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|Treatment Goal #1 - To gradually bring the temperature of the affected tissue back to normal||This can be accomplished through passive warming (relocating the chicken into a warmer environment and/or wrapping in blankets) or through active warming, in which the affected tissues are immersed in warm water at 104-108 °F (40-42°C) or a warm cloth is held against the area.||DO NOT use direct heat (such as a heat lamp, hair dryer, heating pads, etc,) to rewarm the affected area.|
DO NOT rub, massage, shake, or otherwise apply any physical force to frostbitten tissues, as it can cause more damage to the affected area.
DO NOT disturb any blisters or skin that has blackened.
DO NOT let chickens walk on frostbitten feet or toes, as walking will increase the damage. Excessive movement of frostbitten tissue can make it worse. Restrict movement through the use of a sling-type restraint, splinting, or wrapping.
DO NOT put the chicken back outside. If there is potentially for refreezing of an area, do not attempt to thaw, as thawing followed by refreezing can cause even more extensive damage to the area. Place the chicken in supportive care, in a warm environment.
|Treatment Goal #2 - Supportive care||Once the affected tissue is warmed up, gentle wrap the affected area (not too tightly!), if multiple toes are involved, make sure to wrap each toe separately. After wrapping, place the chicken in a quiet, comfortable recovery area that does DOES NOT run the risk of re-exposing them to the cold. Healing time will differ depending on the severity, but may take up to 6 weeks. Provide supplemental vitamins, quality feed, and a constant supply of fresh, clean water.||DO NOT trim the blackened areas. These areas actually protect the remaining, living tissue. Removing the blackened areas can expose the living tissue underneath and increase the risk of infection. |
|Monitor for signs of infection||Signs of infection include swelling, increased redness, blisters that release a foul-smelling discharge||If you suspect an infection, it is best to take the chicken to your nearest veterinarian, who may provide antibiotics for secondary infections and depending on the severity of the injury and health status of the chicken, amputation may be necessary.|
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