URGENT!!!! Turkey Attacked!

Blisschick

not rusty
12 Years
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
33
191
Shepherd, Texas
I just found one of my turkey hens...she's been attacked and is in bad shape. I have what is necessary to fix her up, but my problem is that flies have blown on her, and now she's got tiny little maggots in her wounds. What can I use to kill those off and help remove/kill any remaining eggs?
 

zatsdeb

Songster
12 Years
Oct 2, 2007
1,103
10
173
Lincoln, Illinois
if you use the search in BYC there are several threads on maggots. keeping the turkey in a dog crate away from the outside elements where flies can get to it is the first thing to do.
 

6chickens in St. Charles

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,533
35
181
St. Charles, IL
Quick! Hurry and ask a vet! It might be best to USE the maggots to prevent infection! The maggot goal is to eat decay, hatch into a fly and move on.

On people, maggots in wounds actually keep it clean, I worked with a doc at Mayo breifly who used maggots in people wounds, and I learned the maggots were from flies that are specific to human decay; they are neat little scientific labratories. Maybe your turkey's maggots are specific to 1.The saliva of the attacker or 2. avian decaying flesh.

As long as the maggots are there, it may be preventing infection and actually promoting the healing process. The Mayo doc used his maggot research to develop a thing we now call the "wound vac", it closes wounds in days that used to take months. On people with chronic wounds (leg stasis ulcers, bedsores, etc) there's no bad odor if maggots are in there. At first it seems gross but the science behind it is solid.

The maggots eat bacterial decay and necrotic decaying flesh. They also create a "suction" that promotes wound healing. I hope you have a good vet you can call for advice!

Good Luck!
 

Blisschick

not rusty
12 Years
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
33
191
Shepherd, Texas
Actually, maggots on a bird are a bad thing. They aren't beneficial to them like they are to humans. This is why I'm panicking. I'm not sure how long she's been hurt, but it's been long enough that the maggots have just hatched, and there were TONS of them! I've washed off the majority of them, but there are some lingering, even with rinsing, Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, and now antibiotic ointment. At the moment I'm giving my poor bird a rest, but I'll probably rinse again later on tonight. The poor girl's head has been injured too, and I think her jaw may be broken, but it also could just be swollen from the trauma. I was able to get some terrmyacin water down her without much of a fight, so hopefully she'll get re-hydrated and be able to fight off any additional infections.
 

AHappychick

Wanna-be Farmer
11 Years
Dec 16, 2008
5,772
35
299
westchester
wash them off with water (a sink sprayer helps, and flush out the wounds until you can no longer see any) she must have had the wound for a day or more if the larvae is there and not just eggs. you can treat with peroxide but just once then pack all areas with basitration or neosporin keep an eye on it as there may be more maggots. you have to get them all off.

wash and reapeat the packing with out peroxide after the first time.

good luck!
 

kickinchicken

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
470
4
131
Rhode Island
Those flies could be the kind that CAUSE more problems than fix. I saw a National Geographic special about some fly species that lays their eggs on cows' wounds and the larvae just eat a huge hole on the poor cow. Flush them out ASAP and call an avian vet as soon as possible. Give lots of fluids and perhaps even adding some vitamins to the water as well.
 

zatsdeb

Songster
12 Years
Oct 2, 2007
1,103
10
173
Lincoln, Illinois
maggots on a bird are very bad! you have to get them out,pick them out, wash them... over and over because they will keep hatching out till the eggs are all hatched. I don't know if a mild solution of bleach water would do anything? I know bleach kills maggots. where on the bird are the maggots??
 

Blisschick

not rusty
12 Years
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
33
191
Shepherd, Texas
She's doing much better today. I flushed the wounds with the shower setting on my water hose last night and got all I could see out. I'm keeping an eye on the wound throughout the day to see if I can detect any movement. I'm not able to get at all the fly eggs, so I'm hoping that I smothered them sufficiently with the antibiotic ointment, plus maybe whatever Betadine and hydrogen peroxide I used may have damaged them enough to kill them. The maggots had just hatched when I found her...they were tiny, nearly microscopic, so they couldn't have been hatched long. The heat and humidity here usually accelerate them. She has a large bite wound on her side just under her right wing, plus some wounds on her head. She was sitting on a nest, so I think a raccoon may have attacked her.

BTW, avian vets do not exist out here. You either learn to take care of your birds yourself, or put them down. I do what I can for those that I know will make it, and euthanize those that I know have no hope. I've had some chickens and turkeys receive some pretty severe flesh wounds and heal up nicely, provided the proper care is given. I've just never had one attacked by maggots like this.
 

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