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What does frostbite on the feet/legs look like?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My hen has two very blue, swollen toes. She is hobbling on one leg and resting most of the time, although very vigorous in every other way.
  I thought it was infected but a nurse friend thinks it's frostbite. Is the blue color a sign of frostbite or infection?  I will treat it differently depending on what it is (I brought her in my house yesterday in a sick pen so she could warm up and I washed and cleaned her foot and dipped it in betadine).
Please advise...

Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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post #2 of 8

I'm not sure, Maybe broken toes.
We have a banty hen that had severe frostbitten toes.  Her toes were black not blue, and the frostbite killed the nerve cells so she seemed to be walking with no discomfort.
Keep her inside for a couple weeks or so, if it is frostbite the worst thing you can do is put her back out in the cold.  Give her vitamins in her water and keep an eye on her.
If it was severe frostbite the effected toes will fall off on there own.
Hope she gets better

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks for letting me know your hen's symptoms. that's helpful.
Anyone else know what blue toes mean?

Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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post #4 of 8

it's possible she has an injury as AK-Bird-brain suggested..
could be  bruising.
but it could also be the beginning of frostbite.

go ahead and bring her in, and keep her in a small area with feed, water, and some vitamins, so she can have easy access to it and rest the foot...
and see  how she does..
if the toes get worse, or start to get better for a day or so..

the swelling could indicate frostbite, or injury, or infection..
do they feel cold or hot?
if they feel warm, or hot..then it's infected, or inflamed.
give her some plain aspirin..5 (325mg) tablets crushed in 1 gallon of water..
this can  help with pain and inflammation either from injury or frostbite..

do you have any antibiotic on hand if it is infection?
something such as Cipro, or if you have a vet for suitable antibiotic to treat staph.

Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, sammi.  The blue is still there, but the swelling seems to have gone down a tiny bit from this morning.

I didn't know where to get immediate antibiotics for a chicken, so I went to the pet store, in the bird section, and all I could find was a bottle of sulfadimethoxine (15 mg per fluid ounce), but it says a "broad spectrum antibiotic drinking solution for all birds" but it shows tiny birds like parakeets and canaries, so I have no idea if this will help a chicken or if I should double the dosage??  It says it should be given as the drinking water for 5 days, but she'd drink all this in 1-2 days I'm sure. 

Also, does anyone know how long would I have to separate her eggs from the others (so as to avoid eating antibiotic-laced eggs)?  A month? a week?

Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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post #6 of 8

if the swelling is going down..I would hold back on antibiotic..give her the aspirin, good feed and vitamins  and rest the foot.
the med  you mentioned can be used for cocci, and other problems.
but not sure if it is suitable for a staph infection.

is the foot cold or hot?(important)
can  she move the toes?

do you have access to a vet?

are there any feed/farm stores in your area?

if you have no poultry vitamins, you can use Polyvisol childrens' vitamins....3 drops a day on beak, then taper off.

check your medicine cabinet, or ask around for Cipro..
or check your feed/farm store for PenG-procaine..injectible..

you could try soaking the foot in  Epsom salt solution (1 tablespoon per gallon water)..or saline solution...available at any drug store, or..(1/4 teaspoon salt in 1 quart of water, boiled/simmered for 5 minutes and cooled.)


Edited by sammi - 3/2/08 at 7:16pm
Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi Sammi,
Yes, she can curl her toes and stretch the toes out.

She's been resting on her foot all day long (with her belly feathers and body heat over it), so when I touch the foot it's maybe a little warm, but hard to tell -- I wouldn't say it feels cold.

I fed her 2 cooked eggs yolks today, plus 1/4 cup rice, plus her regular feed. She's been resting all day.

We have several feed stores in the area.  I hadn't even thought of taking her to a vet (duh) -- I guess I assumed they wouldn't treat a chicken(!)?

A (people) doctor who stopped over today to look at her wasn't sure what to make of her foot.

I will do the saline soak you recommend, and I will look for Cipro. Would probably be good just to have Cipro on hand anyways, but I will wait another day as you suggest and see if her foot is improving. What amount of Cipro would you give a chicken?

Thanks sooo much. You were very helpful.

Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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Happy owner of 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 guineas, 3 Black Langshan bantams, 6 Buff crosses, 1 OEG cross, 1 Maine Coon cat, and 4 Bourbon Red turkeys!
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post #8 of 8

according to the Merck Veterinary Manual..the dosage for chickens is:

25mg tablet...(25mg/kg)...made into a suspension given BID. 5-7 days.

you'll need to know the weight of your chicken to adjust the dosage if needed.

Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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