Calling CD3...............

catherinet(5 IN)June 20, 2009


As you might have read, I had a coon attack on my chickens. One of them had the skin torn off her back.....about 2"x3". I cleaned it up and occasionally sponge it off with betadine tea. She's inside the house now, to help keep the wound clean. I leave it open to air, but have kept it covered with triple antibiotic ointment. She was on antibiotics for a week. I was going to keep her on them longer, but they are upsetting her GI tract so much, I decided to stop them and let her improve her nutrition.

I've been giving her lots of yogurt with probiotics sprinkled on it.

Here's my question: I have read up on these kinds of injuries, and her wound isn't acting like what other people have said to expect. Her wound is looking dry (even with the ointment), and looks like it just becoming calloused. There is no "cell migration" from the edges, no different colored growth.......just her wound looking tougher.

Is this normal? I was hoping for it to fill in with skin, so she could grow feathers over it again.

Any suggestions? I could post a pic of it if that would help.


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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi there!

I am soooooooooo sorry to hear about your chickies! How horrible!!! :*( """"cyber hug!!!>>>>

If the wound is very large, it may form a huge callus with granulation tissue underneath. Wounds can only fill in so much side to side. The area may form a huge scar with time and no feathers will ever develop there since there are no follicles.

Is it truly a callus or is the tissue dried up / necrotic?

The tissue may be dried up because of lack of blood circulation and has nothing to do with the antibiotic ointment you are applying. If it is dried up then she may need to have that surgically removed and the wound closed up ... at least a little. If she is developing a huge scab sometimes that will delay wound healing too. The huge scab may need to be removed and the wound edges brought closer together.

If you could post a picture that might help.

Sorry I didn't see your story earlier. Been kinda hectic here.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:04PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi CD3,

I'm not sure if the tissue is necrotic or calloused. I am posting a pic of the injury when it was a couple days old. I hope its large enough for you to see it. It extends under her wings on both sides and under her neck feathers.
it didn't seem to involve her muscle........just her skin torn off.
The bottom line is that anything that needs done, we will be doing it ourselves.
She seems to be fine otherwise, although she's not drinking as much as I'd like. She is eating. She's having alot of diarrhea, but that's probably from the antibiotic, which I stopped yesterday. She was on Baytril for a week, but I think I was giving her too much (another story).
I will take her picture tomorrow. Its late and she's sleeping, but I'll try to get a close up of it progress tomorrow.
There have been no signs of infection.
here's the pic of the initial injury.
Thanks CD3.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:37PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

YIKES! Poor Brownie! She was skinned! :-(

Some of that injury looks like dead tissue and as long as it's kept clean, she may be able to form a granulation tissue over the wound. The dead tissue can be removed with a scalpel blade or manicure scissors. The tissue is dead so it will not hurt as it is cut. Just be careful to not cut the live tissue just underneath.Leaving a thin film of dead stuff on top isn't ideal but it will be better than injuring her more and the thin dead layer will slough off. She won't ever re-feather on that massive wound. If the skin margins can be found and pulled to cover as much of the area as possible, that section will re-feather.

If Brownie was my chickie ... I'd look for a product called Bio Dress or something similar. It is a hydrogel product used for huge open wounds due to trauma or burn patients. The wound stay moist and clean and any drainage is absorbed by the material. Best of all it does not adhere to the wound or hurnt when it is removed.

The dressing would need to be replaced every 12-24 hours depending of the progression of wound healing. It keeps the tissue moist and encourages granulation formation and tissue migration from the edges. There is a similar product that is in ointment form but I don't recall the name right now. Maybe you could call your vet and they could order some for you or ... ask your pharmacist about the products.

Is Brownie getting pain medicine? Metacam is good stuff.

Maybe give Brownie 50 /50 Pedialyte in her drinking water. Not only does that help with the electrolyte loss from the diarrhea but also help with the dehydration caused by the large wound.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 7:44AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

ACH! I've lost this message twice. Maybe 3 times is a charm!
Here is a pic of Brownie 9 days post attack. I'm too insecure to cut anything off, so I think for now I'll just leave it. I'll look for the Bio Dress, but is it too late to use it? I'll pick up some pedialyte too.
I think her not eating or drinking much is from my overdosing her on Baytril. I was giving the dose that the avian vet said to use in the past, and I think its too much. Her last dose was 2 days ago.
I tried giving her some diluted tart cherry juice this morning and she seemed to like it. I'm also giving her a little Purina cat chow for the protein. She likes something one day, but not the next, so I have to keep changing it up.
Is there any reason to stop using the antibiotic ointment?
She doesn't seem to be in pain.
Thanks CD3!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:52AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

The wound seems to be healing. Try to get the litter off the rest of her wound though.

It is not too late to start the Bio Dress or similar product. The wound healing may take MONTHS to resolve! But it will happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Her not eating may be a sign of pain or infection. I'd start her on some pain meds and see if she feels more comfortable. *~*~*~*HUGS FOR BROWNIE!!!*~*~*~*

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 12:03PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks CD3,
Is that pain med you mentioned something I need to get from the vet? Is it an oral thing? I initially put some asa in her water, but she wasn't interested. She's been a bugger to get things down her throat.
When you say to get the litter off the wound, do you mean her neck feathers? Maybe I just didn't notice some bedding chips on there. She does that sometimes.....throws them up over herself.
There are some things that look like fat globules or clotted blood that I tried to pull off, but they are firmly attached.
I'd hate to think she will be separated from the others for months....chickens and their pecking order and all.
I was thinking maybe to get her fairly well healed, and then get a chicken apron (I know some people who make those), and they hide the back area, so the others won't peck at it. I suppose also I could get some sort of spray that keeps the others away from the wound.
She's always been a hen that nobody would mess with, so I'm thinking as long as she is otherwise healthy, she'll do okay. But I don't plan on putting her back with the others for quite awhile.
Thanks CD3!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 12:15PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi! Don't know what a ~chicken apron~ is but ... her wound does need to be covered not only to protect her from other chickens, decrease pain and dehydration ... but the possibility of flies laying their eggs on her and .... DISASTER!!!

Metacam is a liquid pain medication and very good for avian patients.

Best wishes for Brownie and those who would care for her! :-)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 6:32PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Catherine, I'm so sorry about your chickens :(

I hope Brownie recovers soon ... and she gets her feathers back!

I gave up on keeping fish in my pond - there are just too many critters out to get them and I was getting so upset everytime I'd lose one - I can just imagine how bad you felt when your pet chickens were attacked.

Good luck with Brownie!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:33PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Hi Catherine, just read about poor Brownie, and the others! I'm so sorry!

There's an ointment called Collasate that helps like a sort of collagen band-aid. Might be what CD3 was thinking of?Probably will need an Rx from your vet.


Here is a link that might be useful: Collasate

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:57PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

That was it, S! Thanks. :-)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:58AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone,
Brownie is doing very well. Its been 12 days since the injury. Isn't it probably too late to put the collagen stuff on? She's eating and drinking well and getting spunkier. Her wound is very dry now.
CD3....a chicken apron/saddle is something that fits over the back of a chicken, made out of material, and covers the back (wound) so other chickens don't peck on it.
I'm going to take her out in the yard in a make-shift pen soon and let her do some scratching.
I'm very happy with her progress.
The other girls seem pretty much back to normal, and we've added more fencing material to the top of the run, so hopefully the blasted coons will never get in again.
Thanks for all your well-wishes!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 1:21PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I think I would invest in an electric fence for the chicken coop as well as a few traps. Once raccoons get something in their heads it is near impossible to get it out.
I'm sorry about the whole thing including your distress. I wish I could give you a hug. Sandy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:59PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Sandy,
I'll accept that hug! :)
I looked out at the girls in the run tonight and they were all gathered into one corner. I ran out, and all that was wrong was that their water dish had fallen over. That's enough to send them into a frenzy! I was relieved that's all it was.
I worked on the top of the run some more today. Its seeming pretty darned secure. Next week.......the moat. Then after that, the mine field.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:02PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Glad you've kept your sense of humor......oh, sorry, you were serious? :)
How's Brownie?


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 7:06PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Sarah!

Brownie is slowly plugging along. I think she's lonely, but I just can't put her back with the others until her wound is better healed.
Unfortunately, the coon dug up the buried chickens that died in the attack and took them away. :( At least he took 2 dead ones and not 2 more live ones. But it was insult to injury.
Seems like lots of people all over the internet are having big time coon problems with their chickens this year.
I think Brownie is getting addicted to soft rock, since I have the radio on for her all day!
Thanks for asking Sarah!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 8:19AM
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