bumblefoot??? help please!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by wjallen05, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
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    I noticed today that one of my Leghorn hen's feet looked like THIS:

    [​IMG]

    I have heard of bumblefoot but never had to deal with it before and don't know much about it. I looked it up and now I am FREAKING OUT. I read that it is caused by E. Coli bacteria... well I was hospitalized for a week last year with E. Coli (worst pain I've experienced in my life and I've been through natural child birth which was pleasant in comparison) so I am scared to death of it as you can imagine. Her foot is swollen and hot to the touch. Honestly, I am scared to handle her. I took her out and separated her from the rest. Do I need to worry about anything else? Also, is it safe to eat her eggs (assuming she laid today or yesterday, etc, but I do not know which eggs belong to her since I have 8 Leghorns)
    TIA....
     
  2. Slater1995

    Slater1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Could she have stepped on a bee?
     
  3. Slater1995

    Slater1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Could she have stepped on a bee?

    Here is some information I found on Bumblefoot.

    Bumblefoot!
    Submitted by KT on Fri, 08/08/2008 - 22:23.
    Switters, one of my Rhode Island Reds, has had a round scab on the bottom of her right foot for a few weeks now. I soaked and cleaned her feet many times, but the scab showed no signs of clearing up, and a slight pink color had now developed around the edges. I then noticed a very tiny round scab on the bottom of her other foot, and decided that I needed to get her feet healthy right away before it got serious. I used to work at a bird of prey center, so I am very familiar with bumblefoot, which can be a serious foot problem in birds if not treated.

    According to Farm Animal Shelters, bumblefoot is: "...a localized infection in the foot causing bulbous swelling of the footpad and surrounding tissue. It can affect one or both feet, and can affect one or many members of the flock. Bumblefoot is an infection that is caused by an injury to the ball of the foot. As the infection progresses, the lesion enlarges and the ball of the foot and tissue between the toes becomes enlarged and swollen. There is usually a round scab on the base of the foot that, when removed, will allow pus to be drained from the foot. If caught early, the foot can be treated with wraps and antibiotics may not be necessary."

    The injury to the ball of the foot can come from a thorn or other sharp object in the soil, or a bird being overweight and having too much pressure on the foot. I think in the case of Switters, the cut on her foot was caused by a goat head, which is a seed pod that plagues both feet and bike tires here in Albuquerque. This thorny seed is tetrahedral in shape- so no matter which way it lands, there is always a spike sticking straight up. I assume that Switters got one in her foot, and it just never healed. If this scab/injury was going to get worse and turn into bumblefoot- we caught it at the right time. Her foot was not yet swollen and she showed no signs of limping, but I did not want to take any chances. There are a variety of ways to treat this issue, but here is what I did:

    I soaked her feet for 15 minutes in warm water and epsom salts to get off the dirt and loosen the scab.
    I then layed her on her side in my lap, which gave me access to the bottoms of her feet. I patted her feet dry, and then picked off the scabs. To my surprise, the scabs came off easily- and there was no puss or bleeding. It appeared that a thin layer of skin had already begun to form underneath (this is a good thing, as a bumblefoot scab when picked is usually quite pussy). I palpated her feet once the scabs were removed, and I did not feel any had masses or lumps which is also a good sign.
    Although her feet (post scab) looked better than expected, I still decided to proceed as planned to clean and wrap her feet. I wiped her feet down with some diluted iodine, and then I applied Staphaseptic, a non-antibiotic antiseptic (bumblefoot is caused by a staph infection).
    I then wrapped her feet with a non-stick vet wrap, and put her inside the house in a soft bottom cage with a variety of perches.
    I plan to keep her bandaged for 24 hours, and then I will unwrap to check on her feet. If they still look good, then I will apply more antiseptic and leave the wraps off. In a few days I will put her back outside after she has developed a thicker skin where the scab was. Maybe I could have left it alone, but the scab had been there for over 3 weeks (at least that is when I noticed it), and it showed no signs of improving. I just wanted to be on the safe side and not have it turn into a major problem. I will leave some updates over the next few days.

    Here are some links to check out related to bumble foot as well as general leg and foot health care for chickens.

    Leg and Foot Disorders in Domestic Fowl, Virginia Cooperative Extension
    Link to a forum topic on Backyard Chickens about bumble foot. Note: the first picture shows a scab that is very similar to what Switters had, although the one switers had was larger and thicker.
    Here is another really good reference on BYC about bumble foot.
     
  4. arkansaschicks

    arkansaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    little rock
    I had the same problem with one of my girls. Her foot was so swollen it felt like a rock. she never walked on it. We soaked the foot in warm water and that helped. Put a cup of epsom salt in a pan of hot water. make sure the water is hot but doesnt burn your hand.hold the chickens foot in the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Dont let the bird drink the water!! if you can remove the scab and try to open the wound by pulling it apart at the wound edges rather than squeezing it. Rinse it in hydrogen peroxide and gently clean out any pus. We bandaged it up after to keep out infection
     
  5. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    There is a good link on here on how to treat bumblefoot. I did it and it worked. Bumblefoot is Staph infection. Use gloves and you'll be fine. Just don't put the chicken back in with the others until it is better because they pick on the weak.
     
  6. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    a bee? you think? there are lots of wasps and yellow jackets around (and bees too). There are also a lot of ants in the coop eating their food (not in their bowl though) but.... ????

    I don't see any scabs on her foot.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Slater1995

    Slater1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    That black spot right in the middle is the scab.
     
  9. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    That black spot right in the middle is the scab.

    maybe, I checked earlier and I thought it was just dried sand/dirt/feed/etc. I'll go check again.​
     
  10. Slater1995

    Slater1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Could she have stepped on a bee?

    Here is an excellent page that gives Antiobiotic suggestions and dosages.

    http://www.firststatevetsupply.com/poultry-health/bumblefoot.html

    BUMBLEFOOT
    By: Peter J. Brown, First State Veterinary Supply, Inc.

    I field many calls over the course of the year concerning that large bulbous growth on the bottom of the chickens foot. Bumblefoot as it is called is usually caused first by an abrasion to the skin of the foot pad and then an infection sets in causing the large growth on the bottom of the chickens foot. It doesn’t have to be a wide open cut just a small scrape or light abrasion to the foot pad will be enough to cause a problem. Most cases of bumblefoot involve the following bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli, Corynebacterium spp., and Pseudomonas spp. Once the infection takes hold in a matter of days the foot and or foot pad becomes swollen and is somewhat reddened and may be hot to the touch. The above mentioned bacteria that cause Bumblefoot are extremely aggressive and can and do infect humans. You would be wise to handle these birds with latex rubber gloves and be sure to wash your hands and change and wash your clothes before handling healthy birds.

    Bumblefoot is preventable for the most part. Make sure that all roost poles or roosting areas are free from sharp objects such as,nails, screws,broken glass,jagged metal edges or other sharp objects that may cause an injury to the foot or foot pad. Make sure roost poles are not to high for the birds to jump down from so that they wont injure their feet or legs and cause an infection to get started. Even a rough roost pole can be enough to cause enough injury to the foot pad of the right bird and start a case of Bumblefoot. Over weight birds may be more susceptible as bearing excess weight on the foot pad together with a rough surface to stand on may cause injury to the foot pad and allow an infection to get started. Concrete floors can also be a problem if a bird is allowed to spend a lot of time on one or in an area where there are a lot of sharp edged stones.

    The key to treating Bumblefoot is to catch it early. If the foot is swollen but is still soft to the touch you will stand a very good chance of curing the problem with antibiotics alone. If the foot swells and goes unnoticed generally the swollen area will become as hard as a rock and no amount of antibiotics will take the swelling completely away. The only alternative at this point will be surgery. Surgery can be successful if done carefully and properly. Antibiotics should be give for 5 to 7 days before surgery and until the surgical area is healed. Before beginning surgery the entire foot area and lower leg should be throughly washed and cleaned. Disinfect the area with a controlled iodine solution. Do not use pure iodine as it will burn the tissue and make the bird real uncomfortable and will slow the healing process. You can use a numbing agent such as ambesol to partially numb the area before making your incision. Make your incision with a new scalpel and just go slowly and avoid any tendons and blood vessels and slowly make your incision across the affected area making sure that you keep the incision as small as possible. Control bleeding with blood stop powder and by applying finger pressure to the upper part of the leg. Remove all of the hard pus material from the incision and flush it out with saline solution then apply some triple antibiotic ointment directly into the wound and suture or use gauze and adhesive tape to close the wound. It will heal faster and stay cleaner if the bird is not allowed to directly stand on the surgical area. In this case a cast can be made from just about any material that you may have around the house. Be innovative as long as it doesn’t add to the problem. In some cases a halved tennis or racquetball attached to the foot will do the trick. Change the dressing on the foot daily for the first week and then every other day or so as long as the wound is healing well.

    If you are treating with antibiotics and not doing surgery the antibiotics of choice would be the following: Lincomycin 50 to 100 mg per bird per day for 7 to 10 days,or Doxycycline 50 to 100 mg per bird per day for 7 to 10 days,or amoxicillin at the rate of 250 mg per bird per day for 10 to 14 days and in some cases 500 mg per bird per day may be necessary but give it twice per day for 10 to 14 days. Cephalexin capsules work well in soft tissue and should be given at the rate of one 250 mg capsule once or twice per day for 7 to 10 days. After successful treatment all birds should receive probiotic in the drinking water for 7 to 10 days or until droppings return to normal.

    If you have any question about this article or any other health issue, please feel free to contact Peter Brown at 1-800-950-8387.
    This thread and its contents are the property of Peter Brown and firststatevetsupply.com. Please do not link to this article from another site without posting full credits to both firststatevetsupply.com and the Author, Peter Brown.
     

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