Extremely Sever Leg Mite and Infection

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SazzaChick, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. SazzaChick

    SazzaChick Hatching

    Jun 27, 2011
    Good Afternoon

    I am new to this forum and wanted to share my Scaley Leg Mite story as i've not read about anything this sever before and this might help others to treat theirs or hopefully not get this bad.

    I adopted some hens from someone who lives down the road from me who was downsizing.

    Amungst the group were two Black Rock hens.

    After owning them for a few weeks i noticed that both of them had scaley leg and mentally noted to get some spray and vaseline for them when at the feed merchants, none of my existing flock had had SLM.

    A week or so later when sat in the garden with my girls free-ranging i noticed that one of the hens was really uncomfortable on one of her legs. i got her in the kitchen and started the programme of warm salt water bathing of her legs and using a toothbrush to start to get rid of some of the hard black lumps on her legs. The leg she was uncomfortable on appeared to be swollen so i applied vaseline and did the other hen too and separted them from the others in a disenfected enclosure.

    Both hens were perky and eating well and laying every few days, but after a couple of weeks the one was still lame and not seeming to improve although the general condition of her skin on her legs was getting better, and her leg was still swollen.

    She had a particularly large black lump on one of her legs that felt like a huge scab and whilst scrubbing a bit more than all the advice i've been given, i revealed a scab with a lot of infection underneath it. she is also sore on her front where she has been laying down a lot.

    After soaking the leg and trying to pierce the scab to drain any infection off, i came to the conclusion that the scab was solid through and all infection had solidified and wouldn't drain. This meant only one thing, that scab had to come off !

    Obviously it didn't want to just come off like that, or i guess it would have done anyway !

    So i soaked for as long as possibly in a light, warm hibiscrub solution. Then used a gel that we use on the horses to maintain a moist sterile environment, put loads on, and wrapped it with a sterile dressing, cling film and then vet wrap, to try and moisten the scab as much as possible.

    I left this on for a day, and she was no more uncomfortable with it on than off.

    Come the end of the day i removed all the dressing, soaked the leg some more and started to lift the scab away......... when i saw how deep the scap and infection went in to her leg i did think that i would have been better off humanely destroying her...... i also felt a little bit [​IMG] - but the hen had made it this far right, and she looked really well in all other ways, so i grew some and picked the scab right off in one! Kill or cure.

    When off you could see the extent, she was left with a flesh wound that started at the front of the leg, went right around the back of the leg and all around the little toe at the back. The would is about half way in to her leg and literally makes it look like half the leg is missing, you can see some tendon and other bits [​IMG]

    So, she is now sporting another large dressing and vet wrap and is in isolation with a broody silkie who's quiet and happy to sit around.

    My plan is to keep the wound wet for a couple of days and then remove the dressing and spray with Terramycin and get it to dry up.

    I'm happy to report that she was up and eating as usual this morning so that was a relief.

    If anyone has any advice for me on hpw to continue treating the would, or if i'm doing the right thing, that would be great.

    Like i said, i've not had any experience of SLM before and i'm totally playing it by ear.......


  2. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    Goodness, good luck. Feed her some extra protein, maybe some vitamins... keep us posted!
  3. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I tell ya I went thru this with a frizzled cochin hen I rescued awhile back. My hen was already 6 years old and her living conditions before she got to me were beyond words. The pics I am about to share with you and others (whom may or may not have seen them before are GRAPHIC. I soaked, picked, and wrapped for what seemed like a few months. I have found the easiest way to get the BIG chunks off is to soak the feet/legs in a betadine/epsom salt solution mixed up to look like a weak tea in color, scrub up as much as you can, pat dry and apply thickly triple antibiotic ointment without pain reliever in it, wrap in gauze, topped with vetwrap and leave on for a few days. When you remove the dressing a few days later most of that stuff will come off with the bandage, what didn't easily pulls right off leaving raw flesh. Don't worry the scales on their legs do come back. resoak in solution for a bit and reapply the antibiotic ointment and repeat the wrap for a few more days until the raw flesh under all that gunk turns a nice healthy pink.

    Here are the pics of Prissy the frizzle hen who had the worst case of slm I had ever seen.
    This is her legs the day I brought her home. Note that her toes were crippled because of the previous owners lack of taking care of this right away, she eventually lost most of her toes because of the damage

    She was soooo miserable at her old home, I brought her in the house for quarentine and she had begun her pampering and healing time. She smelled like someone had dipped her in ammonia, I don't think their coop ever got cleaned and they were housed in with rabbits.

    After a few soaks and picking sessions... She had a massive chunk removed from the one leg which left a bloody ,mess afterwords and revealed some bumblefoot on the tops of her toes that had to be removed as well.

    She needed a few baths to wash the stink off her from the past 6 yrs of her life (it's a miracle she made it that long)!

    One of the massive chunks of stuff I pulled off of her leg.

    It took me 2 months of daily cleanings, bandage changes, soaks and pampering to get her legs and feet back to somewhat normal, she never was the same after that and ended up passing away last winter. I cherish the time I got to spend with her and take comfort in the fact that I was able to give her a good life up until the end.

    The wraps I started to do with other birds that showed early signs of scaley leg mites works great! If I noticed raised scaled on their legs and feet I wrap em for a day or 2 and then they are good to go. Best of luck to you with your birds [​IMG]
  4. SazzaChick

    SazzaChick Hatching

    Jun 27, 2011

    Thank you for your responses. I thought i would post an update.

    Had chicky in isolation with her leg cover for a few days, then removed dressings and applied Terramycin to dry the would but also off antibiotics and anti bacterial properties. she seemed to be doing ok and was walking around a bit.

    She was in an isolation house and run with 1 buddy, not straw/shavings etc. just clean wood and a towel.

    I was away for a week, when i came back i noticed after a couple of days that she wasn't moving around much. just enough to eat and drink.

    On closer inspection the wound had scabbed over with infection again [​IMG]

    Beginning to think i had done the wrong thing and should have put her to sleep.

    However she is a strong bird and i felt i owed it to her to keep trying. Having removed all the infected scab again she is close to having bone only left on the leg, but she has movement and blood supply! She is living in hte house in a large dog crate, with a cat carrier of shredded paper and lots of fresh food and water (she is still eating well).

    Fingers crossed that this week sees some improvement.

    - i have just heard about the healing properties of Cayenne Pepper ....... does anyone else have any experience of this?


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