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Foot/Claw injury on Hen - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Princessferf, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Princessferf

    Princessferf In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2007
    A week ago one of my laying hens (production red breed) wouldn't come to the feeder. I noticed that the other hens had been picking at her comb and there was a bit of blood. They peck sometimes and I simply treat the wound (which is generally small and heal fine).

    The real problem was her foot/claw. She was barely walking and when I picked her up her foot was horribly swollen.

    I brought her in the house to determine the cause of the swelling (expecting to see an injury of some kind) but wasn't able to find anything specific.

    She was eating and drinking (mostly drinking, she was a thirsty girl!) when I got her set up in the "infirmary".

    I cleaned up her foot, drained the swelling (it wasn't pus, the drainage was clear), soaked the foot briefly in peroxide and used Blue Coat spray on the foot.

    The following day I gave her a shot of penicillin and have done so every other day this week.

    The swelling has gone down quite a bit and she continues to eat and drink (albeit not as much as she would have normally). She's still favoring that foot and limping a lot. I feel good that she's been improving, but I'm wondering a few things:

    1. Could this be Bumblefoot? Based on my research, it could be, although I'm not seeing an outward wound.

    2. If not Bumblefoot, any ideas on what else it could be?

    3. At what point should she re-join the flock? When she's "completely healed"?

    I'm in no rush to put her back in the coop (she's relaxing in her dog crate-turned chicken coop in a mostly finished basement). I'm sure she's horribly bored (if you assume a chicken can have such an emotion/feeling).

    Any thoughts are welcome, thanks!

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