Opossum attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Susanhen, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2017
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    Last night an opossum got into my hen house, my bantams escaped unscathed, but my 14 week old EE pullet was bitten. When I found her she was moving around alright but had a bloody leg and the opposite thigh had some skin ripped off. I put her in a tub with wood shavings, food and water. She ate alright last night and is drinking today, but today she can't seem to really walk. When she lays down she lays on the opposite side of the leg injury (on the side of her thigh wound) I flushed the wounds with Vetericyn and slathered her with Neosporin. She's now in a dog crate in my basement (very warm with the woodstove) dimly lit. Short of taking her to the vet (winter storm coming tonight) is there anything else I can do? She was walking around last night after the attack but is now lame. Internal bruising? Her leg isn't swollen and seems solid, she seems able to move it just doesn't want to put weight on it [​IMG]

    Thigh wound
    [​IMG]

    Hospital 'room'
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Macedon Ranges
    Hi,

    I think you should take her to the vet just in case it's been infected.
     
  3. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Vet isn't an option right now, snow storm starting that'll last until Wednesday, roads are already being closed down.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hopefully, she will get back on her feet with some rest. Keep applying the neosporin twice a day, and look for any signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, pus, or a bad odor. Green bruising may be seen. I might get her back to the coop in a dog crate in a day or so, where she can still be part of the flock. That is, as long as she starts to stand and gets to her food and water. Offer her some bits of egg, and sometimes they will take feed in a bowl mixed with water. Let us know how she is doing tomorrow. Try to seal up any holes where a predator can get in at night.
     
  5. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Thank you for the advice. The wounds seem fairly clean (I had been worried about the torn skin but that doesn't seem to be bothering her). Now my biggest worry is the mobility.Unfortunately, the run is too small (only 2 feet tall for the bantams) to fit the dog crate back in there, but when she's recovered I'll be putting her out next to it in the crate. The snow that we're supposed to be getting will be at least a foot, so she'll be inside until that melts at least. The coop and run are secure when the door is closed, unfortunately my husband didn't close them up yesterday evening when he was down there, thus the intruder [​IMG]
     
  6. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Today I've noticed significant swelling in her foot. The wounds don't look infected, aren't themselves swollen or red (green bruising on her thigh). So I'm thinking she may have broken that foot. She is eating and drinking and preening herself. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    She could have a sprain in her foot. It looked a little swollen in the first pics. Her wound looks good, and I hope it will heal well. The skin will eventually come togther, and feathers will grow back. If you put a hen saddle /apron on her, it may cover her wound so the others don't peck at it. That way she could have some daily visits with her flock. When they are separated for a long time, greater than 4-5 days, they can forget each other, and that can cause problems when back together. Rest will help her foot, and hopefuly it is not broken. Feet can be splinted with cotton balls and thin strips of vet wrap or paper tape, but it might not be necessary.
     
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  8. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Pennsylvania
    The bird (who I am now thinking may be a cockerel, which would be awful since I've been becoming attached to "her" now that she's living in my bathroom) is perking up and her wounds look pretty good. I don't expect her to be able to walk yet at this point, the past few days she had been standing up to drink and eat, but would lay back down after trying to take a step. She doesn't seem to be eating all that much and I'm afraid of her losing too much weight. Is this normal for a bird that doesn't have mobility therefore isn't using much energy? I have started dumping the feed into the wood shavings since she seems to prefer digging for it with her beak, but she doesn't ever fill her crop. Last night at 4 in the morning, with no lights on, she started scooting backwards around the crate and flapping her wings a lot, this went on for about two hours on and off [​IMG] (so much for not having wood shavings all over the bathroom). Also, since she's laying down all day, the feathers around her vent have become caked in feces, I gave her a warm sink bath yesterday to get most of it off, but is there something I can do to prevent this? She's not laying with her feet underneath her but mostly pushed forwards under her chest which leaves her bottom pretty smooshed to the floor (I'm guessing this is more comfortable for her foot).
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would try a chicken sling to get her upright and keep her cleaner. Place food and water within reach. It also would be good to get her back with the other chickens which may make her want to eat better. Good treats for her would be chopped egg, tuna, sunflower kernels, or a little liver for extra protein.But her feed should make up 90% of her food, and mixing a small amount with water sometimes makes it more appetizing. Here are some ideas for slings and dog crates make good places for them:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Susanhen

    Susanhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Thank you so much! Will definitely construct a sling. Unfortunately we have a over a foot of snow on the ground right now and there is just no place to put her near the flock without putting her directly into the hen house without the crate. And I wouldn't want her out in the cold in just a wire crate.
     

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