Predator attack, superficial and deep wounds. Need advise

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HollysFlock, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. HollysFlock

    HollysFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
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    Hello all,

    I just got home to discover that one of my australorps (~11 months) is missing nearly all of her tail feathers and has at least three wounds on her back end. I'm guessing she was attacked by some bird of prey given the spacing of the injuries. Two of the wounds involve just the skin, but the other is so deep that I can see the underlying muscle. She is not bleeding and was walking around the coop just fine until I caught her. My big concern is infection. I will not take her to the vet, so I need your advise.

    Superficial wound
    The superficial wounds are 1-1.5 inches long. I was planning to wash the skin wounds with water and chlorhexidine soap, then spray with iodine and put some triple antibiotic ointment over the wound. I'm debating about dressing it as she will be separated although the dressing would help limit maggots, etc. Yuck.

    Deep wound
    This wound is ~1 inch long but I can see her thigh muscle. There are a few feathers around this sight, so I'm also curious how to keep them out of the wound while it (hopefully) heals. I am planning to wash this also with water and chlorhexidine soap. Maybe flush with hydrogen peroxide? Then spray with iodine and cover with triple antibiotic ointment?

    I have newly acquired Penicillin - should I give her that? Obviously I will separate her, put vitamins in her water, and give her chick feed. Any other thoughts? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

    *If the overwhelming advise is to cull because of the deep wound, please advise thoughts on safe consumption related to attack.

    Unrelated Rant
    To put this in perspective: I have two hens with bumblefoot, I who had surgery yesterday and is doing well. The other is scheduled to continue her soaks this evening. I put down a chick yesterday for twisted leg (I think). Last night my rooster had yellow thin mucous all over his face, which resolved this morning (weird!). My dog hurt her leg. The mostly indoor cat went out and won't come in. And...my husband is traveling. When it rains...
     
  2. HollysFlock

    HollysFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    Indiana
    She also has a puncture wound below her tail, but above her vent. Given I only have two hands, I had trouble holding her and investigating that.

    [​IMG]
    Above: wound below tail, above vent

    [​IMG]
    Above: two superficial wounds on saddle

    [​IMG]
    Above: Deeper wound on side. Thigh muscle visible, appears intact.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    You can flush all the wounds with 50/50 water/betadine solution and pack all wounds with Triple Antibiotic or Neosporin. Apply the antibiotic ointments daily as needed. Hold off on the penicillin for now. What concerns me is the puncture above her vent...if feces were to enter that wound or any other wound, a severe bacterial infection would occur. You can trim back feathers and fluff to prevent feces from sticking to them, she'll then have a "clear shot" to the ground. Perhaps sutures might be required to sew up the punctures, leave a small opening at the bottom for drainage if you decide to sew her up. You'll want to keep her separated from the others as well, they will pick on her. Ensure flies don't get to her neither.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. HollysFlock

    HollysFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
    Indiana
    Thank you, dawg53! I was disheartened when I discovered the wound near her vent as well. A nice figure 8 suture would close the deepest puncture on her side easily - I might try that this evening. Do you think it would be better to leave the wounds open to air, or cover with gauze? I'm reluctantly planning to keep her in a crate in the mudroom right now to avoid flies. Thank you so much!
     
  5. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Overrun With Chickens

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    I use Terramycin antibiotic spray for open wounds. I know that you guys have the ointment but I'm not sure whether or not it is available there , it the most important thing in my first aid box. It is actually marketed for pink eye in cattle. Glue is also used in some wounds, but if you were to close the wound it would be advisable to give antibiotic injections .

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...er-glue-for-wound-closure-any-success-stories

    https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/super-glue-wounds
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  6. HollysFlock

    HollysFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
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    It took two hours to clean her up. I didn't realize how dull my scissors were until I tried to trim feathers and fluff. Good grief! [​IMG]I flushed with betadine/water, packed with triple antibiotic ointment, and placed gauze over the antibiotic ointment to prevent recontamination while I finished with the other wounds. I'm certain they will fall off as she moves around some more, but that's probably ok. She was really patient as long as I held her in a position that allowed me to see/work and her to feel secure. She patiently watched me as I removed feathers from her wounds with forceps - I was impressed.

    Fancychooklady, thank you for the information about terramycin and super glue. I was actually just looking at Terramycin opthalmic ointment at the feed store this afternoon (pre-injury) wondering if it would be better than triple antibiotic ointment to have on hand. The super glue is an excellent idea, but unfortunately I don't currently have enough hands to manage it myself. It's probably better to wait until tomorrow to see if she has any obvious infection or other concern, then I can recruit some additional hands in the afternoon.

    Now, I just need to rearrange things so I can set up her crate. In good news, she had a nice, healthy poop and nothing eventful happened with the wound above her vent. I was afraid that something may have been punctured, but there doesn't appear to be communication between the two at this time.

    Thank you both so much for your help! [​IMG]
     
  7. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck Holly , I hope you that you are able to see your little hen through this. Keep us posted. :)
     
  8. HollysFlock

    HollysFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2011
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    Here are some updated photos of the wound beneath her tail. The weird yellow bit sticking is skin - I considered cutting it off as it's simply hanging there, but I figure it'll probably die and fall off which might be less traumatizing. That is provided that the puncture wound actually heals. You can see that the puncture just barely missed her vent. The moisture on her feathers is from the triple antibiotic ointment. The superficial wound on her saddle looks to be healing appropriately. The larger wound on her thigh is still open and I continue to debate closing it - although I recognize that the longer I debate this, the less feasible of a task it will be.

    She is eating, drinking, and voiding well. Poor bird!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Holly, you are to be commended for your untiring efforts to help your hen through this horrible devastation she is suffering! You're a very special 'chicken mama' and I just wanted to say....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Keep packing the wounds with Triple Antibiotic. You can give her probiotics for a day or two to help boost her immune system if you wish.
     

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