Just to be absolutely clear, Tricide Neo is NOT some super antibiotic of doom. It is made of three well-known organic compounds that work well in conjunction-- kind of like triple antibiotic ointment. It should be absolutely fine to eat the eggs, etc. There's nothing systemic going on with food soaks.
Edited by Kazzandra - 7/13/10 at 11:47am
Lookie here are the Wikipedia for all three ingredients:
A buffering agent-- this is what you accidentally deactivate if you don't use distilled water. It's keeping the PH of the water at the right level for the EDTA to work, and helps the Neomycin as well.
It's a chelating agent, meaning it removes the metals from the bacteria that they need to survive. This is what Epsom salt does for Staph infections, but epsom salt isn't quite as effective.
And finally, good ol' Neomycin, which is actually produced by bacteria to defend itself against other species of bacteria.
So you don't need to freak out over it as much as some posters suggest.
In addition, your arsenal should contain Preparation-H, but I just found there are some substantial differences in their formulas. I have been using the Aloe Vera Cream on my chickens, but I think you can use any. The important ingredient is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenylephrine
That's right-- Sudafed!
Pain relief-- not toxic to chickens.
In the regular, instead of using glycerin and white petroleatum, they use mineral oil. And here was the puzzler for me: only the ointment contains shark liver oil, which definitely has beneficial qualities, but I question the decision to buy and use it, personally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_liver_oil
I used Ichthammol for a long time, alternating it on days without soaks, and no doubt it helps and works along similar grounds. I think the Prep H is more quick-acting and effective, however.
Finally, I used triple-antibiotic cream, too:
After my soaks, I would put a dab of both the Preparation-H and Triple Antibiotic, and then I would put on Nettie's shoes. I did the soaks right before they would go to bed (they are so calm and tranquil then) and I also knew that no one would be pulling on the shoes or bandages. I think the Trikcide-Neo water getting trapped in the shoes was a great thing, too, creating a damp environment that softened the callus but stopped bacteria growth.
After a few weeks of every other day treatments and shoe-wearing, I was able to just push out the core of the infection, which was mostly dead and black and shriveled. The hole was bigger than the infection by that time, see.
And these were super-advanced cases, for the most part. The oldest girl, the only chicken that I have ever taken in as an adult had a minor bumble between her toes since she arrived-- for two years that I never noticed, and she spread it during the winter when they were cooped up. I see it now in pictures of her from years gone by and laugh to myself.
She gave it the Brabanter, who had no resistance to Staph, and his feet are the ones pictured earlier, and that was after three months of antibiotics (systemic-- Penicillen, Terramycin, and finally, Tylan) and a few Tricide treatments. I first found out about bumblefoot when I put him down after petting him and he fell down! Four months later, it was still petrified and horrible, and then I found this thread. The third, a Marans, only had the beginnings of it, but it would have been bad without treatment.
I never isolated the birds from their flock-- I just kept an eye on the other's feet. But I think the main thing was that I had fixed the bad perch situation. Just a reminder to everyone-- ROUND PERCHES. If your perches are rectangular lumber pieces, this might be where your problem is coming from. Get rid of the cause, and you're half way done. Make sure you don't have scaly feet mites, either, because they make the PERFECT little holes for staph to get into. Again, the older chicken brought it to all of the rest of my chickens, and I finally got rid of it with Ivermectin treatments.
I keep Nettie's shoes on the chickens that were infected at all times because I understand that their skin is still very susceptible to reinfections from the environment after healing, which makes sense.
If you're vigilant and really want for your birds to get better, it can be done. Stick to it, and your birds will thank you.
Oh, and remember THIS is what you're fighting:
Be aware that your chickens might be showing other signs-- mine were! My Brabanter also had a large carbuncle on his keel-- so look around on their bodies for these.
And I also have a girl with stye in her eye (actually on her Meibomian gland), which is ALSO a staph infection. It might be a permanent cosmic deformity now, though the infection is gone.
And some people might be able to manage the surgery-- good for them. But it is not the only way, and you risk reinfection and laming your chicken if you don't know what you're doing. Being that I've never done minor surgery before, I opted for the 'starve the infection' route. My vet wouldn't do the surgery-- said he was too far advanced, and toes would be lost, no doubt. He gave me Terramycin powder for the flock's water as a consolation, I'm sure.
I've definitely brushed up on my biology and chemistry so that I can take care of my chickens.