Awful bumblefoot surgery

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Qi Chicken, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Well we finally did it, and I have to say I don't think it went well.

    Started out ok, soaked the foot and big scab there. Had a small scalpel from the vet. cut around the scab and popped it off. I don't think I went far enough outside of the scab, I just went around the margins. Anyway, got the scab off, and some pus came out. Dug around in there for what seemed like hours (about 40 mins actually) Never did find a PLUG. Got some goop out but had a hard time deciding what was goop and what was foot. It seemed like the manicure scissors worked the best. She obviously felt pain and was just absolutely shaking at the end. So was I for that matter. We both finally had enough so I squirted a bunch of antibiotic cream in there and wrapped it up.

    So to those who have done this, is there always a plug? Does it come out in one piece? How will I know if the surgery was unsuccessful?

    The hen has really been isolating herself the last 2 weeks. This came up suddenly at least from a behavior perspective. She also has no feathers on her back. I think the rooster is trying to get rid of her. I was going to keep her isolated until she gets some feather growth and her foot has healed.

    1 person likes this.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am sorry you both had to go through this. You will be able to tell if the surgery was a success with in a few days. If the foot gets swollen and hot then you know you missed something and she is going to need an antibiotic. Since she is going to be separated you should take the opportunity to do some warm water and epsom salt soaks on the foot. That will help it heal faster and may draw out any infection before it can take hold.

    I know you probably don't feel this way, but NICE WORK! It takes some fortitude to cut into a live bird in an effort to heal them. It may not have gone perfectly smoothly, but hopefully it is done and over with.

    Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  3. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    I empathize totally with you! I, too, was shaking like a leaf when I did it. In my case, I found 5 or 6 "plugs" and no, they didn't really come out like some nice hunk of stuff - they were like a small uneven mass but had little bits of connective tissue on them so I really had to pull. My girl didn't have any pus or cottege cheesy stuff either like a lot of people describe. I think it all probably depends on what stages the infection(s) is(are) in. I did have to go it a second time as I felt a plug that I didn't get the first day. My girl didn't show the signs of stress yours did though... I had mine wrapped gently in a towel, and a lightweight sock over her head. My husband held her on her side.

    Hang in there! It's very difficult to do and you did well! Keep those soaks up!! Oh, and I did see a post here yesterday about Nolvasan - it's a antibacterial, antiviral, etc. liquid you can put in water as a soak - Do a search for posts yesterday with that in it. I haven't used it, but it was interesting and recommended by someone's vet. Might help!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    You did the best you could, and that's being a good chicken owner! Hope her foot heals well!
  5. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    You did well. I did this surgery on an EE and a Delaware last fall and about passed out. If my daughter hadn't been here, I would have been in a heap on the floor and the chickens would have been in the sink wrapped in towels.

    We didn't find but one plug on the 3 feet that were involved. That said, they are healing. the EE still had the dark spot on her foot, but there isn't any swelling, and we did it twice on her. I just can' t put her through it again. The Del is completely clear, and the EE has one dark spot left. If her foot starts swelling again, I'll just have to make a decision whether to cut on her again. It was quite stressfull for all of us.

    Good luck. I hope your girl heals well. Have you figured out the cause? I had a protruding screw from the ramp (BAAAD chick mommy) that I had missed when constructing the thing. I actually had 3 chickens with injuries, but the third responded to soaking in Tricide Neo without having to do surgery. I also used vetericyn on the roost around their feet after they were settled until the weather got too cold to be soaking feet in liquid.


  6. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    Qi Chicken I had the exact and I mean EXACT surgery as you explained last night on our blue cochin hen I got from a friend who was sending her to market because she wasnt show quality. ugggg perhaps I should have left her go! Naaaa I still did the right thing, but my hubby says if the other birds get it "staph" I am in deep "crap"! I am going to take her bandage off and soaker in empson salts again tonight and then have another look. I think I didnt cut around the "plug" enough too but omg that would be a gaping hole! I could feel hardness inside with the tweezers but I couldnt pull anything or push anything out!!! frustrating and my hen DID TWITCH once or twice in pain!!! I felt intimidated (not sure thats a word for it) and my hubby holding her was not helpful with his worry over the hen (that he was MAD I got her in the 1st place!) silly men! as soon as I had her bandaged and put her in her temp dog crate she gave me a good look at, moved her foot up and down several times and dipped her head to eat! ANY SUGGESTIONS?
  7. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    I am so sorry for both of you. It pains me to read these posts. Unless you feel very confident about it and know a lot about bumblefoot and foot anatomy, I think it is best to have a vet do these surgeries. 40 minutes is a long time to be digging into an animal's foot with no anesthetic, and as you saw, it was clearly agony for her.

    Bumblefoot occurs with varying degrees of severity. There is not always a hard plug, and if there is not one, thensimply soaking with TricideNeo can be curative. It was in my case.

    If her foot swells up again, it does not necessarily mean you did not get it all, or that there was a hard kernel in there. It could mean that you introduced bacteria during surgery, causing post surgical infection. Surgery requires careful attention to sterile technique.

    I hope you and your bird recover fully - Good luck!
  8. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    I did call the Vet and talk to him! Then I called another! All I got was "your chicken has what'? not sure if we do that......wait I will get the doc" finally I asked how much? and I got well not really sure! Not really sure??? uggggg

    We searched online and searched read and read and read and watched as many videos as there was. We purchased all the santitary supplies at CVS as well as the Ag Center we laid clean cloths everywhere and had a more steril environment than a vet. I was EXTREMELY confident with that end, with our chosen tools and solutions. After researching and noticing how often this can happen, its something every backyard chicken keeper should know how to do. But there are so many different "suggestions" its overwhelming!!!

    Fingers crossed when we open her bandage, she is a happy clucker this morning though! Thanks for your thoughts!
  9. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    LOL I reread my post. I am certainly not yelling, sorry it looks like it.... darn this symbol (!!!!!!!) he he he

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