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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:17 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Hello - I'm not having a good run. Mike has been helping me with my non-specifically-not-quite-right old hen (who seems to be doing OK) and this morning when I went to let the others out to free-range I couldn't find one of my younger girls.

I eventually found her wedged as tight as she could go up behind one of our old broody houses. I had to shift the house to get her out. When I examined her I found some kind of injury underneath her left wing. It looks like a whole section of flesh has been lifted. It's a horrible analogy but first impression is that it's similar to partially carving some meat from a roast chicken thigh. It seems that part of the thigh feathering is hanging down. Her wing seems to be in the right position though.

There was no blood I could see, and no puncture that I can see either. She is able to stand up (and quite willing to), her comb and wattles are still very red, and when I put her in a small cage in my shed she ate and drank almost immediately. She's not panting and wasn't averse to being handled (except when I tried to take a closer look at the damaged area).

I haven't had a really good look at the damage because I wanted her to eat and drink while she was feeling secure. I have some photos but I'm afraid they're not all that helpful.

They only thing I can think of that may have happened to her is that she got a fright of some sort (maybe trying to get away from the rooster on his morning rampage), wedged herself down behind the wooden broody house and then when she tried to back out she damaged herself on the corner. I'll go out and have another look at the house in a minute and see if I can see any sign of that.

I haven't really had major injuries in the flock before, usually just illness, so I don't really know what to do.

Thanks, Melanie

Here's the sticky:

Age: nearly 3
Breed: Barnevelder
Sex: hen

Your Location- country, state (different areas/climates have different problems)
ANSWER: Melbourne inner suburbs

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
ANSWER: description of injury above

What are you feeding? - Please list everything you're feeding to your birds, including type of basic feed, free ranging, scraps, extras, etc. If possible give approximate percentages.
ANSWER: chicken mix, free-range in the backyard two days a week, kitchen scraps


Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
ANSWER: haven't observed since injury

Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling
ANSWER: none

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
ANSWER: eating and drinking

Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
ANSWER: only the injury above, wattle and comb are still bright red, no apparent loss of feathers

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
ANSWER: found her wedged up behind the broody house. It seemed to me that she'd put herself in there.

Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
ANSWER: able to stand and move, but seemed to be limping a bit on the leg on the damaged side

Describe your usual worming routine and products. [If none, say so and skip the next 3 worming questions.] Do you have a cycle that you use eg. every 3 months, or every six months?
ANSWER: Piperazine in the water with a follow up at two weeks

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
ANSWER: Just done this week - haven't done two week follow up yet

2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given? ? eg. in the drinking water, on the skin, by injection?
ANSWER:

3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)
ANSWER: Not yet

Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc
ANSWER: No

Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather
ANSWER: Temporary removal of the older hen while we were checking her out for illness (see other thread)

Photos? – any relevant photos are very helpful
INSERT HERE:
I'm sorry the photos aren't very good quality. I wanted to check out her overall condition and see if she would eat and drink before I tried to take really clear photos and risked hurting her more.

As you can see, her colour is still fine and she looks reasonably alert
Image

She's standing up and the damage isn't that apparent. You can see some slightly damaged feathers near her shoulder and the photo doesn't show it well, but her thigh feathers appear to be hanging down too far
Image

This is the damage under the wing area (sorry it's such a bad photo)
Image

And this is lower down on the thigh
Image

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3 Barnevelder hens, 1 Plymouth Rock cockerel, 1 Plymouth Rock pullet, 3 boys, 2 terrier-crosses, and one husband who just goes along with it.


Last edited by Melanie Joy on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:02 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Might it be a rooster-mating injury? Sometimes a heavy rooster with sharp toes can slip and do very nasty damage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:10 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Yes, that would make some sense. The injury seems consistent with a sharp nail sliding down.

He's a Plymouth Rock rooster, not quite a year old - so not particularly heavy and his spurs aren't fully grown, but possibly a bit clumsy. Oh, poor girl.

She's in much the same condition as she was earlier. I'm thinking I should clean the wound or something. Maybe just make up a saline mix to start with? Will be tricky with only one pair of hands, though.

Thanks, andrewschooks

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I just went out with a saltwater mix I made to clean her up but when I had a look at the wound I feel totally out of my depth. I can't get to a vet today because the car is in for a service.

Although I'm finding the wound quite distressing I will certainly work on it if I can be sure I'm doing the right thing. I can make up a salt mix, bathe it and bandage it. Or else I have savlon or betadine ointment. I just don't want to make it worse.

Her colour is still good and she can still stand although she limps when she tries to walk.

Image

And here you can see where the skin lifts up. I don't know if that yellowish stuff is fat.
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Yes, those pics are clearer - well done. Under the wing is a difficult area as air circulation there is poor.

Do you have any antibiotic powder? I think if she were mine I'd be inclined to puff on some antibiotic powder, even a broad-spectrum one such as pink-eye powder or one from a human first aid box such as Medi-pulv to assist it to dry out a bit. I hope more knowledgeable medical people will correct this advice if it is contra-indicated.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Hi Melanie. You poor thing and your poor little girl!
The would itself looks quite dry and not too infected. If she were mine, I would have done just what you have done already. I would also trim any feathers around the edge of the wound to keep it clear. I would also spray it with centrigen, but if you don't have that, a betadine based one would be fine. If it weren't for the flap, I would let nature do its job and I find they heal quite quickly. The flap however. Ideally it would be sutured back, but the would isn't fresh, and it costs a trip to the vet etc. etc. So long as she is bright and alert and eating/drinking etc and the wound doesn't get infected, leave her for a few days and see how she goes. Try not to lift the flap when you clean the wound and see if it sticks itself back down during the healing process.
It is very confronting isn't it! I have had 2 little Pekins scalped by bigger roosters and I completely freaked out! They had healed over within 3 days though. They are very tough little cookies.
Fingers crossed for you :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Thanks so much. I've dealt with sick chickens, and paralysed chickens, but nothing so immediate.

I haven't actually done anything yet except isolate her. If it was a rooster wound it must have been done only the hour before I found her - so say about four hours ago now.

The wound looks moist but doesn't seem to be oozing or anything.

Should I try washing it gently with salt water? And I don't have any kind of spray. Only savlon ointment and betadine ointment. Going through my people medkit I also found some sachets of medi-prep wipes - disposable antiseptic wipes containing 1% w/w cetrimide BP (no idea what that is) and fornax first aid dressing liquid with 0.30% w/v iodophenols.

I would take her to the vet but today is the only bloody day I'm without the car (it's getting serviced). If you think it would make a big difference I can try and borrow a car but, as you say, the wound is a few hours old now.

Should I bandage her around the middle to keep the wing and the flap in place? Or will that interrupt airflow and the healing process? I could probably change it relatively frequently if necessary.

Thank you so much.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Yes, I would wash it gently with salty water, just to clean it up and see exactly what you are dealing with. Remove any bits and piece you can see in it too (ie feathers and dirt). Once it's clean and you are happy with how it looks, then put some betadine ointment on it.
I don't think wrapping her up is worth the stress to you both, and it might delay healing. It's not an area that gets a lot of air anyway, but leaving it as is is probably better (others might have a better view on this).
Keep her confined and warm, and review it again tonight and tomorrow morning and then assess if it needs further attention or at least whether a trip to the local pet store or horsey place where they have centrigen or antibiotic powders available.

Corina :)

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http://faverolles-australia-inc.webnode.com


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:08 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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I'm with Kiwi chick and think her advice is good. I know that there are some that would stitch the wound up as it will heal much quicker but on the other hand, this would close the wound and make it more prone for hidden infections (and personally, I'm simply not brave enough to stitch up a wound of an animal that hasn't been anesthesized).
So, clean the wound with saline. Clip the feathers around the wound and put Betadine on it. You won't need to put a bandage on it. Cetrigen is good but Betadine will do the job. Just buy some Cetrigen next time you go to a produce store as it's quite good to have it handy for smaller injuries, too. Definitely keep the chook isolated until the wound has healed fully. Chooks have an amazing capability to recover from injuries, so don't worry too much about it. The only thing that would worry me is if it was a wound from being attacked by a canine and if there were puncture wounds, but it really looks more like a wound from the rooster.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Thank you so much.

I've cleaned it as best I could. It does seem uneven across the wound in terms of how deep the slicing has gone. In some areas it's really quite messy and fleshy and others it looks like it's just the surface. There's green colouring in some areas. The whole wound, including under the flap, probably covers an area roughly 8-10cm in diameter. There are definitely no puncture wounds. I do have two small and very old dogs but they're kept entirely separate and I would definitely know if they'd been in with the chooks.

There was no dirt in it. I've cut away as many feathers as I can. Unfortunately it seemed like some feathers were still in the wounded area but secured in two separate places. I cut them away as best I could on each end, but didn't want to risk ripping any more skin. There are definitely still feather follicles (are they follicles?) in there in places.

I put lots of betadine ointment on (not the liquid - I don't have that unfortunately). I'll be at the feed store tomorrow and will get some Cetrigen. It just looks so nasty that I don't see how it can't possibly get infected.

She was so good. She just lay there the whole time and didn't even flinch. Then as soon as I put her back into the cage she went straight for the food. I'm relieved to think she can't be in much pain.

Thank you so much for your help. This has been really quite disturbing.

Melanie

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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It's good that she still likes her food. Keep an eye out for possible infection within the next days. I'm pretty sure she'll be okay.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:31 am 
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How is she this morning??

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http://faverolles-australia-inc.webnode.com


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:54 am 
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Hi - thanks for asking.

Her colour is still good (wattles and comb are the bright red of a layer). She can still move around if she has to. She's still interested in food and doesn't show any signs of being in pain.

I got some Cetrigen and took another look at the wound. It looks much the same. Still messy but no signs of infection yet. A section of the flap (the section where it's still joined to her body) seems to already be closing over a bit. I sprayed the Cetrigen in the bits that were accessible and gave her (and her sick bay friend - an older hen with a non-specific illness in another cage) a mash of oats, cat food, grated apple, honey and yoghurt.

I've got her in the pen on newspaper because I was worried that straw might stick into the wound and also be more likely to breed bugs to get into it.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks all so much for your advice. I would have felt incredibly daunted dealing with that on my own.

Melanie

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:32 pm 
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That sounds promising Melanie.

It sounds as though she is going to be fine :-D

I am glad she is doing so well. I am quite amazed how tough they are!!

Corina

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http://faverolles-australia-inc.webnode.com


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:33 am 
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She still seems to be doing well this morning. Still eating and drinking and with really good colour. She was standing up and looking around when I went in, and when I put her in a larger pen while I cleaned out hers she walked around without much of a noticeable limp. The flap is nearly completely closed over and the rest of the wound looks much the same - no sign of any redness or angriness (which I'm guessing would be indicators of an infection).

It doesn't seem to me that I need to reapply the Cetrigen but I've never used it before so I'm not sure? I also wouldn't be inclined to wash the wound again unless it looks dirty. Does that sound right?

Fingers still crossed - and thanks.

Melanie

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