Bumblefoot - unsuccessful surgery, no pus

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rugbyrebel, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. rugbyrebel

    rugbyrebel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,

    One of my birds has bumble foot. This is my first time treating it. I've been reading lots online and watched videos of the surgery. I was uncomfortable doing it by myself so I took her to the vet. I thought the vet would help me clean out the wound so it could heal but I was only given oral antibiotics (I didn't realize it's real serious day surgery at the vet, expensive!) I don't think the antibiotics are doing anything... And the vet said they might not reach the thick infection.

    Since everyone else seems to do the surgery no problem I thought I'd try (first vet appt was expensive enough!). When I took off the black scab I couldn't see any evidence of pus or a kernel. I tried squeezing and soaking, nothing. The flesh was pink. When I tried to cut deeper she seemed in imense pain (with metacam). It was nothing like the videos at all! In the end I stopped, soaked again in neomycin and bandaged up.

    I've been soaking her foot everyday in Epsom and giving meds from the vet. She isn't limping and the foot isn't super hot. There is large swelling on the pad but nothing on the top of the foot.

    I read another thread where the poster also didnt find pus... I think it was suggested that the infection was advanced and progressed higher into the foot. The poster used sugardine poultice to draw out the infection before attempting the surgery again. I thought I would try that. The bird came to me with bumblefoot so I'm not sure how long she's had it.

    I've attached pics of the wound before I bandaged it. Note, anything that looks white is a light reflection! The flesh is pink. It was difficult getting a good pic.

    Suggestions welcome, thank you.

    [​IMG]
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I have done this surgery a few times, and you have to go deep enough, and squeeze the living daylights out of it sometimes to get the plug. Once I didn't get one though. It really helps me to have another pair of hands just holding the bird wrapped in a towel--the chicken stays more calm and it doesn't seem to hurt as much.
     
  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes cutting in one spot hurts a good deal more than another, so sometimes it's worth trying a different entry point.

    But I've had attempted surgeries I've abandoned because I couldn't find the pus either.

    I would think it'd be a good idea to try the poultice. That would be great if that could help draw the infection closer to the surface for easier removal.

    What antibiotic did your vet give you?

    If you haven't already come across the Bumblefoot treatment info on the Poultry Podiatry page on the website linked in my sig, you may find some useful additional info there, too.

    Best wishes!
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I've had birds that had a scab on the footpad as well. Sometimes just because there's a scab on the footpad, it doesnt necessarily mean surgery is required unless the bird is limping or the footpad is red and/or swollen which is most likely happened in your case. Sometimes the scabs disappear on their own without any of the symptoms I've mentioned. The warm epsom salts water will draw out infection, but it takes alot of time no matter what you apply or use to soak the foot. Keep trying to manipulate and squeeze the footpad, soak, squeeze, soak, squeeze. Once the infection is removed, the footpad swelling will go down quickly.
    I'm also wondering if there wasnt an infection in the first place? When you first got her; was she limping, footpad red and/or swollen?
     
  5. rugbyrebel

    rugbyrebel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2013
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Hello, Thanks for all your responses!

    I'm going to keep soaking and doing the antibiotics and if necessary attempt the surgery again in another week or so. I will try another entry point as suggested... I felt very nervous cutting deeper the last time because she was completely freaking out, pulling her leg hard (not like the slight discomfort shown in the vids I've seen). I did have a helper who wrapped her in a towel and it was still very difficult holding her leg still when I touched certain spots with the scalpel. When I was cutting into the scab and gross looking tissue she didn't budge.

    She did have the scab/swelling when I got her from a friend, so I was aware of the problem. She wasn't limping though (and still isn't). Actually there is hardly any heat in the foot at all so I am questioning to what extent there is an infection.

    This morning I unwrapped her foot for the first time after the surgery and it did actually look better! Slightly less swollen and there was a tiny bit of yellow pus on the surface. The scab hasn't re-healed yet so I'm using that to my advantage - soaking the foot in antibiotics and squeezing, hoping to draw out the infection.

    The vet prescribed oral amoxicillin (staph) and apo sulfatrim (to cover off respiratory bacteria). She also gave me metacam and silver sulfadiazine cream. I soak the foot in epsom and neomycin powder or idodine then put the silver cream or neosporin on the foot and bandage.
     
  6. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is just my opinion but I have to share it. If the hen/rooster isn't limping or favoring the foot I would leave the foot alone especially if it is not red or hot. Sometimes it is just a scab. Some people have even started bumblefoot surgery with a soak and find that the 'scab' is a circle of dirt or poop. Chickens have a high body temperature and their immune systems can fight off an infection. I've had chickens that get a lump and in a week or two it disappears.

    Surgery should be a last resort. This surgery is done without an anesthetic and has to hurt. The feet are made of tough skin but how would we feel if someone cut into our foot and squeezed over and over and nothing was wrong?

    Ever cut yourself and soak the wound in Epsom salt? Try it once and you'll never do it again. Stings like a son of a gun. Iodine is no better. If you wouldn't do it to yourself then don't do it to a chicken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The wound will scab over, that's part of the healing process.
     
  8. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    RR--
    Your treatments sound wise & like well-considered choices. It sounds like you're using some very appropriate approaches.
     
  9. chrissiemids

    chrissiemids Out Of The Brooder

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    Weeks ago I removed a a black scab and dug in but no puss or kernel. It left a big hole which I dressed. Each time I changed dressing there s a big black scab again with a split across the centre. So what is it, has the bumble come back or is it part of the healing process?
     

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