injury or infection, new chicken
Hi again, I am one of those who stop by now and then, only when I have a question. I come here because you guys know your stuff!
I got a call from a suburban person who had a hen move into their front lawn. They were trying to find someone to take her as they lived on a busy street and were afraid she would get hit by a car. They said she had an injured leg. I went and picked up the chicken.
I got her home and after closer inspection of the leg, and some research I am now worried that the injury is an involved staph infection. I wanted some opinions from you guys, but I can't get the forum to upload the pictures!
Any ideas? (either on uploading pictures or about the leg!)
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by golfdiva; 06-15-2012 at 05:01 PM.
Reason: See next post, I got the pics on.
Ok, found a way around. Here are the pics of her leg:
That's ugly ! Can't tell what it is either, but I'd treat it as both. Clean it as much as possible, pack it with an antibiotic ointment & get some Baytril or other good antibiotic into her.
The big scab on the bottom kind of looks like bumblefoot but I've never seen it go up the back of the leg like that.
Thanks for the replies!
I found out she had been living under the pine tree for 5 weeks before I got her, so the infection could be very old. I will go to TSC this afternoon and see what supplies I can find and get started on her. Monday I'll see if I can get some antibiotic from the vet for her.
She is a very scrapy little chicken, I enjoy having her around!
Wow that is pretty involved, reminds me of frostbite, but definitely necrotic. If she's got the will there is likely a way.
Thanks for the encouragement! I have no doubt she has the will. I don't know her story, but I suspect she's been through some stuff, and hasn't given up yet! I haven't been able to get antibiotics yet, but hope to get some tomorrow.
This is what it looked like when I took off the dressing tonight. Yes, that is her leg bone visible! The second picture is her *other * foot, which looks like it may have some issuses too!
Cripes. At least there's healthy pink tissue visible. That's one heck of a wound.
Any guesses as to what may have caused it? My DH thinks she got it stuck in something and pulled her leg out.
No guesses on cause. Try soaking both feet in Epsom Salt. It is naturally antibacterial and will help a lot of things heal. Do all you can to keep her in a clean area and both feet clean. A moist dressing with antibiotic, maybe even a stick-less pad would help. For her to grow new skin over the bone it will have to be moist and bacteria free.
I've seen a similar wound in a goose that had gotten his leg hung in wire. Peeled the hide off to the bone.
This wound appears to be healing well enough on it's own. Gotta disaggree with Mary on treatment. Make sure that the wound is kept clean, but let nature take it's course. A moist wound in this heat will fester. It appears to be healing fine on it's own.
I agree with Angela. Any chance of keeping her up on wire for a while ? I'd say she's healing nicely.
Angela, Moist would be with antibiotic ointment. Moist heat is much harder on somethings and possibly would contribute to it festering. I live in the desert where the dryness of the environment drys everything out. The heat here would only dry it faster. Here it would progress better with a little help keeping the natural moisture in the healing tissues.
Evy, I like your idea of keeping her on wire because it would help with the sanitation. I do wonder with both feet showing some problems if the pressure on wire would be a problem. I have had good results with keeping foot injuries on clean dry straw. Thankfully chickens don't make a wet mess of their environment which is a plus.
My dad would say put her up on slats, He thought that wire was hard on foot problems. slats gave more surface support and can quickly be cleaned with a hose. Has she roosted, is she allowed to roost?
Originally Posted by Mary
Thanks again for the comments. I'm glad it looks like it's healing!
So far this is what I've done:
-saturated some gauze in hydrogen peroxide and wrapped her foot/leg with them, then wrapped her foot/leg w/ vet wrap. Leave this on for about 1/2 hour.
-remove the gauze, rinse, dry, do a little debridement if necessary
-apply antibiotic, wrap in gauze and vet wrap
-repeat the above every other day
-she is about 1/2 way through a course of Pen G
I was hoping since her right foot is less severly affected, that the Pen G would clear it up. But I can put a dressing on that foot too if it necessary.
She tried to roost, but could only hold on with her good foot. She didn't seem to know what to do with her wrapped up foot. Otherwise I mostly see her in the corner in the straw at night. During the day she will move around a little, but she can't quite keep up the the rest of the flock. She is very good about keeping the dressing on and when I have changed it, there is no evidence that any dirt or anything has made it all the way through the dressing.
The toes don't seem to be able to move. I wonder if she has lost muscles/ligiments/tendons since the injury went down to the bone. Might she regain use of her toes?
Interesting about the injuries may have been caused by being on wire constantly. Since she seemed to appear out of nowhere, it makes you wonder where she has been!
Peroxide may not be needed at this point, but that's just me. Basic honey makes a great dressing "sauce". It's naturally antibacterial and won't encourage resistance in strains.
Last edited by Altair; 06-23-2012 at 02:17 PM.
It sounds like you are doing the right things. If she has lost muscles/ligaments/ tendons she may never be able to use the toes in a normal fashion.
Honey is loaded with spores that can cause Botulism [under the right conditions) should not be fed to babies under 1 year old and its use as a weetener in home canning is highly discouraged. I am not going to claim it should not be used on chicken leg wounds but I wouldn't do or recommend it. Her bird, her choice. ~gd
Originally Posted by Altair
Here's an update:
I'm happy with the progress! (The black spot on her toe is mud, it washed right off!)
I know other people who use honey on wounds, and it works for them. I think I'll pass this time though. It's another thing to buy, sounds messy, and I'm worried about flies! The peroxide seems to be working well for debridement. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Found her trying to roost again last night. She has a great difficulty balancing, but I have no doubt she will keep practicing until she's got it!
Yep, to each their own. Glad to see she's making some headway. How's her behavior otherwise, does she lay at all?