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UPDATED (Feb 3, 2012): Injured young hen [Warning: Graphic images.]

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Prairie Orca, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca In the Brooder

    This young hen's tail was completely savaged today by her flock. Her tail is completely gone, there's blood all over, and something fleshy is sticking out. Her rear end is now drooping to the ground. I can barely see anything for flesh and blood. I have her in the basement shower right now (it's never used) and I gave her some water and I'll be cleaning her up soon.

    Here are some pictures...


    Face is pale... [​IMG]


    I'm not sure what that dangling bit of flesh is. I hope it's not an organ.

    What are her chances of survival? I don't want to give up on her.

    Any suggestions on what I should do?

    Thanks for reading.

    Be sure to read these updates to see her progress: First update. Second update. Third update. Fourth update. Fifth update.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012

  2. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    oh my, that looks pretty horrific. She looks to be in shock...your main job is to stabilize her right now. Clean the wound really really well right now, and make sure you provide her with lots of warmth, and quiet. If she is going to make it, it is going to be up to her, and you need to support her system...I do not have a lot of experience with injuries, and this one looks pretty serious. I Hope someone with more experience than I chimes in soon. I am so sorry for you. [​IMG]
  3. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Clean the wound with 50/50 peroxide and water. Apply antibiotic ointment . Give her sugar water with electrolytes and vitamins. Put her under a heat lamp. Feed her high protein for healing, like scrambled or boiled eggs. Chickens are very tough , she may make it. Good luck.[​IMG]
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I wish I could definitively tell you what to do. To my eye, what is dangling looks like torn flesh, but I couldn't say for certain. If I was going my gut, I would likely try to clean her off a bit with clear water and then use some anti bacterial ointment (without pain reliever, which I understand is harmful). I would place her in a secure, warm place...a box or cage. Perhaps some vitamin support in her water. She will need to stay hydrated. Perhaps offer her some food she is not likely to refuse, like cooked eggs or yogurt later. If it were me, I would try to find an avian vet. It does look like a pretty serious wound.

    I hope you are able to help her.
  5. Animalian

    Animalian Songster

    Jun 18, 2011
    i'm worried about that hole I see... It looks like they've taken off her sphincter/cloaca. I don't know how she'll go holding in anything (pooing/laying normally).

    also the bit of flesh hanging looks kind of tubular, it's not coming from inside her is it?
  6. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca In the Brooder

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice.

    I've cleaned her as thoroughly and gently as possible with lukewarm water and hydrogen peroxide. I noticed she was still bleeding so I've added some white flour to help clot it (I remember reading that somewhere months ago; if newer information says that's wrong let me know). I have her sitting in the sink now so she can use the bowl as a sort of bed that is curved for her body - she seems to like it. I gave her some lukewarm water to drink. I put a paper towel over her rear so she can't get to it for the time being. The light will be off for another half hour and then I'll give her water with vitamins and electrolytes. In a few hours I'll offer her some scrambled eggs and yogurt - that was the plan for today anyway for the chickens because I knew they were due... it seems my timing was off and it turned out badly. [​IMG]

    What may be worse... her tailbone is exposed. I've read stories of chickens recovering after vicious attacks that left their bones exposed, so I'm hoping she pulls through. On the upside (hopefully) some of the colour in her face has returned.

    The heat lamp may have to wait as I have no secure way of hanging it in the bathroom. The basement is usually cooler but the bathroom stays relative to the temperature upstairs. Would that be okay for a few hours? (A few hours because then the others in the house will be awake and they can help me work it out, since I'm not confident that my ideas are safe.)

    For the antibacterial ointment - is Polysporin safe to use? I don't want to make assumptions.

    @ Animalian: Maybe. I can't tell what's what now that it's all mutilated. If her sphincter/cloaca is gone, can it grow back? (I don't know much about that stuff.) As for laying I don't think she started yet, but in any case I'll be altering her light cycle so that she definitely does not lay. For defecation, I guess I'll check on her and clean up regularly if needed. I'm not definite on what the flesh is, I just know that it's hanging on the side of her rear. I'll look more closely when I'm more confident of her strength.

    If she hangs on I'll see about taking her to the vet.
  7. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Polysporin is fine, as long as there's no pain killer in it. The bathroom is ok for now. That piece that's hanging just looks like flesh and fat to me. I doubt the cloaca would regrow if that is involved. Saline solution in a wet to dry type dressing could aid healing. You want "normal" saline. 0.9% I think u can get it at the drug store.

  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    By the location of the wound and the look of it what is hanging might be one of the two the oil glands.

    Because infection is the major worry at this point if I were to try and save the bird (which I likely would not) I would trim any hanging parts to clean the wound up so it can be better mannaged and help prevent decaying flesh from infecting surrounding tissues.

    Poylysporin on the wound will be good and be relentless in cleaning away any infected tissue as the wound heals. Simple tears or cuts are much easier to deal with than mangled tissue which will have circulation problems and all sorts of places to harbour infection.

    Antibiotics would also improve the chances of beating infection.
  9. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca In the Brooder

    I'll give her some of that right away then, as there is no painkiller in this Polysporin. She was calm enough for me to handle her again earlier, and so I inspected her more closely. The affected flesh is changing colour very quickly, and it looks like it's the colour of healing (and dying where the flesh cannot be saved). And...

    Her cloaca is fine! So all I have to focus on is her tail.

    @ Clay Valley Farmer: So should I remove the part that is hanging, even if it is one of the oil glands? I'll definitely be keeping a sharp eye out for infected tissue. Antibiotics also sounds good - I'll look into it.
  10. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    I would remove the hanging tissue, it does not look like would have any circulation and will become necrotic.

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