Torn Eyelid

Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
I have a pullet with a torn lower eyelid. At first I thought it was from a stick or something she ran into but now I suspect my younger rooster pecked her eye. She has been in a cage for over a week so I can treat her, although I suspect she will be blind in that eye, and we were going to let her out for a bit while the weather was nice. My younger rooster came running over to visit and then he tried to peck her good eye! She had to go right back into isolation because I don't want her to get pecked on.

I have been flushing the eye with saline solution and then using Vetericyn opthalmic gel to keep the eye as clean and soothed as possible while also treating her with penicillin for infection (she has been on the antibiotic for over a week now). She still gets some white goopy discharge in the eye and some drainage into her sinus but she is improving. I had been tempted to try putting in a suture to keep the eyelid from sagging but I would have had to scrape the edges to get them to fuse and I was concerned about using too many sharp objects to repair the eyelid if there was a chance it would heal without surgery. There is nice tissue growth in the V shaped tear so I think it will fill in and she will be able to close her eye tight to protect the eyeball from dust but it will take time.

I noticed the torn eyelid because the hen had a swollen eye with white discharge. I have actually removed some semi-solid clumps of pus that I initially feared were her eyeball and I have cleaned out white goop from her eye. After I flush her eye, she has some gurgling and coughing but I believe that is due to drainage of the sinus because she only does it after I flush it out. Asside from her eye injury, she is in good health.

I am debating how long to keep her confined. If I let her loose before her eyelid closes enough to keep out dust and debris, she could get another infection and I would rather not have to go through this again. Now I am also concerned that the young rooster will peck at her eye and cause further damage. He is second in line for dominance but he is going to be huge since he is already big for his age.

Is there anything else I should be doing for the eye injury? If the rooster has already pecked her eye and he has tried pecking her a second time, will he keep displaying aggression towards her even after her eye is healed enough to join the flock? I know alot of people would have just put her down but I have a hard time giving up on a bird before I have tried everything I can do. I had to have my husband cull a pullet I had worked on for 4 months trying to repair a torn ligament (the main one that goes down the back of the leg) because I get so attached to a bird I have had to give special care to for so long. I am looking forward to being able to return this pullet to the flock if that will be possible without her becoming re-injured. I have not seen eye patches for chickens but I thought about trying something over the eye to keep the lid closed while the eyeball irritation is healing. If anyone has dealt with this type of injury, I would love to know what worked best.
 
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Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
No on the Bactine. The eyelid does not look infected but there is swelling around the eye. The eyeball looks so irritated already that I don't want to irritate it further with anything topical near the eye.. I honestly thought her eye was gone but it is still there, I just doubt it will ever be functional. I sure hope I don't have to remove it surgically! The eyelid is healing in with white skin so she will be scarred but as long as it is functional in keeping the eye clean, she will live. I once had an accidental Silkie Easter Egger chick hatch with one eye below the socket and it did fine with one eye so I let it live. I did hear that when it was fully grown it disappeared from the woman who took her but I think she would have been fine if the coyotes had not got her (that was the assumption anyway).

The rooster may have to go. I have never had a problem with rooster aggression until recently. I had a bunch of 6 month old roosters that I raised together and they packed together and became aggressive towards an older rooster. I have decided not to keep anything from that line. I have a young rooster who is covering the girls but his fertility is not up to what it needs to be and my incubators are full of Silkie eggs anyway. I had planned to replace him with this younger rooster that I have been growing out from a younger hatch. I had people wanting to buy pullets I raised over the winter so I ended up with too many roosters. I am not sure I am going to raise them to maturity anymore, I will just take them to the auction to be eaten.

At first I thought this pullet was the sister to another splash pullet I have but I realized she is actually a hatchmate to the young rooster. I don't know if it is a case of sibling rivalry because they were from eggs I bought and hatched from the line I am keeping. I have a buyer who bought roosters from me who wants to buy all the hens from the line I am clearing out so I am just waiting for him to pick them up since he lives half way across the state. He said he never saw chickens as nice as mine so it is worth the drive. I could see if he wants the rooster too, even though he is not mature yet, since he is out of the same line as the roosters he bought already and a different line from the hens. I had hoped to be able to use him myself because he is blue and the rooster I am using now is black, plus he is beautiful and he will be huge. I am going to keep an eye on him to see if it is just this pullet he is pecking on or if he is going to be too aggressive. He has not stood up to the mature rooster yet so maybe he just needs to learn some manners.
 

Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
I have been cleaning white chunks the consistency of poached egg white out of her eye daily and yet there is always more to remove. Tonight I decided to use tweezers to pull gunk out instead of my fingers and I could not believe how much kept coming as I was tugging on an end of it. It was like a semi-solid mass behind the eye that I was pulling out from the outside corner of her eye. I put pressure on the top and bottom of the eye socket and a bunch of stuff squeezed out. No wonder it just keeps coming, it is embedded deep where I was not reaching from the outer surface. I am so afraid of damaging her eye further but I decided that I can't do much more damage when the eye is in such bad shape. It is more important to fight the infection when I doubt her eye will be saved. I am certain she will be blind in that eye due to the amount of damage to the eye tissues but I am still hopeful that it looks worse than it is.

I have continued to give her injectible penicillin but I am wondering if I should try something else. She is not getting worse but she is also not showing the improvement I expected. Perhaps now that I cleaned out the puss more deeply she will have more dramatic improvement and I should give it more time. I just want to be sure I am doing the best I can for her. She is eating and drinking just fine and surprisingly she does not appear to be in pain so I am confident she will get better. I have been concerned about the infection spreading to her sinus cavity because she makes congested noises when I flush the eye but after cleaning out the deep clumps tonight she is not making the noise so I think that the gunk was not allowing the fluid to drain. The surrounding eye is less swollen now so that is an improvement as well.

This pullet is so sweet that she is going to end up being my favorite. I think she knows I am trying to help because she is putting up with alot. I hope to get chicks from her one day that are just as nice.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,362
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
I have been cleaning white chunks the consistency of poached egg white out of her eye daily and yet there is always more to remove. Tonight I decided to use tweezers to pull gunk out instead of my fingers and I could not believe how much kept coming as I was tugging on an end of it. It was like a semi-solid mass behind the eye that I was pulling out from the outside corner of her eye. I put pressure on the top and bottom of the eye socket and a bunch of stuff squeezed out. No wonder it just keeps coming, it is embedded deep where I was not reaching from the outer surface. I am so afraid of damaging her eye further but I decided that I can't do much more damage when the eye is in such bad shape. It is more important to fight the infection when I doubt her eye will be saved. I am certain she will be blind in that eye due to the amount of damage to the eye tissues but I am still hopeful that it looks worse than it is.

I have continued to give her injectible penicillin but I am wondering if I should try something else. She is not getting worse but she is also not showing the improvement I expected. Perhaps now that I cleaned out the puss more deeply she will have more dramatic improvement and I should give it more time. I just want to be sure I am doing the best I can for her. She is eating and drinking just fine and surprisingly she does not appear to be in pain so I am confident she will get better. I have been concerned about the infection spreading to her sinus cavity because she makes congested noises when I flush the eye but after cleaning out the deep clumps tonight she is not making the noise so I think that the gunk was not allowing the fluid to drain. The surrounding eye is less swollen now so that is an improvement as well.

This pullet is so sweet that she is going to end up being my favorite. I think she knows I am trying to help because she is putting up with alot. I hope to get chicks from her one day that are just as nice.


Sounds like you are taking the correct course of action on the eye and now I have a better understanding of the seriousness of the damage caused by your young roosters pecking ....

Do you have any photos of the eye if they are not too grouse to put up ....
 

Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
I was going to take pictures initially but it was pretty gross so I did not think it would be appropriate. I thought the eye was missing at first and my attention was on the eyelid because the tear was not allowing the eye to close tight enough to keep the eye clean. The eyelid is healing very nicely so now my attention has focused on the eyeball and surrounding tissues. The eye is still there but it is hard to tell the condition.

Since I was young, my foster mother and I would get distressed livestock at the auction and nurse it back to health so I have always had an interest in helping animals, along with a basic understanding of first aid. We also performed surgeries so I am not too grossed out by blood and puss but I have to admit that this cooked eggwhite puss packed into the eye socket is visually disturbing. I have never had to deal with a pecked eye before but that does seem to be the case based on my looking deeper at the damage. There is no way she could have run into a branch with enough force to cause such deep tissue damage. It would be nice if she has some vision in the eye but highly unlikely.

The first time I removed the solid puss from her eye I thought it was her eyeball! I have never seen anything like this so I am just using what I know about treating other injuries in order to figure out a course of therapy for her. I am certain she will survive because she is doing so well through all of this and I want to give her the best recovery possible. I am sure a vet would just tell me to eat her and she is too much of a pet for that.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,362
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
I was going to take pictures initially but it was pretty gross so I did not think it would be appropriate. I thought the eye was missing at first and my attention was on the eyelid because the tear was not allowing the eye to close tight enough to keep the eye clean. The eyelid is healing very nicely so now my attention has focused on the eyeball and surrounding tissues. The eye is still there but it is hard to tell the condition.

Since I was young, my foster mother and I would get distressed livestock at the auction and nurse it back to health so I have always had an interest in helping animals, along with a basic understanding of first aid. We also performed surgeries so I am not too grossed out by blood and puss but I have to admit that this cooked eggwhite puss packed into the eye socket is visually disturbing. I have never had to deal with a pecked eye before but that does seem to be the case based on my looking deeper at the damage. There is no way she could have run into a branch with enough force to cause such deep tissue damage. It would be nice if she has some vision in the eye but highly unlikely.

The first time I removed the solid puss from her eye I thought it was her eyeball! I have never seen anything like this so I am just using what I know about treating other injuries in order to figure out a course of therapy for her. I am certain she will survive because she is doing so well through all of this and I want to give her the best recovery possible. I am sure a vet would just tell me to eat her and she is too much of a pet for that.


I am sitting here reading your post and getting a really good understanding of what you are dealing with as at first I thought you just had a injured eye lid but now I understand what you are dealing with and I hope she recovers and the use of the eye would be nice but I am believing from what you have written she just might not have any vision to speak of as the eyes are such a complex and sensitive organ and it is really surprising at times how much the eye can really take ....


I had a chicken last summer that was running from a Bob-Cat and ran right into to a fence so hard that she broke off the top part of her beak and recovered and still eats on her own but with some difficulty at times but with a bit of attention she has regained her status in the flock and produces a fair amount of egg's but she gets special attention every day to make sure all her feed needs are met ....


I would really like to read about the recovery of your hen as this one I am marking down for future reference as this is not something I see or even read about or to my knowledge read about before .....


Thank you for this post and enjoy your weekend ......





gander007
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Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES

So I took a couple pictures that mainly show the swelling and the tear in the lower eyelid. It is still a V shape but there is new skin growth that is filling in the V so that I think the eye will be able to close adequately when it fills in completely. I had initially wanted to suture the tear to join the wound edges but I would have had to scrape the edges to get them to heal together and then do some delicate stitches close to the eye so I opted for allowing the tear to fill in rather than stitching it together. It will take longer to close but I think the results will be functional.

The eye is still there but it is severly damaged. The pullet seems to react to light with the eye at least and she will actually look at me head on rather than turning her good eye so I am not sure she has figured out that she can't possibly see with the damaged eye. I do not know if the damage happened at the time the eyelid was torn or if the resulting infection damaged the eye but I suspect it is a combination of the two. She was getting around just fine with white puss covering the eye socket, which is why I thought that the surface gunk needed to be cleaned but I did not realize how deep the pus was packed into the eye socket as I kept removing what was covering the eye. I was getting more puss to surface for removal by flushing the eye but it was not cleaning it out completely. There is hardly any new puss today so I guess it has been working its way out gradually until I dug it out with tweezers last night. There is no more gargling sounds after I flush it so getting the obstruction cleared so the fluid can drain out the eye instead of into the sinus has reduced my concern that the infection could spread to the sinus cavity.

I hope I am treating the eye correctly with what I am doing. I am using a heavy dose of penicillin sub Q followed by an initial shot IM but I don't want to overdose the antibiotic. I planned to discontinue the injections once the puss was clear and it looks like I may finally be getting to that point. I am using the long acting kind so I may discontinue that and just continue with the saline flushes and eye ointment. What do you think based on the pictures below?


400


400
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,362
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES

So I took a couple pictures that mainly show the swelling and the tear in the lower eyelid. It is still a V shape but there is new skin growth that is filling in the V so that I think the eye will be able to close adequately when it fills in completely. I had initially wanted to suture the tear to join the wound edges but I would have had to scrape the edges to get them to heal together and then do some delicate stitches close to the eye so I opted for allowing the tear to fill in rather than stitching it together. It will take longer to close but I think the results will be functional.

The eye is still there but it is severly damaged. The pullet seems to react to light with the eye at least and she will actually look at me head on rather than turning her good eye so I am not sure she has figured out that she can't possibly see with the damaged eye. I do not know if the damage happened at the time the eyelid was torn or if the resulting infection damaged the eye but I suspect it is a combination of the two. She was getting around just fine with white puss covering the eye socket, which is why I thought that the surface gunk needed to be cleaned but I did not realize how deep the pus was packed into the eye socket as I kept removing what was covering the eye. I was getting more puss to surface for removal by flushing the eye but it was not cleaning it out completely. There is hardly any new puss today so I guess it has been working its way out gradually until I dug it out with tweezers last night. There is no more gargling sounds after I flush it so getting the obstruction cleared so the fluid can drain out the eye instead of into the sinus has reduced my concern that the infection could spread to the sinus cavity.

I hope I am treating the eye correctly with what I am doing. I am using a heavy dose of penicillin sub Q followed by an initial shot IM but I don't want to overdose the antibiotic. I planned to discontinue the injections once the puss was clear and it looks like I may finally be getting to that point. I am using the long acting kind so I may discontinue that and just continue with the saline flushes and eye ointment. What do you think based on the pictures below?






I think you did one great job for not being a doctor and now I realize the full extent of the damage .. I was initially under the impression the torn eyelid damage was much less extensive but now with these photos I see a chicken who is very lucky ...
 

Duck Drover

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,427
189
169
Washington
When I saw that her eye was injured it was the swelling that I noticed and I was initially most concerned with her being able to close her eye. The tear left a flap hanging down so it could not cover the eye. It did allow good fluid drainage from the eye but the first thing I did was to cage her so she would not be in any dirt. I was not sure what to do with her but I did not want to kill her.

I had someone who was going to look at her and see if she wanted to mess with the eye but she never showed up and I would not have wanted this woman to have her anyway. I am sure the pullet is doing better here than if I had allowed someone else to treat her because sometimes people who think they know it all really don't know much and they are not open to guidance from anyone else. Even when I think I know what I am doing I like to check with others to make sure I am on track.
 

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