Bumblefoot: what to do now?


10 Years
Dec 1, 2009
Ok, I know this is going to sound stupid, but I am at a loss as to what to do. I have a hen that has bumblefoot. I operated on her foot Saturday. It was in the pad of her foot, and there is a bump between two toes, really close to one toe. I was able to pull out the plug, I was surprised how big it was. I soaked her foot, and tried to get more out, but the hole had filled with tissue that looked to me to be vascular. It looked like healthy tissue, and anywhere else I prodded brought blood. I tried to cut in from the top to get the one on top(if that's what it was), and couldn't cut it with a razor blade, so am really unsure about that. It is the size of a pea, slightly red. I bandaged the foot after putting on bactroban, which is a med that supposed to be good for staph. I didn't have cling wrap, so I just did the best I could to wrap it with what I had, just bandage tape. Yesterday I noticed(the second day after bandaging) that the bandage was soiled, and she had gotten stuff shoved in the hole. I took her last night and again soaked the foot, cleaned all out that I could. I couldn't find any more infection, just the vascular like tissue, (really soft and moist looking, bluish tinge, healthy looking tissue, I think). The foot didn't look any better/worse than when I first treated it, just maybe a little less swelling. I tried to pack it with as much Iodex(an old timey salve, I believe iodine and petroleum jelly) as I could, and smeared it around the hole. I covered that with paper towel, taped it to her foot with paper tape, and covered that with duck tape. I used the duck tape to completely seal the bandage, so it will be(hopefully)waterproof.

I really want to help this hen, I am a little limited on what I can do, physically; and very limited in funds. I am not able to buy anything right now, so I need to be able to work with what I have, I am just kind of unsure what to do now. I have the bactroban ointment, neosporin ointment, iodex, betadine, lugol's iodine. I have bandage tape, duct tape, guaze sponges(somewhere, I think), bandaids, of course peroxide and alcohol, maybe more I can't think of right now.

I would appreciate input from those especially who have done bumblefoot treatments on their animals. This girl is getting along great, she acts fine, but I know it hurts her. Thanks a lot.

in backyard poultry mag. Oct/Nov. 2009 "the answer man " he says that inside there is a cheesy core that must be removed before it will heal and then antibiotics will work. it might take some lancing to remove the core..

oh I didn't read all your post sorry too quick to help
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I'm a falconer, and we treat bumblefoot a couple of ways - First - be sure her feet are always clean while you're going through this - brush them with a small soft toothbrush dampened with a saline solution. Some falconers soak a towel and wrap it around their perch overnight (perch surface is often the culprit... as are a few other things) Soak her feet in an epsom salt solution once or twice a day (plastic dog crate with eposom salts and warm water works well - then put preparation H on it (or that with a little bit of Neo Sporin)

I'd recommend changing her perch too.

Good luck!

edit: this is, of course, the treatment when you first see a spot, or after the core has been removed, as you mentioned you have done...
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That's ok, thanks anyway. I just hope I got it all. Not really sure since I never did it before, but all that I could see left in there was healthy tissue. The core was so much bigger than I expected, I was kind of shocked. From a slightly swollen pad, came this chunk as big around as a pencil, and nearly an inch long! Hopefully that was all of it. I am glad you mentioned lancing though. If I do have to go in through the top for that little bump, maybe I can start by lancing it. That might give me leverage to get a good cut.
woops, sorry, posted before the other message showed up.

I will check the perch to see if that is the problem. I kind of think it was a rose thorn. Either way, I will try harder to figure out what it was, and remedy the problem. Am I right to think that in falcons, you can't keep their foot wrapped, so you have to make sure they stay clean all the time? I am really thankful that I can wrap her foot, because chickens are messy critters, even when they have lots of room(at least ours are).

I hadn't even thought about prep h, what a great idea! Also, putting the water in a plastic dog crate to soak her foot, I may be able to do that!

Thanks again,

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