Bumblefoot or Abscess?


In the Brooder
6 Years
May 20, 2013
Hi everyone:

I don't post much on this forum, but it was a lifesaver to me when I first started raising my birds and I'm calling on you all again.

One of my ducks started limping around about 3 days ago, but i didn't notice anything when I looked at her legs, maybe a little swelling but nothing significant. Anyway, yesterday, she was holding one foot up and would not put any pressure on it to walk and preferred to just laze around the pond. When I inspected her foot, there was a HUGE, hard lump, about the size of a marble, with a black center (scab) on the top of it. After looking around, it looks like she has bumblefoot.

I watched a video of how to do "surgery" on bumblefoot. However, her surgery didn't quite go the same as the video showed. The black part came off easily, and then I was able to get out some really dry, cottage-cheese style white lumps. However, there is still a lot of "stuff" (greyish in color) inside the wound. I don't want to cut or scrape too deeply because, well, I don't know what the heck I'm doing!

I've been soaking in salt and water, putting peroxide on it, loading it with antibacterial ointment, and then bandaging her with gauze and vet-wrap tape.

She did try walking a bit more today but I'm concerned that i didn't get the "plug"??? Should it look like a big gaping hole with absoultely nothing inside???


It will take several days for the wound to close up. Be patient. Change the bandage/wrap every day or if it gets wet. If you are keeping it clean, and adding something like a Bacitracin ointment, it will take care of itself. You should see some healing gradually taking place but it may be a couple weeks before she can go without a bandage.
So far so good. At this point, please consider what Haunted55 discovered last year. You may want to try this

On July 1st, I found one of my Pekin ducks with what I would consider a bad case of Bumblefoot. Both feet were involved and I'm ashamed to say, the only way I found it was she was limping. One foot had 7 and the other had 3. I was able to grab her and bring her into the house and put her into a warm bath to clean and soak. Two water changes later and softened feet, all I had time to do was paint the bumbles with colorless iodine, grabbed the wrong stuff, and put her into a dog crate in my house until I could get everything ready to operate and get them gone. Did I mention the thought of this scared me half to death?

Sad to say it took 6 days before i was able to get everything together and someone to help out with the 'cure'. The following pictures are what we found after the bath we gave before the planned surgery to remove these things.

As can be seen, there really wasn't much to operate on, even though I was prepared to do just that. No matter how much squeezing or prodding or soaking, there just wasn't anything more to come out, it was all on the scabs that were covering the sores. The swelling was down from the 'marbles' I saw when I first found them. I poured betadine over the ones I had opened and painted the ones that I hadn't again with the iodine and put her back into her crate with clean bedding.

the next pictures are of the same Pekin and anothe duck, Dottie the Mallard, who was also found limping.

As can be seen in the first two pictures, the bumbles have been dramatically reduced on the Pekin with just the iodine application and the smaller ones totally gone. The last four pictures are of the Mallard who is still under going the iodine applications.

As can be seen, this is how the left and right foot look tonight on the Pekin duck. The heels being the worst are still showing infection and need for more treatment. tomorrow, I will again give a bath and pull/cut out the scabbing and treat with straight iodine this time. These spots are now flat or as flat as they should be considering the part of the foot they are on. I will still touch up the places that had the spots before as well.


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