TheChickenEnthusiast

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2021
36
26
44
Hello again!

So, I just thought I'd ask, to be proactive.

Over the last year, I have been battling bumblefoot with my hens. I had to do many mini 'surgeries' to drain the bumblefoot, then I would use hen healer ointments/sprays and wrap their feet/foot.

Around 4 months ago, two of my hens feet swelled between their toes. They had bumblefoot, so I attributed it to that. I did more surgeries, each time draining and removing bumblefoot debris. This went on and off for a few months. At one point, I treated with penicillin and the a few months later a 2 week Baytril dosage. The swelling stayed the same, so did the bumblefoot.

However, a month or so ago, I checked my hens' feet, and the bumblefoot was gone! Swelling still there, but the bumblefoot was gone! The bumblefoot still has not returned to these two hens' feet.

This leads me to my question.....I think my two hens' feet are still slightly swollen, but not horribly....... They are otherwise heathy, except for one hen not laying due to winter/molting. Hen #2 had the worst swelling, and it looks more swollen than usual today..... I don't know if the sudden 30-45 degree weather for the last two days might have affected it..?

I have read sad storied about swollen hen legs, that get so bad, that legs have to be amputated. Do you guys think that this swelling will get worse in the future, and turn into a full blown infection?? Or is it just going to take time for the small swelling to go down? I don't want to treat with antibiotics again..... Or, does her foot look totally fine? I just want to be proactive, and prevent infections that could be life threatening!

Thanks in advance!

PS -Yes, one of my hens has a crooked toe :( I adopted her from a local farmer when she was 6 months old. She is happy and it doesn't inhibit her roosting, walking, running, scratching, etc.
 

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azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,055
40,169
1,232
Colorado Rockies
What you're experiencing following serious bumblefoot cases is something many of us have also seen - swelling persisting long after the lesions have been treated and outwardly healed.

I had a hen I had adopted from a friend's flock after she was the lone survivor of a bobcat attack. She came to me with chronic never-treated bumblefoot. I worked on her foot for two years, probably half a dozen surgeries over that period. I treated her with oral antibiotics, and even broke open penicillin capsules and put it directly on the tissue following surgery. The swelling persisted in spite of everything.

But she got around just fine, and I eventually gave up torturing her, and learned to live with it. I am not a vet, but my conclusion is that the tissue was damaged, had developed some sort of response to the infections and repeat surgeries, and was simply destined never to return to normal.

My suggestion to you is to keep an eye on the feet, but be satisfied as long as new bumblefoot lesions do not appear. I don't believe there is any danger of infection traveling to the foot and leg bones from this residual swelling. The evidence of infection would be limping and other displays of pain response such as sitting often, and pecking at the wound site.

After I decided to let my hen just be, she returned to a normal existence and never showed any signs of pain or infection.
 

m0ther_g00se

Chirping
Jun 3, 2021
90
229
96
Columbus, GA
Something similar to this happened to my Jumbo Pekin duck this year! I treated her for severe bumblefoot, and the bumblefoot part was gone, but the swelling remained. She didn't show any signs of pain or infection other than her toe looking weird, so I left it alone. Even injectable antibiotics (the vet wanted to make sure no infection remained) didn't change the way it looked. It's just weird looking now, nothing more to it.

I'd say as long as it's not causing the bird any suffering, and nothing new appears, leave it alone.

Your call though.
 

TheChickenEnthusiast

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2021
36
26
44
@m0ther_g00se @azygous @ChickenCanoe

Thanks for everyone’s replies!

Yes, I agree with leaving my hen’s feet alone, since they are cured from bumblefoot.

Just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t already an infection, that could grow into something really bad.

I am relieved that other hens have this, and are doing alright!

Here is my other hen’s feet….She had the worst swelling……Earlier this morning it seemed a bit more swollen than usual….But now it seems back to ‘normal’. Her feet do not have bumblefoot by the way.
 

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Jdsergent

Hatching
Nov 22, 2021
2
0
7
What you're experiencing following serious bumblefoot cases is something many of us have also seen - swelling persisting long after the lesions have been treated and outwardly healed.

I had a hen I had adopted from a friend's flock after she was the lone survivor of a bobcat attack. She came to me with chronic never-treated bumblefoot. I worked on her foot for two years, probably half a dozen surgeries over that period. I treated her with oral antibiotics, and even broke open penicillin capsules and put it directly on the tissue following surgery. The swelling persisted in spite of everything.

But she got around just fine, and I eventually gave up torturing her, and learned to live with it. I am not a vet, but my conclusion is that the tissue was damaged, had developed some sort of response to the infections and repeat surgeries, and was simply destined never to return to normal.

My suggestion to you is to keep an eye on the feet, but be satisfied as long as new bumblefoot lesions do not appear. I don't believe there is any danger of infection traveling to the foot and leg bones from this residual swelling. The evidence of infection would be limping and other displays of pain response such as sitting often, and pecking at the wound site.

After I decided to let my hen just be, she returned to a normal existence and never showed any signs of pain or infection.
I’m also struggling with bumblefoot in 3 of my chickens. What antibiotic did you try and where did you get it, dosing, etc? I do not have any avian vets in my area
 

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