Meet Hetty the hen! Hetty got into some mischief this month and injured her comb. Her owner is not sure exactly what happened but Hetty must have run into some trouble while scratching around the backyard. A large section of her comb (the red crest on the top of her head) was cut but was still attached to her. Although she was otherwise well and did not seem bothered by her injury, Hetty's owner thought it would be best to get her looked at by a vet.
Dr Tanya examined Hetty and found her to be otherwise fit and healthy. Her comb did not look too good on the other hand. It was not healing well and there was a risk of infection to the wound or further damage if it were to get caught on something. Dr Tanya recommended a short surgical procedure to remove the loose tissue and to clean up the wound. Hetty's owner agreed and booked the surgery in for the following day.
On the day of her surgery, Hetty was admitted into hospital and fasted for four hours before her anaesthetic. Dr Raj and Nurse Lauren then placed her under a general anaesthetic. Dr Raj used a machine called an electrocautery to remove the torn comb and clean up the wound. This machine uses an electric current to cut through tissue and to cauterise blood vessels to prevent bleeding at the same time. Nurse Lauren monitored Hetty's vital signs such as heart rate and breathing while she was asleep. The surgery went well and Hetty was soon awake and pecking around her hospital bed looking for food. She went home the same day and was reintroduced to the rest of her chicken friends in her owners' backyard.
Reservoir Vet Clinic are seeing chickens more and more often as these birds are becoming popular backyard pets in the suburbs. We can take care of many common chicken illnesses and injuries and can refer clients to bird specialists if needed. If you have concerns about any of your pets it is always a good idea to call us to see if we can help.