Goldie The Hen’s Predator Attack

Written by Rebecca L. Gounaris, DVM of Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston

Goldie is a young hen that fell victim to a dog attack. Luckily her owners were able to get Goldie to the ER quickly for stabilization and observation, and once she was stronger, she came to see us for a follow up. We noticed that Goldie had a large wound open over her hip, but thankfully was in great shape otherwise!

Goldie in the ER (left photo) and her dog bite wound (right photo)

Drs. Scott and Becca flushed out the wound well and stitched it closed; they had to do two layers since the wound was under so much tension. Goldie was given pain medication and antibiotics, as recommended for any animal attack.

Goldie’s sutures (left photo), and her in her temporary post-surgical ‘chicken protection sweater’ (right photo)

Chickens have a tendency to pick at stitches, and Goldie was definitely guilty of this habit. While e-collars are helpful, we try to avoid them, if possible, as many animals resent them, and we brainstormed with Goldie’s owner for ideas on how to protect the stitches. Goldie’s owner found “chicken saddles” online, but until they came in, she was able to cut holes into the arm of an old sweatshirt sleeve to serve as a sweater for Goldie so that she could not peck out her stitches!

When Goldie came back for her suture removal in 12 days, the area had healed so beautifully that it was almost impossible to tell where the old wound was, and she was already starting to grow back her feathers! With some great nursing care and a little creativity, Goldie is back out with her flock!

Goldie in her “chicken saddle” (left photo) and what her wound looked like after the sutures were removed (right photo)

About Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston

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Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, located in Fallston, Maryland, is a family-owned, full-service hospital that provides veterinary services for dogs, cats and birds. Their expertise in the field now spans over three family generations, and they are very proud of this unique heritage. The hospital has an in-house laboratory, allowing for rapid diagnostic testing for critical care patients, digital radiography (xrays), surgical suite, and an on-site pharmacy. Dr. Scott Gounaris has been practicing veterinary medicine for 35 years and founded Pleasantville Animal Hospital in 2002. His daughter, Dr. Rebecca Gounaris, now works alongside him, and they approach each case as a team.

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About Dr. Rebecca Gounaris

Dr. Rebecca L. Gounaris is a small animal and backyard poultry veterinarian at Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston in Fallston, MD. She is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her lifetime love for cats and dogs, she has a deep passion for birds and participated in externships at several exotic veterinary clinics during her senior year. She worked for many years at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, DE, where she formed the foundation of her career caring for birds in need. Dr. Rebecca acquired her first flock of chickens in 2019 and has completely fallen in love with backyard poultry. She now has close to 30 chickens (yes, they all have names) that live on her wooded property in PA, where she lives with her husband, Brandon, and baby boy, Ezra. One of her greatest ambitions is normalizing medical care for backyard poultry.

About Dr. Scott Gounaris

Dr. Scott Gounaris graduated from the University of Florida Veterinary School in 1982. His lifetime love for animals drove him to choose veterinary medicine as he wanted to help animals that could not help themselves. Dr. Scott Gounaris enjoys the teamwork that we and the pet owners employ to work together for the welfare of their pets. The greatest reward for him is a positive outcome for his patient and their owners. With over 40 years of experience in the veterinary field, Dr. Scott Gounaris has seen it all. Prior to opening Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, he worked for his father, who was also a veterinarian. Now the father of a recent veterinary school graduate, a current veterinary school student, and a college undergraduate, he has shared his love of the profession with the next generation of Gounaris doctors.