Bumblefoot

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by janieps, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. janieps

    janieps Just Hatched

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    Hi - I have been struggling with bumble foot all winter and I don't know why. I took one duck to the vet as the first lump didn't look like a bumble and she had been attacked previously. First he suggested a soak which didn't work. Next, we did two weeks of Clavamox which also did not work. It's come and gone with some of the others and I have continued to do the soak (can't remember what it is but it's just a disinfectant). He suggested I put down a thicker layer of straw in the pen and add astroturf welcome mats which I did. I am at my wits end. He isn't a fan of lancing and I am too squeamish anyway. Any other ideas in terms of prevention or treatment? I will likely have to take at least one or maybe two back to the vet. On the up side, none are limping and all are eating and otherwise perky.
     
  2. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a big long thread on Bumblefoot on this forum. Do a search on bumblefoot. I don't have much experience with ducks, but I know they must be discussed on that thread. I think it's pretty much the same with ducks as chickens, but, you would have to keep them out of the pond or wet areas and their foot would be a booger to wrap I would think since it's so different from a chickens foot. I apply iodine/sugar poultices to the bumble after the soaks. But, that requires a wrap on the foot to keep the poultice on. I have had much luck with those poultices, but, it still involves physically removing the bumble after a few weeks of this treatment. You should really read the bumblefoot thread because there are a lot of remedies there. I think I even remember a soak in a certain medicine working for some people that doesn't involve any lancing or removal of bumble, but you the stuff is pricey and I think it is used on fish(can't remember) and you find it online.

    Have any pics of those foots? If it's a large bumble, I don't see how surgery can be avoided. Smaller ones still may require some digging out, but it's usually not too invasive. The biggest thing with cutting it out is wrapping the foot and keeping it clean after to avoid reinfection. The bird should always be crated/caged on lots of dry shavings after something like that until the wound completely closes.

    Btw, when dealing with bumble, it's not one soak, it's a series of soaks for weeks. Same with the poultice. Have to apply a new one after each soak. The soaks usually are epsom salt warm water soaks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I second what Mrs Bachbach has said.

    Bumblefoot is a staph infection. It needs to be opened and the infection removed. It needn't involve surgery and cutting, though. You may be able to remove the bumblefoot scab after a fifteen minute warm Epsom salt soak with just your thumbnail. Once the scab is loose from the soak, the scab should come off with a bit of scraping and the "kernel" may come with it.

    I use a Q-tip to clean out any remaining infected material and pus. Then I use Vetericyn and antibiotic ointment, then I wrap with a telfa pad on the wound an Vet wrap elastic cling bandage around the entire foot to seal out dirt. Though I have no ducks, Vet wrap should work on a duck's foot since it conforms to any shape.

    Depending on how extensive the infection is, you may or may not need to do followup soaks and re-bandaging. I usually wait 48 hours and check the wound, going from there depending on how it's healing.
     
  4. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't know about ducks, but I never re-soak after opening up the wound. Chickens feet are dirty and worse, they will poop in the water and then your foot gets bacteria put back in the wound. Unless you are just holding one foot in a pan and can avoid that. I put my chicken in a bucket and stick my laundry basket on top of that so they cant escape. Then I can go about my business while they enjoy their soak.
     
  5. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Btw, the purpose of the iodine/sugar paste is to draw the infection "down". I do this several times over a couple of weeks before attempting removal of the bumble or scab. Usually the kernal will be attached to that scab. If not you may see some white cottage cheeze looking curds in the foot. That is hardened pus and needs removal. I believe the poultice helps with this drawing everything down toward the scab. Before attempting removal, wrap the bird snug in a towel and make sure all utensils are sanitized and foot has been thoroughly prepped or cleaned. Scrub and wipe down with iodine prep pad. Wear gloves. Have all things gathered and ready before you start...betadine, antibiotic ointment, bandages/vetwrap, tape, gauze, knife, tweezers, etc. All ready, on clean surface and all sanitized. If the poultice did it's job, that scab can be lifted around the edges and pulled out with the tweezers. Always work in a circle around the edges, cutting and lifting in a circle. Takes a little time, but you can usually get it out whole. It will leave a hole in the foot, but put antibiotic ointment on that like neosporin, slap a peice of gauze over it and then bandage well and it will start closing in a couple days. But don't let the bird out back on ground for at least several days. Change bandage every couple of days, putting more antibiotic ointment on. Has to be thoroughly healed/closed before it can touch ground or water again.
     
  6. janieps

    janieps Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the tips. Yes, it's a pretty big bumble. I'll try your suggestions. I found the fish thread too so I guess it's just trial and error...
     
  7. janieps

    janieps Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the advice. I'd be pretty happy not to do "surgery"!
     

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