Weird Hole in chickens leg!!! Help Graphic photos.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheOrrs, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. TheOrrs

    TheOrrs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2013
    Past week our bantam. 4 months old has been walking funny. Checked her feet no damage. Husband noticed she looked WET especially under one of her wings. everywhere else was fine. Today she was all lethargic and we found her on her death bed in teh coop, with what looked like a 'decaying black hole' under her wing right above her leg!!! It was soo strange and unexplainable..... anyone got any insight from the photos below on what this couldve been? i suspected mites..... because of somewhat matted feathering under one wing,and she was pecking at it.... this all happened within a week....so so sad and so weird... i just dont know what it is ....i dont want it to effect my other birds.... please help






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  2. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Yikes! Is she still alive? This is not mites, I can be pretty sure of that.

    That looks like a predator attack of some kind. Is the coop you keep/kept her in secure? Weasles and other related predators can get into holes as small as a quarter. If you're using something with large holes like chicken wire, you need to close them up. Hardware cloth (also called rat cloth), which is a woven wire with holes as small as 1/4" is the best thing to use to secure pens for chickens.

    I am so sorry. That looks horrible.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    No, that doesn't look like mites! It looks more like an injury that became infected. A predator, another bird, or a sharp object in the coop could all be suspects for the injury. If you had caught it earlier, this may have been prevented by applying antibiotic ointment and cleaning the wound. But as it is, I am sorry--it looks awful!. Is she still alive?

    As for preventing further injuries, I would inspect your coop. Look for sharp objects, as well as small holes/loose boards that a predator could have entered through. Cover any holes securely with 1/2 inch hardware cloth or some solid wood. Make sure to check for tunnels around the coop, too, and close those up if necessary.
     
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  4. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    The other thing it could be (although that hole is really large) is an injury caused by a rooster with long, sharp spurs which might have injured her while mating. Do you have a big cock bird that has long spurs?
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop
    Time for some wound debridement.
    Source:
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/eme...ound_management/initial_wound_management.html
    The first step in wound management is assessment of the overall stability of the animal. Obvious open wounds can detract attention from more subtle but potentially life-threatening problems. After initial assessment, the animal should be stabilized. First aid for the wound should be performed as soon as safely possible. Active bleeding can be controlled with direct pressure. A pneumatic cuff, instead of a tourniquet, should be used in cases of severe arterial bleeding; the cuff should be inflated until the hemorrhage is controlled. Use of a cuff avoids neurovascular complications that can be associated with narrow tourniquets.
    The wound must be protected from further contamination or trauma by covering it with a sterile, lint-free dressing. The delay between examination and definitive debridement should be minimized to decrease bacterial contamination. If the wound is infected, a sample should be collected for culture and sensitivity testing. Antibiotic therapy should be instituted in all cases of dirty, infected, or puncture wounds. A broad-spectrum bactericidal antibiotic, eg, a first-generation cephalosporin, is generally recommended pending culture results. Analgesia is also indicated for pain relief.
    Wound Lavage

    Irrigation of the wound washes away both visible and microscopic debris. This reduces the bacterial load in the tissue, which helps decrease wound complications. Assuming the solution is nontoxic, the most important factor in wound lavage is use of large volumes to facilitate the removal of debris. The recommended lavage is a moderate pressure system using a 35-mL syringe and a 19-gauge needle that delivers lavage fluid at 8 lb/sq in. The use of antibiotics in the lavage fluid is controversial.
    The ideal lavage fluid would be antiseptic and nontoxic to the healing tissues. Although isotonic saline is not antiseptic, it is the least toxic to healing tissue. Surgical scrub agents should not be used because the detergent component is damaging to tissue. Dilute antiseptics can be used safely. Chlorhexidine diacetate 0.05% has sustained residual activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria, while causing minimal tissue inflammation. However, gram-negative bacteria may become resistant to chlorhexidine. Stronger solutions of chlorhexidine are toxic to healing tissue. Povidone-iodine 1% is an effective antiseptic, but it has minimal residual activity and may be inactivated by purulent debris.
    Debridement

    After wound preparation and hair removal, debridement can be performed. Skin and local tissue viability should be assessed. Blue-black, leathery, thin, or white skin are signs associated with nonviability. Necrotic tissue should be sharply excised. The debridement may be done in layers or as one complete section of tissue. Tissues that have questionable viability or are associated with essential structures such as neurovascular bundles should be treated conservatively. Staged debridement may be indicated.
    After initial inspection, lavage, and debridement, a decision must be made whether to close the wound or to manage it as an open wound. Considerations include the availability of skin for closure and the level of contamination or infection. If the wound is left open, it should be managed for optimal healing.
    Wound Closure

    Although primary closure is the simplest method of wound management, it should be used only in ideal situations to avoid wound complications. Wounds may be closed with suture, staples, or cyanoacrylate. Clean wounds that are properly debrided usually heal without complication. With a primary closure, the layers should be individually closed to minimize “dead space” that might contribute to seroma formation. The types of suture and suture patterns used depend on the size and location of the wound and on the size of the animal.
    Primary closure may not be appropriate for a grossly contaminated or infected wound. Therefore, if closure is a suitable goal, it may be delayed until the contamination or infection is controlled. The wound can be managed short-term as an open wound until it appears healthy. At that time, the wound can be safely closed with minimal risk of complications. The time between initial debridement and final closure vary according to the degree of contamination or infection. Minimally contaminated wounds may be closed after 24–72 hr. Longer periods may be required for heavily infected wounds.
    Wounds that are closed >5 days after the initial wounding are considered to be a secondary closure. This implies that granulation tissue has begun to form in the wound before closure.
    Open Wound Management

    When a wound cannot or should not be closed, open wound management (ie, second-intention healing) may be appropriate. Such wounds include those in which there has been a loss of skin that makes closure impossible or those that are too grossly infected to close. Longitudinal degloving injuries of the extremities are especially amenable to open wound management. Open wound management enables progressive debridement procedures and does not require specialized equipment (such as may be needed with skin grafting). However, it increases cost, prolongs time for healing, and may create complications from wound contracture.
    Open wound management is based on repeated bandaging and debridement as needed until the wound heals. Traditional therapy calls for wet-to-dry dressings initially. These dressings help with mechanical debridement at every bandage change. Until a granulation bed forms, the bandage should be changed at least once daily. In the early stages of healing, the bandage may need to be changed as often as twice daily. After granulation tissue develops, the bandage should be changed to a dry, nonstick dressing so the granulation bed is not disrupted. Both the granulation bed and the early epithelium are easily damaged, and disruption of the granulation bed delays wound healing.
    More recently, the concept of moist wound healing has emerged. In this technique, wound healing is combined with autolytic debridement to advance wound healing. The use of moist wound dressings keeps white cells healthier, allowing them to aid in the debridement process. Many dressings are available. Alginate dressings are commonly used in the exudative wound to stimulate granulation tissue. Hydrocolloids are used to maintain moisture levels in drier wounds. Classically, moist wound dressings are changed only every 2 days.
    Sugar Dressings

    Sugar has been used as an inexpensive wound dressing for over 3 centuries. The use of sugar is based on its high osmolality, which draws fluid out of the wound. Reducing water in the wound inhibits the growth of bacteria. The use of sugar also aids in the debridement of necrotic tissue, while preserving viable tissue. Granulated sugar is placed into the wound cavity in a layer 1-cm thick and covered with a thick dressing to absorb fluid drawn from the wound. The sugar dressing should be changed once or twice daily or more frequently as needed (eg, whenever “strike-through” is seen on the bandage). During the bandage change, the wound should be liberally lavaged with warm saline or tap water. Sugar dressings may be used until granulation tissue is seen. Once all infection is resolved, the wound may be closed or allowed to epithelize. Because a large volume of fluid can be removed from the wound, the patient's hemodynamic and hydration status must be monitored and treated accordingly. Hypovolemia and low colloid osmotic pressure are complications that may be associated with this therapy.
    Honey Dressings

    Honey has also been used for wound dressings over the centuries. Honey's beneficial effects are thought to be a result of hydrogen peroxide production from activity of the glucose oxidase enzyme. The low pH of honey also may accelerate healing. Honey used for wound healing must be unpasteurized, and the source of the honey appears to be a factor in its effectiveness. Manuka honey may be the best option for wound care. The contact layer wound dressings should be soaked in honey before application. The bandage may be changed daily or more frequently as needed.
    Last full review/revision March 2012 by Kevin P. Winkler, DVM, DACVS
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  6. TheOrrs

    TheOrrs Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all soo very very much. I am so heartbroken . I couldn't figure out what was wrong and we were too late to help her. This is our first time raising chickens and were learning as we go......we have suffered a lot of heartache.. ..I guess the hardest part is that I couldn't do anything it was too late and i t didn't look like any ailment I'd ever seen....I'm just more upset at myself but glad to have some guidance on what the illness was. Thanks everyone.
     
  7. MisFitzFarm

    MisFitzFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Hi there. So sorry to hear about your hen :([​IMG]. I am new to BYC, but I have owned chickens for 10 years. Just recently in September, I had a hen that had something similar to this. She was a four year old Barred Rock Bantam, and one of my best show birds (not to mention a sweetheart). For a few months she had been acting lethargic, and we had her on Baytril in case of any infection, as well as Medistatin for any kind of fungal infections she may have had. Anyway, one day I came home and she had been limping (she hadn't been limping at all until that day, and we picked her up daily for her medications). So I checked her out and found a semi-deep (possibly slightly into the dermis) patch of skin missing. After a bit of a fiasco when I found maggots in it (I am not the type to let any kind of injury go unnoticed), but no necrotic tissue, we called the vet in. She diagnosed it as possible cancer, not sure as to what type, but simply because her lethargy had gone on so long and the skin was not torn, but more sloughed off. Her body temperature was below reading temp for the thermometer and her BPM was very low as well. I'm not sure if cancer was a possibility with your hen, but I figured that I would put it out there. IMO it looks like some type of predator bite that became infected, and I don't think it is any type of virus that will spread to your other birds. So sorry for the mini-book of a post! I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  8. TheOrrs

    TheOrrs Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow. Never thought of cancer. Thanks so much for all of the information and sharing your personal stories. Im silly i guess ill always be sad when i lose one of my chickens. Lots of great caring folks here at BYC. :)
     
  9. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cried and cried when we lost our first hen. would have helped if we'd had a body, or even part of one, to bury, or even a sign of what happened to her. she just, seriously, vanished into thin air. She was the one who'd follow you around like a little puppy and do the egg squat as soon as you started to lean down to pet her. I named my avatar after her, lol.

    I don't think it will ever be easy, but it definitely get a little less shocking each time you lose one. So sorry to hear about your bird. Hang in there!
     
  10. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    I am sorry you lost your hen. It's always hard, especially if you only have a few and have named them. At this stage we don't name our chickens (well, most of them) for that reason.

    I am sure you did the best you could at the time. Don't fret over it too much. She's in a better place now.
     

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