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Mysterious limp with foot swelling

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My 3 year old GLW hen, Ro, had a very difficult case of bumblefoot all summer (this is her story: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1016402/bumblefoot-hole-cant-clear-pus). I thought I had successfully treated, though since I did a lot of "digging" to remove so much pus and infection, her foot pad continues to have a "divot" that I think will be a permanent scar. It does tend to collect dirt in it. This is what it looks like:

 

For the past week or so, she's been noticably limping. Her foot is swollen between her toes, with the swelling on the top of her foot. But there's no obvious heat, cuts, drainage, etc.:

 

 

This morning I gave her an epsom salt foot soak and took a look at the bottom of the foot to be sure there's nothing stuck up under her toes, cut, etc. I couldn't find anything obvious.

 

The lumps between her toes don't look like bumblefoot to me, as there are no scabs/black spots anywhere that I can find on top or bottom of the foot. But it seems like a really big coincidence that this is the foot that had such extensive bumblefoot treatment, and is now sore again.

 

Other than this, she is in good health. Had a very heavy molt in the fall, but grew back a very nice, soft and shiny new set of feathers. Eyes are bright. Appetite is good.

 

She just seems to have a lot of pain in that foot. This morning she didn't want to put weight on it and laid down while the rest were free ranging.

 

Any advice?

Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

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Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

Reply
post #2 of 5

Actually,  those swollen areas between toes are a continuation of the bumblefoot infection. I'm not expert on bumblefoot, but when I have done surgery on one with the infection between the toes, I have lanced those as well as the bottom of the foot. I really squeeze to get out as much puss as I can. I also go under and around the bumble spot in a cone shape to make sure I get all of the core. If you have a regular vet, you could also try some antibiotics, as well as trying to do more surgery. Some warm  epsom salt or betadine soaks to the foot for a few days may also help to get it ready for more surgery.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, @Eggcessive. I wondered if that could be the case- during her bad episode over the summer, between her toes had a very angry looking abcess that did drain after a few weeks of soaks, iodine gels, wrapping, and regular cleaning. But this seems different, it looks like general swelling with no obvious "bumble."If she wasn't so obviously in pain, I'd probably just leave her alone.

 

I'm a bit limited in my ability to continue on with soaks, as our weather is about to take a much colder turn, heading consistently below freezing for the first time this year. I have a couple more days of 50*F weather and can soak a couple times a day, but that's probably going to be it. I have an old school country vet who's willing to see chickens, but I've learned that basically the purpose of going to him is more like going to a pharmacy than a doctor- his physical exams and hands on treatments are pretty limited, but he does consult a book and dispense meds that seem to be in line with what I'd expect by doing my own research. So a trip to see him may be in our future.

Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

Reply

Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

Reply
post #4 of 5


My guess is she may still have some debris or "bumbles" left in the toe areas if they are firm/hard to the touch, soft lumps would suggest swelling or pus. My vet has said that if there is no scab and there is swelling it may be due to aging/arthritis . My hen who has had bumble foot with an obvious scab, after getting the scab off by soaking I massaged the foot for a few days and "things" came out of the lumps on her toes. One was like a bean, it was bizarre. Does she still have a scab on the bottom of her foot? if yes, soak, remove scab and massage the foot in the water, wrap the foot.

 

Good luck  

post #5 of 5

Deacons, I've never had the time or patients for soaking feet. The one time I tried it, the chicken got me soaking wet, it stressed her out, and soaks need to last about 10 minutes to be affective. I ignore bumblefoot until there is limping or the abscesses between the toes, and I then just go ahead and do the surgery. I would probably reopen it, lance the two abscesses, and go from there. Penicillin can treat staph infections, but the oral antibiotics the vet can prescribe would be easier.

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