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I think one of our chooks has cancer? Or some kind of injury?

(10 Posts)
JanePumpkin Sun 23-Oct-11 17:19:26

Help please.

She is about 18 months old. I don't know how long she's had it - I've not kept a close eye on them recently but haven't noticed until today thatthe feathers on her back are sticking up over a big lump.

I caught her and had a look - she's been acting normally as far as I know, not sure if she is laying or one of the others though some of them aren't at the moment.

The lump is about 5cm across, very large upwards of her back. It's made of dried earth for the top half, then under that some nasty cankerish scabby stuff, so I don't know if it's an old wound - think a rat was in a few weeks ago,. there were scattered feathers, so could have been a bite? but it looks massive and I didn't notice any wounds at the time though didn't check carefully. \there was no blood around and they all seemed well.

She does seem normal in other ways and I don't know what to do - we haven't a poultry vet. Should I take her in and wash it, get the dirt off it, see what's going on? Should I take her to a non specialist vet and have her put down? I'm clueless. I've seen a few dying of other things and they were noticeably quiet, still, in pain etc. She seems Ok apart from huge scabby thing.

poor old girl. Very grateful indeed for any advice.

Earthdog Sun 23-Oct-11 18:06:11

My guess would be some kind of bite/wound that got infected. I'd try cleaning it up with dilute salt water or hibiscrub, dry then spray with tetracycline (purple spray) and see how it goes. If she's not acting ill then she should hopefully recover.

JanePumpkin Sun 23-Oct-11 19:03:52

Thankyou very much indeed.

I will try to get some purple spray from the agri suppliers tomorrow, and I hadn't thought to use salt water.

It looks quite a large complex scab though - like, at least the size of a 50 on the surface I could see, far more to it than that underneath, but it is just so large. I'd have thought a small wound that didn't cause enough blood to notice, would not get that large, it would just heal? Maybe not.

I am fairly new to chickens. Thankyou so much.

Earthdog Sun 23-Oct-11 20:10:04

Hope it works, farmers put purple spray on everything, it usually works! Cut the feathers off too so you can get to it and have a good look while you clean it up. I have kept chickens for years and never seen one with cancer but they do sometimes get injured or pecked. Keep us posted :-)

JanePumpkin Sun 23-Oct-11 21:01:12

Cheers Earthdog smile

I've posted on byc and someone said it's an abscess shock so you were right...but they suggested I drain it.

Think I might take her to the vet after all...I've no idea what I'm doing.

Any thoughts on abscess drainage welcome, kind of grin

JanePumpkin Mon 24-Oct-11 10:44:35

Okay, well, I'm trying not to vomit as I've just had a proper go at sorting it out.

Poor, poor love, she was being eaten alive inside there. I've taken off the hard scabby thing, got out most of the maggots sorry people who are having breakfast.

I've sprayed it liberally with purple stuff which we bought this morning. I hope that is enough. How on earth didn't I notice this happening sooner, I feel terrible.

Chooky has gone back into the run with the other girls and she looks pissed off but otherwise not too bad. It was painful for her, obviously, she was very very brave though.

The smell was awful. I have never had to do something so disgusting in my entire life. Have I done the right thing?

Earthdog Mon 24-Oct-11 17:34:11

Eek poor you I hate maggots! They are not easy to spot initially as they are so tiny at first plus they are under the feathers so you woudnt have seen them anyway. The main thing is that you have got rid of them all (check again that there werent any that crawled away!) as I don't think purple spray actually kills them, but it will help the heal the wound. Sounds like she might be OK everything crossed!

crispface Mon 24-Oct-11 17:41:26

No idea how to sort out chicken abcesses, but have just treated a rabbit for 3 abcesses, and I feel your pain.

Make sure the wound stays clean and like others have said, no more maggots. Was it a "deep" wound - ie was there a hole with all the maggots and stuff inside? If so, it will need regular flushing out.

hopefully though it was just a shallow wound, and one you can see clearing up and healing.

Good luck, I am impressed with your dedication!

JanePumpkin Mon 24-Oct-11 17:49:09

Thanks gals. I can't honestly say if it was deep or shallow...it went on and on, loads of feathers had to come right off by the roots, it was truly horrid. I'm not sure I got all of it. she has been pecking at the wound a bit to get rid of a couple of wrigglers I missed, so at least she can reach it now - not pecking to hurt herself, just flicking off anything alive iyswim with her beak. Good girl.
Before, it was all hidden deeply within the crusted over earthy stuff so she hadn't a chance at it.

She's had a dust bath and coated it in earth again hmm but it looks far far better...I tried to have another look an hour ago, to see if I'd got everything out but tbh I got so far and stopped, my stomach couldn't take it, I didn't dare uncover anything else.

I've got an appt for her at the vet tomorrow - apparently one of them knows about poultry - so I'm not doing anything else now. She seems happy enough.
If there's anything else in there, I'll pay whatever they want for someone else to do it, I cannot stand to blush

I still can't face eating after that.
bleurgh.

NO MORE PETS!

Earthdog Mon 24-Oct-11 19:26:28

You have done well! I am a farmer's daughter so have spent more time than I care to recall picking maggots out of things; it's still not my number 1 favourite job :-)

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