Raccoon scalped my young chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by camille, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. camille

    camille Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    24
    Jul 6, 2008
    I have a 4 month old chick who was attacked by a raccoon at night, but he didn't get her all the way. He just managed to bite her head and rip her skin off from the top of her head to the bottom of her neck. Only muscle that covers your skull left. All that's left is her eyes, beak and apparently enough ear to hear. This happened three nights ago.
    We brought her in when we noticed at 4:00 am when my husband came home from work and first washed the remaining tissue under the running water. Then I covered the wound with triple antibiotic in the tube for people. Then I tucked her into a cozy box after holding her gently and talking nicely to her.
    In the morning she was still alive! I made sure she had some water and some of their chick cereal. During the day she tried to preen herself but sticky feathers kept her from turning her head so I cut them back. By the end of the day she flew up onto a kitchen chair to check out the room.
    In the last two days I have removed maggots twice. She seems OK and the muscle tissue has hardened over preparing to get skin to grow over it, but I think she may still die from infection. I haven't gotten oral antibiotics from my vet. I put more triple antibiotic on the hardened tissue last night.

    What is the hardened exposed muscle tissue called? Does antibiotic in the tube absorb into the injured tissue and enter the blood stream? What else should I be doing or expecting?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *wow, this is tough. The muscle tissue is probably hardening BECAUSE the triple antibiotic ointment is drying it out-- It is a petroleum-based ointment, not water- based. That, and air exposure. In order for a large wound to heal it usually takes antibiotics, and sterile moisture, and sterile non-stick moist cover changed frequently. Some are down on the use of peroxide, but I don't think *a drop or two* ADDED FRESH to your saline solution would go amiss. The wound may need the minute boost of oxygen to help heal.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  3. camille

    camille Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    24
    Jul 6, 2008
    Are you sure? My cat had a large wound on his leg that the vet said was old and couldn't get stiches. Exposed muscle was showing. It got hard and the skin grew over the area one cell at a time. Those cells were fur growing. Also I had a chick another time who had the same exposed muscle wound on its thigh and it also grew skin over it one cell at a time. All I know is that the muscle gets hard and the skin cells creep over.

    Are you sure about it being kept moist?

    I know she needs antibiotics. But does topical go into the blood stream at all, especially when the wound is young?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I imagine that eventually the skin MAY close-- but the question is how long can you keep up, keeping it dirt, germ and maggot free?? Slightly moist wounds heal faster and better because cells are naturally moist and "move" better in a like environment. That's what covering them does. THE PROBLEM IS that moist cover places are also being kept WARMER with the covering-- better for whatever putrid bacteria present to grow. . . THAT's what the antibiotics are for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  5. camille

    camille Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    24
    Jul 6, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions. As far as the cleanliness goes, I keep her inside and it's all hard now so dirt doesn't stick and no more maggots now. The edge of the skin that's left on her neck is hard so I don't know if I can soften it. The cat's grew anyway. But any way to speed up the healing is appreciated. It will be many weeks before she is OK. It will be interesting to see how long.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *You can TRY just lightly misting it regularly if you'd rather-- I would still use sterile saline with a drop or 2 of hydrogen peroxide added. KEEP the bird's feet clean as well-- It will want to scratch at it as it heals. You can get antibiotics at a feed store, but dlhunicorn has said that amoxycillin is the current recommendation for wounds. I THINK you'd need a vet for that. Best wishes for you guys.
     
  7. Lea71

    Lea71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Peroxide inhibits new tissue growth. It's perfect for an initial cleaning to disinfect but after that, not so good. Keep it moist with sterile saline...that helps new tissue grow.

    Sorry to disagree with the peroxide thing. [​IMG]
     
  8. camille

    camille Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    24
    Jul 6, 2008
    That's what my friend told me the day before yesterday after I had purchased peroxide- that it damages the scab so luckily I didn't use it. Thanks for verifying that.

    Also I am taking the chicken to the vet tomorrow. The only thing wrong with her right now besides no scalp of course, is two progressively worsening swollen areas on her head flesh probably from the raccoons bite. If she gets an antibiotic shot and some to take daily, I hope she will live.

    Also today my son brought home a baby bird that the neighborhood kids found! It can't even stand yet, but has little wing feathers. I will ask the vet tomorrow what to feed it because we don't even know where the nest was.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  9. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    A raccoon took 2 1/2 legs off of one of my young turtles 2 months ago and put several holes in her shell and remaining limbs, and the Animal Emergency Center in Milwaukee, WI loaded me up with topical silvadene cream...aka silver sulfate or silver cream. It has the consistency of frosting or whipped butter and is a natural topical antibiotic. I know firsthand because I burned my hand really bad 10 years ago and the hospital put a layer about an inch thinck on my hand and I had to repeat that 3 x's a day for a month. Anyway, it is cheap through a vet and my turtle is living proof that it works...oh, and my hand healed like new! My turtle healed so well that the vet can't believe it! You have to redress the wounds with it several times a day, but please get some! Best wishes!
     
  10. camille

    camille Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    24
    Jul 6, 2008
    Thanks "go Veggie'. I like your name a lot. My daughter is vegan and we don't buy meat now. Actually though she will eat our eggs because they're cruelty free. Anyway, the silver is a great suggestion. Thanks. My friend is crazy about colloidal silver. It's a drinkable silver solution that generates health especially if you suffer from poisoning or something.

    My chicken is much better. I realized yesterday at the vets that she had lost almost all her weight. She felt like a skeleton. She spent the night at the vets. When I picked her up today, the swelling had gone down on that spot on her head. Anyway I stopped at Burger king to get a burger ( I still buy those sometimes) and I was eating in front of her and was still concerned about her and then it occurred to me that beef was probably just as good for her as bugs or worms so I offered her a hunk of burger, bun and tomato and she loved all of it so I was relieved. Then tonight she ate a whole bowl of chick cereal dissolved in water. I'm really glad. She needs to put on alot of weight!

    Did anyone ever hear about feeding grown chickens beef in a pinch and what's the quickest way to plump up an ailing chicken?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by