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Broken toenails, swollen toes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My guinea hen has broken toenails on a couple of toes which were packed with mud/dirt and the toes are swollen. She was getting around and eating fine but she does certainly move around less than she used to. We checked for the bumble foot scab but found nothing. After soaking her feet in warm water and epsom salts we scrubbed the dirt away and found she does still have nails (stubs) but they look to have snapped off right at the toes. We let them free range whenever they want including in the snow; we have had some crusty crunchy snow in the past month when they were out, maybe she snapped then off? The toes are hard and a bit warmer than the others and I think there is slight redness around them so I suspect infection... I'm not sure where to start trying to dig out an infection or if it's even possible (like with bumble foot)?? There seems to be nothing wrong on the bottom of the foot, all the hard swelling is on top. We wrapped her toes up with antibiotic ointment and separated her for now. Any help would be greatly appreciated![IMG][IMG][IMG]

Edited by wooded acres - 3/20/16 at 12:28pm
post #2 of 10
I've had a few of my Guineas lose the whole nail a few times. They have always done pretty well on their own, with the exception of one which bled quite a bit. I put some styptic solution on it to stop the bleeding. Other than that, they have been pretty resilient. Each time, though, The affected Guinea would hobble around for 3 to 4 days from the time of injury until they would walk on it well again. It sounds like your doing all the right things with keeping it clean and applying antibiotic cream. How long has it been since they were injured?
post #3 of 10
Sorry to reply twice, but after looking at your pictures a little better, I noticed the toes were more swollen than I thought at first. Can you squeeze the toe and express any fluid, puss, etc around the nail? I'm wondering if it is infected. Treating infections in birds is beyond my expertise, but in the case of other animals and people, sometimes infections like that need to be drained and treated with antibiotics......just a thought.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was assuming they are infected bc they are so swollen. Once we got them cleaned up and looked around the toenail began to bleed, but not a lot. It certainly wasn't a clean break and there was a lot of mud packed into them.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is it possible that she could have contacted bumble foot through the broken toe nails? I had to let the male's into the coop for the night... They're pretty calm and I don't think they'll bother her although if they roost she'll probably (try?) too. I'm willing to try the suggested 'surgery' for bumble foot, I just don't want to do more damage than good; from what I've read/seen so far you normally cut on the bottom side of the foot but as I said the bottom looks fine and I'd hate to cause her undue pain! I don't think I can access anything thru the nail bed bc there is actually nail inside... Any suggestions???
post #6 of 10
To me, the pictures don't look like bumble foot. I think there is typically more of an abcess and/or large round stabbed over area instead of generalized swelling on the toes. She may need a more broad spectrum antibiotic or systemic antibiotics rather than just a topical one applied to its foot. Has it improved any with keeping it clean and applying antibiotic cream?
post #7 of 10
How is your guinea's foot doing? Has it improved any?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guineapeeps,
Sorry, had a household bought of the stomach flu over here :-/

We left her feet wrapped for 2 days (both are affected) and it looks like one toe is a bit less swollen. We soaked her feet again and scrubbed them better so there was no remaining black and removed what seemed to be some loose hanging toenail shards. It bled a bit but she didn't seem to be in too much pain. We applied more antibiotic ointment and wrapped her up again and kept her in the pen.
I noticed one of the boys has a couple slightly swollen toes, although he has toenails just, very short though, say 1/4 inch. He is walking fine and it didn't seem to bother him but I can tell that his nails are closed. The female looks like they were hollow or something so when they snapped it exposed the inside of her nail? We are going to check them again in the morning to see if the swelling has decreased at all. I'm just worried something may have been jammed up inside the one middle toe; I wouldn't begin to know how to remove it and there are no chicken vets around us that I know of :-/

Thanks for checking in!! I'll let you know more tomorrow.
Edited by wooded acres - 3/24/16 at 5:38pm
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi again! Sorry, the holiday weekend was crazy trying to get down to visit family and such. I wasn't able to get a new pic but the swelling seems to be going down just a little, the one toe is still really big and hard tho. 2 of the toenails are growing back and the 'wound' had completely closed. We're going to give her another soak tomorrow morning. We've been wrapping and kept her in the coop for 8 days now. She doesn't seem to mind not getting to go out, doesn't try to get out if i leave the door unhooked while getting water. Today after I put her back in she flew up to the roost; that's a first since we started this whole treatment. Still the middle toe has shown little improvement :-/
post #10 of 10
Sorry to hear she is not all better, although it sounds like she is more active, at least. I wish I had more advise....we don't have any chicken vets here either, so I just kind of wing it. I had a Guinea hen that broke her foot last year and didn't know what to do about it. I just nursed her along and this year she is finally walking again, just not like a normal guinea (she walks on her leg bones, so waddles very close to the ground). So far this spring, she is keeping up with the others.🙂 Luckily, Guineas are fairly resilient! I hopes she continues to improve. Keep us posted on how she does. Good luck!
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