Bumblefoot surgical removal (advice needed on result)

KittyKat3756

Songster
5 Years
Aug 16, 2014
157
36
109
Norfolk, UK
I received an older cockerel a few days ago who arrived with bumblefoot (confirmed by me and another experienced chicken keeper).

He came off a farm, so the previous owner cannot tell me exactly how long it's been there for. Suffice to say, looks like it's been a while.

To treat, I soaked his foot in warm salt water, at which point some of the scab came off. Then wrapped him up and cut out/pulled out all the black looking flesh that I could see and get to. Cleaned, dried, put Savlon on (antisceptic, active ingredients are cetrimide and chlorhexidine gluconate), bandaged and put him out. He's on clean bedding in the coop and run with a raised mesh floor while he's in quarantine and needs to have dry feet.

[Side note: I find raised mesh floor over grass to be quite effective for confinement as the poo drops through the floor and the chickens have their feet always dry. They are, under normal circumstances, free ranging.]

The thing is, this does not look like any other case of bumblefoot that I've personally experienced. When I've previously seen cases if it, it's come away as a plug to leave a neat hole in the foot. In this case, it came away more as a scab and I'm not sure if there's any infection still left in the foot.

Here is how I left it after cleaning before bandaging:
IMG_20181204_214540395.jpg


Opinions needed. Did I get everything out? Is it ok to leave him to heal over from that?

My plan is to keep changing the dressing and applying Savlon.

Before anyone points out the ridiculously long claws and generally icky condition of feet, I'm working on that. He arrived with 1" claws and I trimmed them down already, will do another pass in a week or so. I can't see exactly where the quick ends because they're quite thick and somewhat deformed so taking it slowly and hoping that a better environment will help with the issue as I've never had a problem with any of my lot.
 

Cragg Klefor

Crowing
Apr 14, 2017
912
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County Kilkenny, Ireland
Hi KittyKat!
I can see why you are asking about the possibility of remaining infection, the poor chap's feet look so sore. What does the top of that foot look like? I'm wondering is the infection gone right through- I know it can happen, I don't know whether or not it looks different from the more commonly seen cone :idunno Are there more scabs on his toes? The poor fellow!
and I'm sure you're aware he seems to possibly have scaley leg mites..just felt it should be mentioned in case.
 

KittyKat3756

Songster
5 Years
Aug 16, 2014
157
36
109
Norfolk, UK
What shape came out of the wound? A good bumblefoot surgery results in a corn-kernel shape.

It definitely wasn't. It was small bits and pieces.


Hi KittyKat!
I can see why you are asking about the possibility of remaining infection, the poor chap's feet look so sore. What does the top of that foot look like? I'm wondering is the infection gone right through- I know it can happen, I don't know whether or not it looks different from the more commonly seen cone[…]

Top and everything apart from the pads looks healthy (just uncared for). Checked for mites, he hasn't got any. I'm wondering what surface he was on to leave his legs in that shape :idunno
 

Cragg Klefor

Crowing
Apr 14, 2017
912
1,621
282
County Kilkenny, Ireland
A simple prod of a thorn could have been the cause of the bumblefoot. I'm glad for him though that there doesn't seem to be an infection gone right through on him but it is concerning how swollen his toe still is after surgery.
IMO I would do as you plan, keep the dressing on for now with steeping with antibacterial cream and keep an eye on it. See that it doesn't get worse. I believe keeping it clean and moist to prevent re-infection is the goal. You will need to see it decrease in size to know it is on the right track. If he needs repeat surgery it's no harm he will get a rest for a few days first anyway.

The raised scales on his toe indicate scaley leg mites, you won't see them but they live under the scales until the legs are treated. Most people find Vaseline (or any oil) will usually work, slathered on the legs. But with this guy I would make sure that foot comes right first.


I will be interested to hear what anyone else has to say.

And please do let us know how this little guy is doing, I hope for the best with him! He's lucky you care enough to take him in and try get him right. :fl
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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The bumblefoot cases I've dealt with are similar to that, more of a scab and either a very small kernel or none at all. That is a lot of swelling though.

It looks pretty well cleaned out to me. I'd keep up with bandage changes and see how it heals. Ideally the swelling should go down as well as the size of the scab, and then you can treat it again from there if needed.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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If you have tried probing the opening and squeezing, and nothing comes out, I would just continue soaking the foot in warm water with Epsom salts for a few days. I very seldom even do bumblefoot surgery anymore, unless a chicken limps because of it, or it looks abscessed. My chickens get it because of sharp rocks in the soil, and most just dry up and become like callouses.
 

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