bumblefoot surgery doesnt appear to be working, and almost killed one!


8 Years
Mar 31, 2011
I have 4 hens with bumblefoot, I did the surgery last week on all of them, no problem with the scabs popping out, and all that. The 3rd hen I did however, when one of the scabs popped out (and I wasnt digging around) started bleeding profusely, the others had little to no blood. She bled, for about an hour and a half, I kept pressure on it, held her upside down to elevate the foot. I really thought she'd bleed to death. I finally gave up trying to stop it, wrapped it and put her in a small cage, and decided to just check on her later. Anyway, it did stop, finally, but now its got the huge black scab again, on both feet as before, Im scared to do the surgery again on her, after last time. I see almost noone uses antibiotics, no vets around will see any chickens. Any advice? All of my chickens feet are still swollen, some are limping less, but this doesnt appear to be working.

I thought Id ad the steps Ive taken so far...

1) bumblefoot surgery, cleaned with peroxide, packed in antibiotic ointment, and wrapped
2)fed them chopped up boiled egg
3) added electolytes and vitamins to their water
4)bleached, cleaned coop, checked for sharp objects, splintered spots (found nothing)

Do I just keep doing this stuff?
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8 Years
Mar 31, 2011
I have not been able to locate any amoxicillian (which is the one antibiotic Ive seen mentioned), but I do have some terramyacin...

HorseFeatherz NV

Eggink Chickens
10 Years
May 12, 2009
Sierra Foothills of Reno, NV
I am no expert...............

I would let their feet heal for atleast a week before doing anything more invasive - like cutting again.

I would soak their feet in warm epsom salts and keep wrapping them to keep them clean.

I have done one surgery (ok, three on one bird)............did not "work" for me either, or my girl just has a cronic case of it
(told you - no expert


8 Years
Mar 31, 2011
LOL, ok, so Im not the only one, expert or no, I greatly appreciate the input of anyone else dealing with it, so thanks for responding.
Does it get spread to the rest of your flock? Thats my concern, if it were something that would just be an issue with one, I guess I wouldnt worry that much, but since 4 already have it. I dont know what to do, I dont want my entire flock infected. Do you keep her away from the others? These are all laying hens, and now Im wasting tons of eggs, throwing them all away, even from uninfected hens, because I dont know who laid what. I dont really want to build a 2nd coop, just for infected birds.


8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
North Idaho
i have one chicken that i think has bumblefoot its swollen at the pad (could have been caused by my goats they love to step on ANY feet) this surgery your talking about... could you explane it to me?


Goddess of Good Things
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
Joliet, IL
I've done this bumble foot surgery with a vet first and then on my own. I will share my experience with you and you can take it from there.

My vet and I have a very good relationship and I have assisted him in non-anesthetic surgeries before and he says I wrap better than he does.

When the vet and I were digging around, he knicked an arery ( he thought) since it pumped out blood in hard squirts that hit the wall, ceiling and us. It was just a small knick but it pumped a lot of blood. My bird was dry at the time. If you had your bird wet and near running water it would appear more life threatening.
I held pressure for about 5 minutes and the bleeding did not stop, the circulation in my fingers did but not my girl's bleeding foot.
He packed it with a vaselive type of substance similar to neosporin, closed the wound with 4 stitches, and at this time it was still bleeding profusely.
He had me put a pressure bandage on it as I wrap better than he does. He sent me home with scalples, suture and anitbiotics to use if nesc.
For the next 3 weeks I changed the bandage 2 times a day.
Each changinging, the foot was soaked in a solution of betadine and water 1 part to 10 parts and the neosprine put back on and the bandage renewed. (After the first 3 days there was no need for pressure bandaging.)
The scab was big and black for the first 2 weeks. It looked horrible like it was never going to heal. Lolita favored her foot very much.
I thought we had not gotten all the infection because of a hard lump I could feel. This lump later disapeared and I know not what it was. It could have been anything from infection to internal structure.
I started leaving the bandage on for a full day without changing at 3 weeks.
Then I left it on for 3 days each time.
Then I left it on for a week with just checking the circulation was good.
She no longer wears it and it would be hard to tell which foot it was.

Keep things clean and sanitary. I never used the oral antibiotic. Lolita's a happy healthy hen. Good luck.


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
I would recommend soaking the foot in epsom salts and gently rubbing the scab off. It is much less invasive than surgery but it works just as well. You might have to soak them a few times to get all the infection out.


8 Years
Mar 31, 2011
I did read that thread...thats how I knew how to do the surgery. I just cannot believe after the size of the hole in the one foot, and everything, that 3 days later, it looks just like it did before, like I never even did it.

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