Three month old chick with scalped back/tail

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mayapooh, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. mayapooh

    mayapooh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2008
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    When I got home around six last evening from running errands, I found one of my three month old bantam cochin pullets with a large raw area on her back. I brought her in the house and examined her - the skin from the lower fourth of her back to the very tip of her tail is completely gone. (No animal seems to have gotten in the run while I was gone - I suspect it was a friend's rooster that I'm babysitting. The babies are in their own little cage within the run, but I think the roo must have gotten in there and out again - the cage door was closed but not latched, and the other baby was out and hiding behind the cage, unhurt, thankfully. It's ironic, too - I'm keeping the rooster because he's been beating up my friend's hens, and we thought maybe being with older, more dominant roosters and hens might teach him some manners).

    Her poor little back is completely raw, and what looks like the end of a bone right at her tail is completely bare. It was all still moist when I found her, and thankfully there wasn't any dirt or debris in it. I trimmed off whatever feathers were surrounding or touching the wound, rinsed it off with half water/half betadine solution, and slathered it generously with Neosporin ointment (the type without painkillers). She ate and drank some after her triage, and has been sleeping quietly since, but hasn't pooped since I found her.

    I have a gauze pad coated with Neosporin loosely draped over her back end, but as soon as she's up and about it's going to come off, and I'm not quite sure how to keep one in place without covering her vent. She's pretty small still... maybe I could make a tiny version of a hen saddle out of tee-shirt material, that would stay in place but keep her vent clear. Should I worry that she hasn't pooped yet? I did already find and read that excellent article/posting on BYC here by Nathalie Ross about wound care, but this is the first wound of this kind I've had to deal with. This little pullet is the sweetest thing... I really would hate to lose her. She's one of the gentlest, friendliest little peeps I've ever had, even compared with my super-sweet Seramas. One of our cats went missing a week ago, so I was already upset even before all of this. I guess I just need a little hand-holding. :(

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated - thank you!!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Exposed bone is a serious injury. If you have access to a vet who treats poultry or small birds, contact them for advice.
    If you don't have any local expert to advise you, then it sounds like you are handling this well. The main thing is to make sure you don't get infection in the wound and that she drinks, eats. I think she is too old to get pasted, likely no poop means no food? Most recommend adding electrolytes to their water to help with stress in injuries.

    If you haven't done so, keep her confined til improved.

    Hope others more experienced than I will respond with suggestions.
     
  3. mayapooh

    mayapooh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Kern River Valley, CA
    Thank you for the reply, sunflour. :) I don't have any vets locally that treat birds that I know of... there is one place that I haven't tried yet, and I think they're still open. I'll go give them a call as soon as I get this posted....

    Well, she seems to be holding her own. She's bright eyed, alert, and has pooped three times, the first two very loose and large, the last one somewhat big, but otherwise normal. I've got a tee-shirt saddle covering the wound, and will continue applying Neosporin two to three times a day. She ate and drank, not a lot, but enough that I'm not worried. Right now her biggest problem is separation anxiety... she's quiet and happy when I hold her, but as soon as I put her in her little infirmary cage she starts getting very upset, pacing and such. I think I'll bring in one of my larger cat carriers, and put her in it with her hatchmate. They are very bonded and gentle with each other, and I think it'll help keep her calm. If I can figure out how to get them off my phone, I'll post pics of her wound - before and after treatment.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Placing her in sick bay where she can see others is a good idea. But I would keep separated until she heals..at least a lot healed.

    We have no local chicken treating vets either, but local extension agent can directly access the UGA Poultry division. I had a minor issue, and got direct email advise quite quickly. Monday, try calling your extension agent.

    Sounds like poor chicken is getting some great TLC and nursing! Keep it up.

    Let me know how she does. Wishing for the best.
     
  5. mayapooh

    mayapooh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Kern River Valley, CA
    Evening update - she had her Neo, a nice dinner of scrambled eggs, yogurt, and chick feed, a cuddle, and is now quietly sleeping. The wounded area is all purpley, but I think that's just bruising. Otherwise, I think looks really good, considering. No green or infected looking areas, no bad odor. Yay! I did call that vet's office, but no go, although the receptionist said call back on Monday to talk to one of the vets who might know of someone who'll see chickens. So, all in all I think day 1 of healing went okay. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the kind words and suggestion about the UGA, sunflour. [​IMG] I will definitely follow up on that.

    Still figuring out the pics, grrrrr.............
     
  6. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear about your hen. Glad that she is doing ok. I had a hen attacked by our dog. We thought she had gangrene because she smelled a bit odd & her skin was green, yellow & blue. It turned out to just be bruising as you mentioned in the above post. Keep up the good work with Neosporin. I also agree with Sunflour's post. She should definitely stay isolated until she is better. Chickens are much more resilient than we think[​IMG]
     
  7. mayapooh

    mayapooh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2008
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    Update: She is doing great! I think I see some granulation starting around the edges of the wound! [​IMG] Unfortunately, I also spotted a couple of green, pussy looking spots. I took Q-tips, soaked in hydrogen peroxide, and gently dabbed just the green areas, keeping the liquid away from the healthier looking tissue. Worked well, I think - the green areas have mostly vanished, or are at least much smaller, and I still don't detect any bad odor. She's still confined inside, but I take her outside every day for a little time in the sun, and let her spend a few minutes with her sister. It was the sweetest thing... the first day I took her out, her sister ran up to her and they both stood completely still, beaks touching. I am doing the Neosporin once a day now. She's about due for a fresh dressing and a snack... Thanks to everyone who's given me such helpful advice. I'm still figuring out how to post pics - I've been taking one a day to track her healing.
     
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    So glad to hear she is doing better. Since you are seeing signs of pus, think about using a different topical antibacterial treatment that won't seal it in.
     

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