SEVERE injury from a Leg band!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by paulandashia, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    3
    143
    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    A few days ago I came home with 4 new hens. I got them in the afternoon, so I left them in the kennel for a couple hours, and placed them on the roosts when it got dark.

    The next day, I noticed one of the girls was limping. I didn't think much of it at first, thinking maybe she 'pulled' something either when she was caught, or after... But I removed her from the flock, and put her in a kennel to recover. Today, I noticed that she was not using her leg at all anymore...
    Worried, I brought her inside and examined her leg in detail. Under the feathers, above the hock, I noticed SEVERE swelling. I started parting the feathers, and noticed a LOT of pus and dead flesh. The smell was HORRID! I started cutting the feathers around the wound to get a better look, and after removing quite a bit of scabs and dead flesh, I found a leg band that had slipped from where it SHOULD have been around the shank, to well above the hock. It had COMPLETELY grown into the flesh... The leg looked lost, it was cut thru to the bone!!!
    All 4 hens wore leg bands at her previous home. Before we put each one in the kennel to bring them home, the owner (and us) checked all the hens legs for bands, and any bands we found, were removed. We missed this one, because it was so high up on the leg, and was completely covered with feathers. Generally bands stay under the hock, on the shank. I've never seen one that slipped up above the hock before. I use leg bands myself, especially for hens that look alike (leghorns, comets, etc). If I have 6 comets, and 2 of them are 3 years old, and the other 4 are only 1 year, I will band them differently, so I know which hens are older... But the bands I use are larger, thicker, harder, and they 'snap' shut, so there is NO WAY for one to slip past the hock. The band on this hen was the 'wrap-around' type, that stretches.... As I said, I have never seen, or heard of a leg band slipping this high up. This was an accident. No one knows for sure how it happened...


    I feel SOOOOOO HORRIBLE for not checking her sooner! I just never thought a LEG BAND could move so high up on the leg, and cause so much damage! I thought pulled muscle, maybe an injured toe, but a leg band..??? Never crossed my mind! :(
    Anyhow....
    I checked her foot, and even though it was cold, she appeared to still have some blood-flow, because she was able to move her toes a bit, so I removed the band, cut off all the dead flesh that I could, cleaned the would with warm water, then peroxide, drizzled Penicillin over the whole thing making sure to coat every bit of open tissue, cut off all the feathers that might interfere with healing, gave her an injection of Penicillin and Biomycin, and since she had nothing in her crop, and refused to eat, I tube-fed her.

    6 hours later, I checked on her, and took some more photos. The difference is INCREDIBLE! The foot is once again warm to the touch, but NOT hot. She has much more movement in her toes now, but still refuses to use the leg, and is wobbly on her feet. Which is understandable...

    I wanted to know if anyone can think of anything else that I can do to help her heal faster. I scrambled her some eggs with powdered egg shells, to promote healing, especially of cartilage that I'm sure was damaged...
    I'm contemplating sewing the wound shut, but it's been a couple of hours, and I noticed the flesh is ALREADY starting to close up... So I might not do that at all, and just let Nature take it's course...
    Is there anything else that I can do for her?

    This photo was taken after I removed the scabs, pulled out the leg band, cut off all the dead tissue, cleaned the wound, doused the flesh with Penicillin, and gave her antibiotic injections...

    [​IMG]

    This is some of the dead tissue that I removed, and the band...
    [​IMG]
    6 hours later, the wound is already starting to close up nicely...
    [​IMG]
    A photo of the back of the leg. Not doing as well as the front/side, but already a TON better!!!
    [​IMG]
    Here are Comparison photos, taken 6 hours apart.
    [​IMG]
    And this is Bonnie. The little Sweetie Pie with the injured leg...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  2. RudyChristina7

    RudyChristina7 New Egg

    4
    2
    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Wow that poor girl! You've done amazing with caring for her, especially because of how well her wound is healing. Although I don't know of anything that might speed up the healing anymore than you're already doing, my suggestion is to let it continue healing on its own like you are, and only consider something else if the wound stops healing/doesn't heal completely. Keep it up!
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,065
    164
    176
    Jun 13, 2013
    Sure hope she heals quickly!!!
    Try not to be too hard on yourself- things happen with chickens, things get missed. It's just good that you found it when you did, and it appears her natural healing ability is already taking effect. Wish her the very best for a full recovery! Keep us posted on her progress. I think she has a very good chance of getting through this well.

    We have a PR pullet that got caught between a pallet and a fence. I happened to go outside and heard extreme yiping, so I ran out and found two cockerels had stripped her feathers and ate parts of her wing all the way to the bone, and gouged out chunks of her side. I quickly removed her and nursed her back to health- sure she'd never fly. One wing is a bit malformed even now, months later, but it looks fine to the initial glance. She has a lot of will to live, is resilient and flies as good as any of the others now. However... things didn't end quite so well for the males.
     
  4. rnchick74

    rnchick74 Urban Chick Keeper

    613
    153
    138
    May 3, 2014
    Louisville KY
    I would make sure to keep that wound moist. You want it to heal from the inside out & not from the outside in. Raw (unpasteurized) honey has a lot of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties but doesn't cut off the air supply to the wound like petroleum products do. I would also keep it covered to keep it as clean as possible & help keep your baby from picking at it too, especially as it heals.

    If you go the honey route, it will need to be changed every 12 hrs for best results. A dry gauze, with honey added then wrapped with vet wrap should do the trick.

    Good job on catching that. Might consider giving her some aspirin tonight - that has to hurt!
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,750
    5,122
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Epsom salt warm soaks daily may help the wound to heal. Neosporin ointment or iodine should be applied afterward. It is so good that you found the band the previous owner had placed on her leg before her leg was lost. I no longer use leg bands on chickens after reading about so many of these injuries.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  6. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    3
    143
    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Thank you...

    I have been watching her like a hawk. Feeling her leg, and checking the wound every hour or so. There is no severe swelling, no heat, no more pus accumulation. Means there is NO infection. I AM giving her injections of Penicillin and Biomycin daily for a few days to prevent infection though.
    She is able to stand now, and appears to have a full use of her leg again, She can squeeze her toes, and puts a LOT of weight on her leg (I tested her), but is still not completely stable on her feet, but that's to be expected. The leg was cut thru to the bone (I actually SAW bone when I had to open the wound to clean it), so the muscle has to rebuild, and she needs to build up the strength again, which I am aware, will take time..
    But I am still STOKED at the fact she is actually STANDING occasionally now!!!
    We had to tube-feed her again this morning, and gave her the antibiotic injections again this afternoon.
    She just drank a bit of water on her own a few minutes ago, and has shown some interest in food, though not eating well quite yet. That's OK. I have no problems tubing her as needed.


    I let her hang out in the living room with the family, and she has her own recliner, where she gets to hang out and watch the family, so she doesn't get lonely. :)

    I didn't raise this bird, she is a bit over 2 years old, and before this, she was completely wild (never handled) and now she is just a cuddle bug!
    A couple years ago we had another EE, named Bonnie, that the kids ADORED. She was a beloved pet, and VERY tame... Sadly, we lost her to a dog... The kids have named this little girl Bonnie #2, in memory of Bonnie the 1st, and are determined to make her a cuddle bug too. LOL



    Here she is, hanging out on her recliner....

    [​IMG]



    Here is a pic of her wound from the back, healing nicely... :)
    [​IMG]


    She is starting to stand, and use her leg. :) You can see the wound, it looks like a band around her leg above the hock.
    [​IMG]


    And here is another photo of the little Queen on her throne. LoL
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,750
    5,122
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She is a pretty hen. She sure looks to be in good hands.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by