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Duck with severely frostbitten feet and legs. Will the dead portions of the bone separate?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cochins1088, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a snowy call drake with severely frostbitten feet and legs.

    They don't seem to bother him. He still eats and drinks normally and he gets around fine. He truly amazes me.

    I assumed that after a couple of weeks his legs would simply fall off, but it has been brought to my attention that the bone might not be able to separate and that they would need to be amputated.

    So what are your thoughts? Will the dead portion of the bone separate? Or do his legs need to be amputated?


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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  2. ThomasMcD

    ThomasMcD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does he use the leg at all? Or does he walk as it shows in the image?
     
  3. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, he doesn't. The leg pictured above is rock hard. I can't even forcibly move it.

    To get around, he wiggles. If he's in a hurry, he uses either his legs or wings to propel him forward.
     
  4. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    Is it still frozen or has it thawed and then become hard?
    I had this happen with a rooster, at first his foot was frozen hard. Then when it thawed out it swelled and was red and had some fluid blisters here and there around the toes. After that, it looked just like that the picture of your ducks foot, all black. The dead foot and lower leg got hard and dried up and eventually fell off. The skin was all new around where the bone was, where there was a black scab. That eventually grew over too although there was always a depression there.

    I soaked my roo's feet in epsom salts for 15 minutes a day, then dried them and coated them with triple antibiotic ointment, and then wrapped in a piece of gauze and put baby socks on over that. Once he was all healed he went out on soft surfaces only until the new skin toughened up a bit, and then he went around like normal. He ran jumped, fought, mated and basically carried on with life. In the winter I cut the fingers off some cotton or wool gloves and slid over the nubs, then wrapped them in vet wrap, which I changed when they got damp or really dirty. He seeped to really like the extra cushioning on the hard surfaces and frozen ground.
    I also gave him asprin at first for the pain and electrolytes for added support.

    I don't know if the same thing happens with ducks, I recently talked to someone who's ducks feet were frozen stiff, and they brought him inside, thawed his feet out and he is perfectly fine now. Maybe it depends on how long the limb remains frozen whether it is a chicken or a duck. The blackness would lead me to believe his foot has died though.
     
  5. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's been about 20 days since his feet froze and they were frozen for about 24 hours. I warmed them up and began soaking and wrapping them daily. About 5 days ago, I decide to leave the wrapping off for the night and his feet dried up.

    Thank-you for telling your story. It gave me hope. Do you remember how many weeks it took for your rooster's foot to fall off?
     
  6. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it was about a month or so. There is hope! You have gotten him through the hard part, so good job :) I posted about mine to get advice about making him a prosthetic or some shoes, and a number of people posted positive stories. It is more common than one would think I guess.
    I would just keep doing what your doing and watch for signs of infection. Good Luck!
     
  7. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was amazing to me how his body healed and adapted to his new state. One foot he lost completely, and the spur on that one leg grew huge and he walked on it like it was a foot. It wore flat on the bottom. His other leg still had the foot part but no toes, and the skin on the foot, and on his leg nub grew larger and created a pad for him to walk on. It was really something. Chickens are really tough creatures with an amazing capacity to heal. :)
     
  8. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you post a picture?

    Also, did it separate at a joint? Or did the bone separate?

    Thanks again!
     
  9. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't, sorry. I got a new computer and haven't transferred my pics. It separated at the bone, very neatly, right where the black meets the pink. one morning I went in and his foot was just laying on the floor. Wierd I know. I can go look back at my old poss about him... I will post any if I find them.
     
  10. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of his feet just fell off. There wasn't any blood, but the bone sticks out a little bit.

    I put iodine on his stump and let it dry. Than I applied bacitracin ointment and wrapped it in gauze.

    I'll try to take pictures tomorrow.
     

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