Snake-bitten hen!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by natalie katja, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. natalie katja

    natalie katja Out Of The Brooder

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    About a month ago, I had a hen get bitten by a snake. I didn't actually see it happen, but I noticed her limping that day and took her off the roost at night to examine her. She had two deep and distinct fang marks with what looked almost like fat around them. By fat I mean it was this yellow, greasy, squishy but tough substance [​IMG].
    Well, I went to the feed store and bought some betadine, which I cleaned the area with. Then I noticed that her foot was swollen, hot and smelly. I cleaned that too and kept her in for a few days with a mix of layena and cracked corn for food (I didn't have any yogurt without artificial sweeteners or anything...). Eventually,she stopped limping and looked better so I put her back with the flock.
    About a week later, she resumed limping, became lethargic (sneaking off to a patch of grass for a nap when the others were foraging), and lost weight fast. I brought her inside again and although her leg isn't hot anymore but it has a big hard lump on it. She smells really funky, and her stomach looks pretty gross. She doesn't feel as heavy as she used to, and she just downright looks like she feels crappy (chalky face, closing eyes a lot). I have given her some natural yougurt, strawberry bits, and gerber baby finger food (crushed up for tastiness). I sprayed some colloidal silver (if anyone else knows about that, do you have an opinion on it?) in her water and also added Sav-A-Chick electrolytes to it. I am really worried for her so if anyone can help please do! [​IMG] I can post pictures tomorrow after I get back from school and ballet if it would help.
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    sounds like her foot is infected, and the infection is spreading in her body. She really needs some antibiotic - maybe injections to speed it up and vet attention. I would guess the snake wasn't poisonous or she would have died right away. Do you think a cat's fangs could have made the puncture marks? I think her condition is beyond treating with whatever you have at home. Maybe you could call a vet for advice and get some anitbiotic (he recommends) at a feed store.
     
  3. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like she has a terrible infection.
    Different types of infections need different types of antibiotics.
    Do you have a vet for your pets? Can you ask that vet to help you get her on the right antibiotic?
    Often by examining a stool sample (some poop in a ziploc bag brought to a vet) the vet can tell which bacteria is overgrowing in her body.
    Then he can give you the antibiotic that will kill that bacteria.
    Id you don't have a veterinarian, then google 'avian vet' and put in your town. See which vets will treat birds.
    I don't think you have much time. I think you need to do this very quickly or she will die.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Arkantex

    Arkantex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nonvenemous snakes don't have fangs. The 2 fangs that venomous snakes have are strctly for injecting poison into thier victoms/preaditors. So if in fact they are fang marks from a snake, it was a venemous snake.
     
  5. natalie katja

    natalie katja Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2010
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    Okay thanks everyone! My mom is going to take her to the vet in the morning when it opens (8 am). And Arkantex, I never knew that! Thanks for the information.
     
  6. msviolaceous

    msviolaceous Out Of The Brooder

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    I have heard of a "dry bite;" whereby a venomous snake bites but for whatever reason venom isn't released. However, that's unusual and cats are common. I agree it sounds like a bad infection, so you need to get her some good antibiotics either way. You might also look her over carefully for other wounds.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    An antihistamine such as benedryl might help if you suspect snake bite. Dose her orally with 1ml childrens benedryl only. Wait 24 hours before redosing again if necessary. Do not overdose her with the childrens benedryl. The benedryl may or may not help depending how much venom was injected. It almost sounds like it was a necrotizing venom which will destroy tissue/organs, eventually causing death. However, it could be a severe bacterial infection that could cause it to smell, the results would be the same. A trip to the vet is your best bet. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  8. natalie katja

    natalie katja Out Of The Brooder

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    Sadly, she died yesterday while awaiting her vet appointment. The earliest the vet could see her was 1:00 (he had a farm call in the morning), and she passed away before then. [​IMG]
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Sorry for your loss.
     
  10. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:With venomous snakes, they do not like to "waste" their venom as it takes a little while to build up a supply again. Adults have the best control over the amount of venom that they release with a bite, babies have no control and will empty their venom sacs with a bite. So it could very well have been a dry bite, or only a very small amount of venom was released. I do agree the the issue now is probably infection and not venom. Puncture wounds make great breeding ground for bacteria. Hope she gets better soon!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_bite

    http://www.whmentors.org/saf/snakes.html
    Pit vipers generally inject large amounts of venom into hunting bites, but oftentimes little or no venom into defensive bites. In fact, up to 25% of pit viper bites in humans are non-venomous "dry bites". A provoked and angered snake, however, might not only "load up" to be quite venomous, but may also strike several times!

    http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/zoonosis/animal/bites/information/venom/snake/

    Snake Bite Statistics

    * About 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. annually.
    * Only 0.2% (1 out of 500) venomous snake bites result in death
    * On average, 1 to 2 people in Texas die each year from venomous snake bites in Texas.
    * Roughly half of all venomous snake bites are "dry." That is, the snake does not inject venom into the victim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

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