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Lump on foot pad...? Please help!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Does anyone know what this is? Any thoughts or advice would be so appreciated! One of my chickens has a small hard lump on her footpad. It doesn't look anything like bumblefoot (doesn't have the typical scab) but feels more like a piece of cartilage...or maybe a wart..? It dosn't look infected but she is limping heavily. I understand that bumblefoot is caused by staph infection that gets into the tissue through a cut. Or can it be more like an internal abcess? Someone suggested penicillin - it didn't work. I've done a lot of research but still don't really know what it is. Thank you everyone!! 



Edited by elaipie - 10/15/15 at 10:39pm
post #2 of 6

You need to provide us with a good close-up photo of her foot pad. Also the top of the foot.


It is possible she has bumblefoot without a black scab on the foot pad. The entrance lesion may have been through the top of the foot, not the bottom. You need to inspect the entire foot very carefully, including the scales.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response. This is the best picture I can get. It's really hard to see but when I touch it it feels like a hard lump. I checked the top of her foot carefully but there is nothing to see. She had bumblefoot a year ago. Could it be that the same spot got re -infected..? It's right under the skin but I am not sure if lancing it is something I want to try...

post #4 of 6

Absolutely! That's what it looks like to me. You may not have completely cleaned out the infection when you treated her last time.


You are going to have to open that up and clean the pus out or you're going to lose her eventually. Meanwhile, it's going to be painful and make her sick.


Try not to be squeamish. You need to do this for her. She'll be a very good patient, I promise you. I can tell you exactly how to do it, and you will be able to take your time and do a good job.


You will need to get hold of some antibiotics and start her on them right away. The infection has probably got a real hold in her system.


What you will do is to get the supplies together you'll need. A sharp pen knife or Exacto-knife or even a razor blade will do. You'll need two tubs of warm epsom salt water Some vet wrap - cut a piece an inch wide and a foot long, bandaids, Vetericyn, and antibiotic ointment. It would help to have some Betadine or generic 10% iodine solution.


When you have the supplies together, the first thing to do is soak her feet in the warm epsom salt water for fifteen minutes. If you settle her in, drape a towel over her back and head so she can't see anything, she's likely to calmly stand there in the water indefinitely. Make it a small basin, though, so she won't drown if she falls asleep.


Next, dry her feet, and wrap her tightly in a towel so she has her head covered and wings are immobilized. Then lay her on her side on a well-lighted operating table. She will be calm and won't move or fuss.


If you have the Betadine or iodine, dip the razor blade in it and coat her foot with it with a Q-tip. Make a one-quarter inch shallow cut across the middle of the swollen area. If you don't hit pus, make the cut a little deeper until pus squirts out. Squeeze out as much pus and any black tissue. If you encounter surrounding tissue that is blackened, you will need to cut it away. Any black tissue left behind will just keep the infection going.


After you've cleaned out the cavity as best you can, return her to the second tub of warm epsom salt for five minutes. Take her out and see if any more diseased tissue can be seen and remove any you see.


Dry her foot well and pack the foot with antibiotic ointment. I like to spray first with Vetericyn spray, then put on the ointment. Place a non-stick bandaid over the ointment, then wrap the foot, not too tightly, with vet wrap. I start at the wound, go around the foot and between each toe, and end up around her shank so the bandage is more likely to stay in place. I let my patients go back to the run with the other chickens because the bandage keeps all dirt from getting in the wound, and they're happier back with the flock. Just check her often to make sure the bandage is still on. If it should come off, soak in epsom salts and re-do the spray and ointment and re-bandage.


Leave the bandage on for three days, and then remove it and check her wound. You may need to soak it again in epsom salt. Repeat the Vetericyn spray and antibiotic ointment and bandage it up again like you did before.


I would check it and repeat this procedure every two or three days until the wound closes and you see healing. The swelling should be decreasing by this time. When you see it's closed up, leave the bandage off and continue to spray with Vetericyn twice a day. She should be on antibiotics for a full ten days.


The hardest part is the cut. After that, it will go smoothly, and I promise you that your patient will not give you any hassle at all.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you soooo much for the detailed description on how to go about this. I'll get all the supplies as soon as I can!
Here a couple more questions. I already had her on a 5-day course of penicillin a week ago. Do you think an additional 10days would be ok? Or should I wait to see how she is healing after I cut it out .. Perhaps she is fine without more antibiotics?
Also is there anything I can give her for the pain?
Thank you again. This has been realky helpful!!
post #6 of 6

If she's already had a full course of an antibiotic, I would hold off on any further dosing pending how she does following surgery. Watch for signs that she may be running a fever, which would be a bright, cherry-red comb, and then start her up again if that should occur.


You can give her aspirin for pain, but this foot surgery shouldn't result in any serious pain for her. If she's in pain from it, she will favor that foot, not wanting to put weight on it, or she will walk with a limp. If you see that happening, go ahead and give her half a baby aspirin twice a day. But none of my chickens that have had foot surgery had any pain from it afterwards.

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