Faith, 4 month old Java pullet
Faith was part of a flock that was wiped out by an overnight massacre. Suspected culprit: racoon or opossum. She was so badly injured her owner was going to euthanize her, but Jessica and her husband rescued her in an attempt to nurse her back to health. Faith’s injuries were limited to two large wounds on her upper right leg.
Day 1: Her feathers were trimmed to expose the wounds. Using a diluted betadine scrub Jessica cleaned the area thoroughly, then flushed it with saline. She coated the wound with triple antibiotic cream and dressed the two wounds with 4”× 4” gauze pads, 2” rolled gauze, and vet wrap. Faith was isolated in a large dog crate and given Grower feed and poultry vitamins (in her water).
Week 1: The steps above were repeated daily. Baby aspirin (81mg) was administered for pain management. It was only given after four days to ensure the risk of bleeding had passed (aspirin works as an anticoagulant so Jessica wanted to reduce the risk of bleeding). After a few days, the peroneus longus muscle started looking dusky, indicating it was dying.
Week 2: The muscle had become necrotic so Jessica debrided (scraped to remove) the dead tissue to avoid gangrene.
Week 3: Dressing changes were now done on alternate days using the same method as described during week 1. Feathers were trimmed as needed.
Week 5: Faith was allowed outside for short periods under supervision (her leg was wrapped during that time).
Week 9: The wound completely closed.
It’s been three months since Faith’s ordeal began and she’s made a full recovery. Oral antibiotics weren’t given at any point.
Many thanks to Jessica Van Wyen for her notes and photos & above all her dedicated care to ensure Faith’s survival. All material used with permission.