Advanced stages of Bumblefoot

maryleo9

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2016
22
1
49
We realized one of our hens, Peep, had contracted bumblefoot a couple weeks ago. I began treating with epsom salt soaks, foot massages, wrapping her feet with antibiotic ointment (which actually seemed to worsen her condition because she stopped walking once the bandages were on). I could not bring myself to slice into her feet. Within a couple days of beginning treatment I noticed red streaks going up her legs. Yesterday she was only using her wings to move around and getting herself stuck in painful looking positions. She hasn't been eating or drinking hardly anything for days.

This morning I was expecting to find her dead in her crate. She was still alive, on her side and had dumped her water. I brought her in, blow-dried her and she's resting in a box in the bathroom. She still won't eat or drink but at least if she passes she'll be more comfortable.

My question is what is...once the infection from bumblefoot starts moving up the legs is there anything we can do to try and stop/reverse the damage? I fear it's too late for my sweet Peep but I want this information for future reference...just in case. Also, best preventative measure besides not to put blackberry branches into the run again? My girls love blackberry leaves but we recently had a bear attack so haven't been letting them out as much so I brought them to them instead. That has resulted in the soon to be death of one of my favorite girls.
 

maryleo9

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2016
22
1
49
I've got some penicillin on hand from our goat that recently passed post-bear attack. Can I use that on a chicken? Can I give it to her orally or does it have to be a shot? She's extremely hard to force feed anything via syringe. I'm always afraid of an animal aspirating (20 years ago had a kitten aspirate from her bottle and die) so I try to avoid the forcing anything by mouth when possible. She almost died 2-3 times last winter while she was healing from a large egg-sized growth near her tail but she was still happy to eat so I was able to get healing herbs, etc into her. This time she's turned down anything I put the immune boosting herbs into...including straight raw eggs which she normally loves.

I don't know of any local vets that really handle chickens...it was hard enough to find one that worked on goats even though I'm in an area where there's lots of goats and chickens. If she's still with us this evening then I can have hubby help me with surgery. Best tool to cut it out with?
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,662
11,146
611
North Florida
Can you post a picture of the penicillin you have? Penicillin injections can be given in the breast muscle. Pictures of the feet would be helpful also. If infection is really bad then an oral antibiotic like enrofloxacin (Baytril) or cephalexin might be better.
https://www.jedds.com/shop/misc/
https://www.allivet.com/p-2389-fish-flex-cephalexin-.aspx?SearchTerm=fish+Auto
Disposable scalpels are available at many tractor supply stores, I mail order mine as I want the finest tip I can get since a birds foot is so small. I also use a curette for cleaning out.
You can also try doing this method (without seeing the foot it's hard to say what is best).
https://www.tillysnest.com/2015/12/non-surgical-bumblefoot-treatment.html/?spref=pi
When I have to give antibiotics I usually mix the medication (if it's tablet/ground or capsule) in a bit of coconut oil, divide into the correct number of doses, and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Then you can give like a pill, goes down easy, little chance of aspiration.
Links to a medicine chart and how to give an injection.
https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/medicine-chart
https://sites.google.com/a/poultryp...oultry-podiatry#chickens_penicillin_injection
 

maryleo9

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2016
22
1
49
Finally got the pictures. One of her feet is all red and inflamed looking now. Wasn't like that before. Since yesterday she's been keeping her toes curled. I did get her to drink about a teaspoon of water and eat a tiny bit of egg...and dropped 3 very fat live mealworms into her mouth.
Penicillin: https://photos.app.goo.gl/hNzWVQSTdmHRjPe87
Her current status. She's dry but hasn't been preening so looks wet. https://photos.app.goo.gl/7Fj3g6guEsnwWTRMA
Her feet:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/sEq5QgJ9oQL9nEcX7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/2Wu7o7cpoWdADSuWA
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,662
11,146
611
North Florida
How old is she? How is her weight/body condition? Has she been eating well? I'm not sure that bumblefoot is the only thing going on. Sometimes it's very hard to tell from the pictures, but the bumblefoot is not the worst I've seen. The non-surgical method I gave you the link for before may be enough to get them cleaned out. You may have to do a LOT of squeezing to get the stuff out, it will be very firm and can take some manipulation sometimes to get it all out. Every foot is different. I always try the non surgical method first, I've actually had to cut only once. The penicillin dose is 1/4 to 1/2 cc daily for 5 days. Instructions on how to do it in the link I gave you before also. There are mixed recommendations for doses in various posts here, others may have different recommendations, there is some concern about the procaine for some birds. I have used as much as 1/2 cc with no issues. Alternate sides of the breast each day. The neck position suggests perhaps some neurological issues going on. Could be infection, or could be another cause. For my bird that I did have to do surgery on the only antibiotic that was effective for him was cephalexin, which had to be given every 6 hours. Penicillin, amoxicillin and enrofloxacin were not effective in his case. That's just extra info to illustrate that every case is different.
 

maryleo9

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2016
22
1
49
How old is she? How is her weight/body condition? Has she been eating well? I'm not sure that bumblefoot is the only thing going on. Sometimes it's very hard to tell from the pictures, but the bumblefoot is not the worst I've seen. The non-surgical method I gave you the link for before may be enough to get them cleaned out. You may have to do a LOT of squeezing to get the stuff out, it will be very firm and can take some manipulation sometimes to get it all out. Every foot is different. I always try the non surgical method first, I've actually had to cut only once. The penicillin dose is 1/4 to 1/2 cc daily for 5 days. Instructions on how to do it in the link I gave you before also. There are mixed recommendations for doses in various posts here, others may have different recommendations, there is some concern about the procaine for some birds. I have used as much as 1/2 cc with no issues. Alternate sides of the breast each day. The neck position suggests perhaps some neurological issues going on. Could be infection, or could be another cause. For my bird that I did have to do surgery on the only antibiotic that was effective for him was cephalexin, which had to be given every 6 hours. Penicillin, amoxicillin and enrofloxacin were not effective in his case. That's just extra info to illustrate that every case is different.
Thank you. She's almost 3 years old but yes, I do feel something else is going on. As I think I stated earlier she developed a strange growth to the left of and below her preen gland late spring last year. For all I know it could have been a cancerous growth. It took until mid-winter with daily cleaning and treatment before it went away fully. She is our one barnyard hatchling and that's why she's a favorite.

Body condition was still pretty good until a few days ago whenage stopped eating and walking around. She's still pretty heavy but muscle tone is already gone in her legs.
 

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