Toe Injury and Lidocaine


In the Brooder
Feb 25, 2018
I have a 6 week old chick that seems to have a nick in her toenail. I was able to clean it well but stopping the bleeding was hard. We tried some styptic pencil but it seemed to really hurt and she was pretty upset. Back into the coop (after she sat in my lap for half hour recovering) she seems ok but constantly touching at the claw. I have some Gold Bond pain and itch relief cream- active ingredient is lydocaine- can I use this on her toe? If it doesn't hurt, she might not fuss with it? Cleaned with Vetericyn and the wound does not appear infected at all. Likely happened last night as she had some dried blood on her body.
Lidocaine, benzocaine, and pramocaine (pramoxine) are considered to be dangerous to use in chickens, since there has been some toxicity reported. Vets do use it in surgery with caution, but I would just keep using the Vetericyn, and she should heal soon enough. If the nail is just hanging, you may want to snip it off. They can be pretty painful, but heal in a week or so.
Thank you- good to know about the pain killers! She managed to break the rest of the nail off and is running around with her mates this morning. No bleeding and it is nicely scabbed. When I watched her yesterday, I decided pain meds would be a bad idea. She was able to get to food and water but then would go back and sit in her cage (they are 7 weeks so have a safe shelter to get away from the big girls (3 hens). I realized that taking the pain away would make her run around more and that wouldn't be great. Thank you for your input as I learned something new!

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