even getting it inside as much as possible, with antibiotic ointment to protect and moisten for faster healing.
I think it is a fresh injury unfortunately. His face has been fine up until this afternoon. I really think one of my pullets or older girls got a nasty feather up their arse, though I dont know why they waited weeks to go after him.
I was worried that since birds typically have closed ear canals, that I shouldnt get liquid it. But if you say its ok Ill go for it! I scrubbed the area with surgical scrub (chlorhex), flushed with sterile saline, then followed with vetericyn.
I checked in with my vet (small animal vet I work for) and he said to start him on antibiotics and antiinflammatories. We double checked dosing for meloxicam and are doing 1.5mg/kg. I have tylan, but will probably switch to amoxidrops if he isnt drinking well by tomorrow.
Ill keep everything cleaned and lubed up with meds, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and experience!

Thanks everyone
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else for the well wishes! I will post progress pics of how it heals.
 

Cedar Creek Farm Lady

Just simply living my simple life.
Premium member
Oct 12, 2019
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LeFlore County, Oklahoma
I check him every night because he spends nights in my bathroom (im in an urban area with racoon pressure so Im not leaving him in the dog kennel outside at night, jist dont wanna chance it), and so far he has looked ok. He was imprinted on people somehow, so he follows me around and sits next to me all the time. I ve been checking his beard thats growing in so I think I would have seen an abscess. This looks like fresh damage, too.
I'd keep the area covered with neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment as much as possible.
 

Samloveschicks

Chirping
Aug 23, 2019
49
59
64
Southern Louisiana
Am betting another bird got a hold of the ear flap and tore it.
Thats likely it. You can make out the ear flap (the coloration is different there) and the skin is gone right in front of it. I guess I should wait until he is full sized to try reintroducing. I bet it was one of the girls on the bottom of the pecking order. They seem to be the nastiest. Do you think it is worse because I have a main, original flock, and the subflock of pullets? Or just luck of the draw?
 

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