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Bad bumblefoot!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone...looking for some advice. My black sex link has had recurring bumblefoot for months. I had it under control until recently. When she first showed symptoms I was soaking with a chlorhexidine solution and applying neosporin at night. Eventually I tried cutting away at the black scab and adding peroxide and bandages to the treatment. Also tried Betadine. She's got it on both feet - one is worse than the other. The worse foot is swollen and red so I am keeping the bandages off - though I hate to. I'd love some suggestions. My plan of attack is to keep it covered during the day, wash daily with antibacterial soap and apply neosporin. Leaving uncovered at night. Her roost has a cotton sheet wrapped around it so I can change often. Really can't afford a vet visit right now - but will if I have to. Maybe all I have left is internal antibiotics? The black scabs are returning after I remove them. Thanks!!
Henlady

post #2 of 13

You are supposed to pull off the scab and squeeze out the plug of infection in her foot.

Irrigate the hole with an iodine wash - not peroxide.

Pack the hole left with neoporin and bandage it to keep it clean as it heals.

Peroxide damages the tissues. I would suggest soaking the foot in a iodine or betadine solution before and after scab and puss plug removal.

Bumble foot is a staph infection so you need to wear gloves so you don't pass it around, dispose of things properly, boil any utensils you use and practice very precautionary measures.

I hope she gets better for you.

You can help her heal after the procedure by giving her a vitamin boost, putting ACV in her water and offering her treats of yogurt, cook rice, cooked egs and meat scraps.

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post #3 of 13

Hi my friend I am sorry for what you and your friend are going through.  I worked as a wildlife rehabilitator for many years.  We found that bumble foot is almost incurable.  Too many bones articulate on each other.  Even if you used systemic antibiotics  and actually cured all the infection the scar tissue is too great at this time.  It will end up re-infected again and again.  I can predict the outcome here.  You will soon have to make a choice.  Let your friend continue to suffer or end the suffering.   I am sure I can speak for all of us when I say our hearts go out to you.  I care a great deal about my chickens, they all have personalities and provide me great entertainment.   When this is all over let me encourage you to examine your pen, rosts and other inclosure places and find out where the damage is caused. 
  Some times it happens when birds walk on wire.  The perches in the roost may be bumpy.  If they come down off the perch and hit a hard floor.  Its damage to the conective tissue that causes this.  Prevention Prevention Prevention! 
     Good luck

Denial is not just a river in Egypt  3 Welsumers including a roo, 1 Americana, 11 new chicks(some are Wellies, black sex link, and red sexlink), 4RIR , 4 Golden Queens/ Cin Queens, 1 Black Austrolorps Oh and one New Zeland rabbit named "Mrs Bunny Galore".  I eat her children!.

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Denial is not just a river in Egypt  3 Welsumers including a roo, 1 Americana, 11 new chicks(some are Wellies, black sex link, and red sexlink), 4RIR , 4 Golden Queens/ Cin Queens, 1 Black Austrolorps Oh and one New Zeland rabbit named "Mrs Bunny Galore".  I eat her children!.

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post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeksfarmer 

Hi my friend I am sorry for what you and your friend are going through.  I worked as a wildlife rehabilitator for many years.  We found that bumble foot is almost incurable.  Too many bones articulate on each other.  Even if you used systemic antibiotics  and actually cured all the infection the scar tissue is too great at this time.  It will end up re-infected again and again.  I can predict the outcome here.  You will soon have to make a choice.  Let your friend continue to suffer or end the suffering.   I am sure I can speak for all of us when I say our hearts go out to you.  I care a great deal about my chickens, they all have personalities and provide me great entertainment.   When this is all over let me encourage you to examine your pen, rosts and other inclosure places and find out where the damage is caused. 
  Some times it happens when birds walk on wire.  The perches in the roost may be bumpy.  If they come down off the perch and hit a hard floor.  Its damage to the conective tissue that causes this.  Prevention Prevention Prevention! 
     Good luck


It's certainly true that bumblefoot is a tough one to fix permanently. Mine have very soft dirt in their pens, but they freerange over rocky and briar filled woods, so it's impossible to keep them from scraping a foot here and there. My heaviest birds are the ones that have the worst bumblefoot, though I did have one lightweight hen get it in one of her tiny feet. Everything in the coops has been sanded and oiled multiple times, so no issues in there. No one has ever been on wire, but jumping on and off the woodpile and running over rocky ground will keep the bumblefoot train going for the heavier girls. I've heard to cull the ones who get it all the time, but I'd be culling what's left of my original flock plus a couple others. I suppose if I never let them leave the pen, it would eventually clear up for many of them, but I'd rather they range at will during the day.

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Shop our www.blueroocreations.com web store, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran.

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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thankyou everyone for your suggestions. I have lowered my roosts recently. Now that it's getting cold and dark early they won't be free ranging during the week. I'm not ready to give up yet wink Miss Prissy I'll do exactly what you suggested and let you know what my results are. Thanks again!

post #6 of 13

Unless the infection goes into the bone, bumblefoot can be sucessfully treated following Miss Prissy's instructions.

The main thing is to keep the foot bandaged as much as possible following surgery.  Otherwise the foot is open for more infection.  It can take a long time before the foot pad/toe etc. is back to normal.

I am constantly battling bumblefoot.  All the roosts are low, shavings are in the coop and sand is in the runs.  However, staph bugs are everywhere and the least cut can cause bumblefoot.

Carla
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Carla
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post #7 of 13

Carla is correct, it is curable, though some will have a harder time than others healing up. I've battled this, like Carla, for over a year.

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Shop our www.blueroocreations.com web store, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran.

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post #8 of 13

We put Grapefruit Seed Extract in water for the soak. It works marvels on staff infections.

We have a young hen with who developed serious bumblefoot in both feet last summer (the top of her foot was involved, her leg swelled up, etc). Although at first we planned on isolating her from the others and letting her only have water with antibiotics, she looked so miserable we changed our treatment plan. In a way, we let it heal naturally, with as little interference as possible. About the same time one of our older hens developed it too. Because I have mobility issues and dh is only available on weekends to help, they were treated once a week. Each Sunday night he would bring them into the house and he would softly cluck to them while holding them down for me while I would unwrap their feet, remove the scab and infection, pack with neosporin and wrap it back up. Each week the infection was less and less.

The older hen only needed a few bandage changes before she healed. The younger one with the worst infection took months but
A few weeks ago we changed the last bandage. I'll check her once a month or so to see if it returns.

Now, perhaps if we had changed bandages daily it would have healed more quickly but I also wonder if letting it rest between treatments allowed the nature to repair the damage and isolate the infection. It got to the point that the 'cheese' just popped out when the weekly scab was removed.

Eccentric old crone, village herbalist, wife and mother to 4 great kids; 2 curious grandsons; and owned by 10 lazy cats (including Lazarus, our miracle); 1 African Gray; 3 muscovies; a pond full of gold fish and far too many chickens to count!
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Eccentric old crone, village herbalist, wife and mother to 4 great kids; 2 curious grandsons; and owned by 10 lazy cats (including Lazarus, our miracle); 1 African Gray; 3 muscovies; a pond full of gold fish and far too many chickens to count!
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I had great success last night! One foot is nearly cured so I'm just concerned with her left. I soaked it in warm soapy water and separated the dime-sized scab from the outer tissues. Then tried to pull it out. It's the size of a marble!! Ended up cutting it with scissors, which didn't seem to hurt her at all. But when I got to the deeper half she was kicking me away and I did see some blood. I irrigated with Betadine and put Neosporin in the hole, then bandaged. Tonight I'll try to extract the rest of it. The pus is hardened and seems to fill most of her foot pad - I'm concerned that I will yank out good tissue. Perhaps it'll be more obvious where the pus ends and tissue starts once i'm in there. What an ordeal! I'm excited though. We're on our way to two healed feet!!
I can't thank you enough for your great advice. And I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one dealing with chronic bumblefoot in my flock. I try hard to keep them healthy. Getting vitamins for the water today.

post #10 of 13

I found that weekly works well for me as long as the foot stays bandaged.

I released two this week, still treating one, and have one new one.  It also seems to go in cycles.  No bumblefoot for a while, then I find two or three.

The worse case I had was a wheaten EE hen.  The infection went into her ankle joints and was rampant in her feet.  I finally had the vet put her down.  She was never going to get better. sad

Carla
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Carla
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