Poultry Fly Strike...a cautionary tale with GRAPHIC photo progression.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pharm Girl, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Pjsabamafan

    Pjsabamafan Hatching

    Jun 13, 2012
    Tuscaloosa County
    I am sorry I am just getting back on here. We tried the Epsom salt bath, kept her warm, but she just kept declining. We helped her out of this world. I have researched and read your posts and have better knowledge of it ever happens again. It was devastating and gross.
  2. emhalloran

    emhalloran Chirping

    Flystrike is terrible! My bantam rooster, Night, had flystrike a few months ago and its was the most horrible thing I have seen
    He had been in a fight with another rooster and flies had been landing on his wound and laying the maggots without me even realising!
    I let him out of the coop one morning and noticed he was very weak and didn't seem right .....I looked at his comb and couldn't believe it when I saw hundreds of maggots eating comb and the skin on the top of his head....I thought he would die and was quite upset as he is one of my favourite roosters

    I treated it by firstly picking all the maggots out with tweezers....which took a while! I then washed the wound with saline solution and dried the wound. I then slathered his head and comb in betadine cream. I repeated this process three times a day for a week, removing any new maggots each time and kept him inside in a box away from the flies.
    He was very weak and I was sure he wasn't going to make it but he slowly began to recover and is now a healthy, happy boy again! :)
    I now know to keep an eye on any wounds my chickens get as preventing fly strike is always the best option!

    I just thought I would share my story!
  3. dfalchek

    dfalchek Chirping

    Dec 20, 2014
    Scranton, Pa
    I would do a permethrin dip, which would immediately kill the larvea and all internal and external parasites and keep other bugs away for at least a month. Then I would blue kote or vetricin that.
  4. lizro

    lizro In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2015
    Whitchurch on Thames UK
    hi all. Reading this avidly as have just come back from New York (Sons wedding) to find my favourite in a bad way. We had house sitters for the 6 days we were away but they had not noticed the flies buzzing around her back end - it was the first thing I noticed. When I looked she had a large necrotic area to the side of her vent and several smaller areas. There were biggish maggots in the large area which I flushed with a 50cc syringe using warm saline; then I picked the remaining ones out. Then I noticed lots of really tiny ones around the preening gland.
    I rinsed her in a bath of salty water then washed her vent and back end with Permethrin shampoo (for the dog! I made a bubble bath - so fairly diluted) This seemed to wash most away then sat and picked off any that I had missed with tweezers. There were lots of fly eggs laid along the feather shaft which I rubbed off. Surprisingly she did not seem at all off colour ad was eating very well. Hopefully I got back just in time.
    My plan now is to keep her indoors away from any flies until her wounds heal. Check her twice a day for new maggots and remove them. I see there is also a spray which deters flies but can't spray on broken skin. But will be useful for my other hens who all seem ok. Maybe get some chlorhex to wash her wounds with.
    What a job to do after travelling through the night to get home but it is a really horrible thing for the poor hen to put up with and she seems happy in the cat carrier, eating and drinking ok. I will check with my vet to see if she needs anti biotic cover. They never told me about this on the course I did!!
    biophiliac likes this.
  5. South OH Chicks

    South OH Chicks Chirping

    Mar 2, 2016
    Frankfort, OH

    I think this was fly strike starting. The girls comb was orange and she wasnt eating. I went ahead and put her out of her misery all the other girls were picking on her.
  6. Tenrec

    Tenrec Chirping

    Apr 9, 2017
    Oh geeze. Posting and subscribing to this thread to see how your girl does. You're doing her a real solid. I remember when a hawk nabbed one of our geese...In this warm weather, with an open wound, flystrike is almost unavoidable if you decide to keep the bird outside while you treat it. We spent a similar amount on our girl, lol. Sometimes you just can't help but give them a fighting chance, you know? They're important.

    A note about flystrike though...I've seen a few people say that maggots will only eat dead tissue. For most species of maggots, this is not true. Maggots prefer squishy, dead stuff, but will eat whatever they can consume, including live tissue on a living animal. They will literally eat an animal alive if that animal cannot get them off of it. For this reason, it is not only important to watch animals with fly food (feces, etc) stuck on them, but also animals with open wounds, lethargic animals, animals that have problems grooming themselves, and BABIES. It is the mom's job to make sure her babies are clean, because flies will absolutely seek out a baby who isn't being looked after and cleaned obsessively, as we take for granted when it comes to mother animals, and lay eggs on that baby.

    And yes, birds are very susceptible to infections going systemic, so it is best to not only treat the wound itself, but also give the bird a dose of either oral or injectable antibiotics.

    Flies are awful and I have literally cursed on every single maggot I have pulled out of an animal by hand.

    Best of luck to your girl. I can tell you love her.
    biophiliac likes this.
  7. Kristen D

    Kristen D Songster

    Jun 24, 2017
    Excuse my ignorance but, what is EYP?
  8. MontanaChickDoc

    MontanaChickDoc Songster

    Jul 2, 2016
    central Virginia
    Egg yolk peritonitis. So I posted earlier about checking butts because my Cochin gets a funky butt and I have found maggots there before (ga-Ross). I always thought that most maggots only feed on dead tissue but she had a big sore and there were maggots in it so...did the maggots cause the ulcer? No idea. But I will put in my plug for Aluspray, which is like the miracle chicken medicine. It's like liquid tin foil in a can. It's antimicrobial, drying agent anti flies and anti picking. I use it on all chicken wounds. I had a hen go broody and set on a ton of rotten eggs for weeks before I found her, she was more maggots than chicken and half her skin sloughed off, down to the muscle. BUT we hosed them off, chlorhex stokes and flushes, Aluspray and she grew all new skin and feathers in a few weeks. Chickens have AMaZING healing powers.
    biophiliac, Wyorp Rock and Kristen D like this.
  9. saki

    saki Chirping

    Jan 21, 2011
    Thank you so much for posting this. I was able to use this information to help save one of my hens, Gwendolyn.

    On October 1, 2017, I noticed that Gwendolyn was hunched over. She wasn't acting like herself. I picked her up and noticed that the area just below her vent was bloody. She had a large open sore about two inches long and one inch wide. It smelled like rotting flesh and was full of maggots. Norma (my wife) and I took her inside and cleaned her up at the basement deep sink. We soaked her in warm, soapy water. Then we removed some loose, bloody feathers and cut away a few more around the wound. We poured hydrogen peroxide on the wound and proceeded to remove the maggots. There were literally a hundred or more. It took two hours. Then I laid out pine shavings in the basement shower and put her there with some food and water. A few hours later, we removed a few more maggots and then cleaned the wound with rubbing alcohol. We bought a generic version of Neosporin (which I will refer to as antiseptic cream) and used that to cover the wound. Gwendolyn doesn't appear to be in pain but she is very weak. What is the problem? Fly strike. Why Gwendolyn? She probably had feces that stuck to her feathers which flies then laid eggs in. Some chickens are just more prone to having feces stick to their butt. I don't check my chickens closely on a regular basis though I do make sure they make it into the coop every night. She was strong enough to jump onto the roost. Beyond that, I hadn't noticed anything special about her until today.

    As of October 7, 2017, Gwendolyn is making significant progress. Every day, we have been inspecting her for maggots, cleaning the wound, and applying more antiseptic cream. She has been separated from the flock and will stay that way at least until October 10, perhaps much longer. To clean the wound, at first we were using hydrogen peroxide with a syringe. After three days of that, we switched to saline. Then she gets blow dried before applying the antiseptic cream. I've also started giving her a homeopathic antibiotic. I would have preferred giving her something stronger but as of this year, a law was passed that requires oral antibiotics for animals to now be prescribed by a veterinarian. We also bought Alushield Bandage which I expect we will use after she is re-introduced back into the flock. Gwendolyn is the runt of the flock and sometimes she gets picked on. I wonder if one of the other chickens created a cut that made it easier for the maggots to take hold. We have Hot Pick which we can use to help prevent this.

    The attached photo shows her on October 6, 2017.

    Attached Files:

    biophiliac likes this.
  10. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

    Sep 27, 2017
    Northern California
    How is your hen doing? I hope she's making a nice recovery.

    Also, I was wondering which homeopathic remedy you're using as an antibiotic.
    biophiliac likes this.

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