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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Hatchling
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Hi

We have a 2 yr old pekin bantam hen that was one of only 3 to survive a fox attack yesterday. we originally thought she was dead too but found that she couldn't move.

we originally were going to euthanaze her but she appears in fine shape other than she has NO balance and when she moves at all she just falls flat on her face. She is eating and drinking - she only has minor wounds but has lost alot of feathers. She has been inside over night in a box by the fire.

Her legs are moving - but she does not seem to have a lot of control.....

I have 3 sons who love her and want to make her better, is there any hope or would it be kinder to put her down!

Thanks for all your help


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:33 pm 
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I wonder if she has nerve damage, but I'm just guessing. She could have permanent damage or it could be a result of swelling & inflammation. She needs to be properly examined. Canine teeth can cause puncture injuries that are hard to see and it just depends what they damage. They also carry bacteria into the tissue which is a big problem. Is a vet out of the question? She would have the best chance with prescription ABs & anti-inflammatories.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I'm no medical expert and I have never experienced a fox attack. Nor do I feel like I can judge whether she should be euthanased or not. However, my understanding is that a fox bite, regardless of how small will mean that a bacterial infection is likely over the coming days due to the nasty bacteria present in the saliva of a fox. Therefore it is often the case that antibiotics are needed to help the bird get over the infection. If it is a very, very small wound then maybe you could just try topical antibiotics, betadine, saline etc. but it may not be enough.

The other thing to be aware of is that often when a fox attacks it will shake the victim causing internal tissue to tear. So it can be the case that a wound looks minor but there has actually been severe damage inflicted internally. As a wildlife carer I find this is often the case with ringtail possums attacked by cats and dogs. They get shaken and while you can't see much damage, their bodies are coping with a lot of injury internally.

Finally you need to be aware of whether the bird is in pain. It would be cruel to let it linger for days if it is suffering a lot and in pain.

Your pekin will no doubt still be in shock and by keeping it warm, dark and quiet you are doing your best to help it get over that initial trauma. It may be the case that once the initial shock wears off the bird gradually recovers mobility and balance - I mean over a period of days, possibly weeks. If you do make the commitment and the decision to see if the bird will recover then for now I think continuing to keep it warm, dark and quiet is the best way to go in the short term. If a vet visit is an option then that would be an opportunity to get a professional opinion about whether it is a viable situation and also to get some antibiotics if necessary. If not, then just make sure it is eating and drinking and not in too much discomfort and review the situation regularly to decide if you think it is in the hen's best interests to continue the attempt to pull her through the injury and shock.

Also, consider feeding her something like the rickets diet to help give her the strength to heal and recover and you also need to make sure you tend to the wounds; bathe them to remove any dirt, and apply something like betadine.

These are just things to consider while you wait for a medical moderator to give you a more experienced opinion. I really hope she is Ok and I understand it must be a horrible thing for you and your family. I would be devastated and very conflicted about the best course of action. Good luck.

Clare

Chicken07 has just posted and raised similar concerns about the likelihood of infection.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Hatchling
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Thankyou very much for your very helpful responses..

"Honey" doesn't appear to be in any pain - she was very excited to see her fellow chickens and took a couple of steps towards them till she fell flat on her face.

Thanks for the advice re the vet - we have taken a hen to the local vet for AB before and will do so again....

Can hens get these symptoms from stress??

Thanks so much for your help!


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:31 pm 
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It doesn't sound like the initial shock at this stage if the attack was a day ago.

Quite often predators bite across the back or across the upper shoulder or the base of the neck. You can imagine that lots of sharp teeth puncturing either side of the spine make nerve damage likely especially if they give a good shake as well. She may even have a head injury, or another injury to her legs.

Can she stand at all? Can she hold her head up?

Chicken seem to be able to heal despite quite serious injuries. Sometimes they need a bit of time though.

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 10:50 am 
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Hatchling
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She can stand but with no balance - so we have to perfectly position her. Sher has perfect control of her head!

We are hoping that she will pull through but with each day the boys get more hope - sure hate to see this dashed!
Life can be very cruel!!


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