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Silkie Attacked by Opossum--Gaping Wound on Side/Underneath wing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by K-12 Chickens, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An opossum somehow managed to grab one of my silkies and drag her under one of the two coops last night before I went out to close them up. Upon seeing the opossum underneath the coop with the silkie, I assumed the pullet was dead. However, once the opossum was killed and I was attempting to get the silkie out from under the coop, I saw she was breathing. She then tried to drag herself between the coop and some chicken wire, screaming all the while. The wire was clipped and I was able to free her. I brought her inside and put her in a dog crate with wood shavings.
    A little while later after I had taken care of the other chickens, I examined the extent of the damage. I can take pictures of the wound if needed, but I will try to describe it for now. Her left side, mostly near the breast and underneath the wing, is torn open; muscles are easily visible (part of the "knee: is also visible) though I can't detect any internal organs or bones. It is not bleeding. There are a few puncture wounds on the other side of the bird, but they are not as serious. The large wound was gently rinsed with both soapy and clean water. After that, soft pieces of coconut oil were carefully pressed onto the wound to melt (coconut oil has antibacterial properties and seems to sooth open flesh). One of her eyes was closed last night and putting weight on the wounded leg appears painful.
    She made it through the night, though now she appears to be in shock, as both her eyes are closed and she doesn't hardly move at all, except when I examine the wound. Her breathing is steady, but she does not eat or drink. I mixed a cup of water with a teaspoon of sugar and a bit of salt and have squirted small drops in her mouth with a syringe. I held her head back to help her swallow, though sometimes it dribbles back out if she does not swallow a little on her own. The very first time I squirted a bit of water in her mouth, it came back out and was tinged a brownish-red. I have not noticed anymore after that. She did poop during the night, but it seemed to mostly consist of urates. I melted more coconut oil and squirted a good amount on the wounds a little bit ago.
    What I'm thinking is that if she made it through the night, maybe she has a chance at surviving this. What are your thoughts? Advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry to say, but I just checked on her and she died. Poor girl. I'll miss her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Oh I'm so very very sorry. It's always hard to loose a pet..!! My thoughts and prayers are with you.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sorry to hear about your silkie. Since she has started to be in shock, I would think she probably has some internal injuries. It sounds like you have done everything possible. Be carefull trying to get her to drink while she is in shock since she may aspirate. You should know soon whethter she will make it or not. If she becomes more alert, you could gather some aquarium tubing from WalMart along with a regular 35 -60 cc syringe and try to tube feed her. If she does recover, the puncture wounds need to be cleaned with peroxide for 2-3 days, and kept open--apply Neosporin ointment to them, because these may abscess. After 3 days, let it close up. Best wishes for her recovery. I lost a silkie last summer similarly.

    Oh, I just read your last post--so sorry for your loss.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  6. Saerie

    Saerie Out Of The Brooder

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    Judging on the damage that you described I would take her to a veterinarian.
    If the possum did puncture any organs or the digestive track, or the crop then I'm very sorry but I don't think she will make it. If it didn't puncture anything, then you might have a chance. One of your biggest concerns should be infection. Colloidal silver is a good disinfectant that I have used many times on animals attack wounds on my chickens.
    Also, for feeding her. I would give her some solids. When I chickens get hurt like that I feed them wet dog food mixed with a lot of water and I feed it to them by dropper.
    That's all the advice I have for now. Hope it helps.
     
  7. Saerie

    Saerie Out Of The Brooder

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    Just read your last post. So sorry for your loss :(
     
  8. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all your kind words. The opossums have been out like crazy lately, though I didn't expect one to get so brazen.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I have a opossum that I "rescued" and even though he's quite tame, the killer in him is unlike anything I've ever seen, they are eating machines.

    -Kathy
     

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