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dog attacked hen, injured,help please!

broadwath hensbroadwath hens Junior Member
edited January 2007 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Yesterday a neighbours terrier got one of my hens. I thought it had killed it as I saw it was pretty badly mawled at its back end. When I'd eventually got rid of the dog I went to look for the hen again and it had gone. We hunted the whole garden but she had vanished. However she has just appeared this morning and is with the others. She has lost all her tail and has a nasty wound at her rear end. She is walking, but slowly and appears to be eating/drinking. I am concerned that her wound may become infected. What does anyone recommend?


  • Philippa HardyPhilippa Hardy Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Sorry to hear about your hens accident. I had a cockerel that was injured on his back and didn't know about it until it became infected and swollen. We are lucky to live near a good farm vet and he came to look at him and gave me some povidone - iodine solution to bathe the injury and also some aureomycin antibiotic that is added to water. I had to buy a large quantity as they mainly deal with poultry farms. I currently have a posting on about another poorly cock I have (see Cock Unwell). After advice from other forum members I contacted him and I now have him on the auremycin to see if that works - it seems to be. They have to be isolated so they only drink the antibiotic water, but I find if you put a few chopped up grapes, sweetcorn, tomatoes, salad bits etc in with the water, they get soaked in the solution and it also encourages them to drink as well. I think I would see a vet and in the meantime bathing in a salt water solution might help. I dont profess to know alot about poultry but am just talking from an experience I had with some of mine. I read on another poultry site that a little marmite on bread helps give them energy. Might it help her recover from the shock? Anyone know? I give mine 2 little cubes a day. It said aim for about a round of bread a week.

    Hope your hen makes a speedy recovery - good luck
  • broadwath hensbroadwath hens Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    many thanks for your advice, a hen friend has given me some vetinary wound powder, but I will try some of the other tips you mentioned.
  • crazychickcrazychick Senior Member
    edited January 2007

    If the wounds are large and/or deep, they should be flushed out to get rid of the nasty bacteria that can live in a dog's mouth. Take some warm water and put JUST enough iodine or betadine in it to make it the colour of strong tea. Then, fill up a syringe with this solution and flush out the wounds, using a fair bit of pressure. After flushing the wounds, if possible, flush again with sterile saline (contact lens saline works fine) to flush out remaining iodine. Flush daily for several days - removing any small bits of loose scab or straw/shavings before flushing. Pack the wound with an ointment, preferably, over a powder. The powder works for disinfecting the wound but doesn't aid the wound in healing very well as it tends to dry out the tissue. Dry or heavily scabbed tissue doesn't heal well (by heavily scabbed, I mean an unhealthy, thick scab that has bacteria or pus underneath it). By putting an antibiotic ointment such as furacin (nitrofurazone) or polysporin, you encourage granulation tissue to fill in the wound and keep the nasties out at the same time. You may have to trim the feathers around the wound initially, to keep everything as clean as possible. If you find other hens picking on her you may have to isolate her for a bit. When the wound is nicely filling in and is out of danger of getting infected (clean, pink flesh with no pus or dripping fluid) then you can continue putting the wound powder in it to keep it clean. Lastly, if the area around the wound looks greenish or blackened, or if the hen gets a fever OR if she goes off her feed, she will need antibiotics. You can put her on a water soluble immediately, to treat her "just in case" (if she is drinking normally) or you may choose to put her on an injectable, possibly waiting a few days to see if infection sets in. Personally, I would start her on something right away to avoid a nasty infection... Baytril (available thru a vet) is an excellent drug but should not be given over a long term (more than 10 days) without anti fungal drugs as well. Aureomycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol (oral) are all good, as is injectable Penicillin G procaine (given sub cutaneously or intramuscularly (in breast muscle) once a day at a dose of 30 000 IU per kg, with a 22 gauge needle - a fresh one every day). Do NOT get Pen G Procaine in the vein- always draw back on the plunger before giving the shot after the needle is in, to make sure that there is no blood being drawn in.

    Good luck with your hen- hope that horrid little terrier doesn't return...

  • broadwath hensbroadwath hens Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Dear Crazychick,
    Thankyou for your advice, I did isolate her last night just in case. She is eating a little but not normally so I will consider some of your tips. Good idea about trimming away the feathers around the area.
    thanks again
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