healed holes in feet - naturally resolved bumblefoot?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lingon, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    My BR hen had a lump between her toes on each foot, the size of half a marble. Not limping, happy other than starting to molt. I figured she had bumblefoot and got prepared for surgery. After soaking and scrubbing, some black stuff came out and it's dirt. Normal, gritty, 'clean' dirt. I got it all out, rinsed with iodine and sterile saline solution, packed with antibiotic ointment, put gauze on and taped up with vetrap. The hole looks all healed up, just healthy skin. But it's large enough to fit about two lentils, and it will just keep filling with dirt which seems unhealthy.

    Could this have been bumblefoot that healed itself? Could she have pecked at the kernel and cleaned it herself?

    Should i just leave it alone and let her have dirt there? Should I try cleaning it out well, drying it well, and gluing the hole shut with superglue or something similar?

    She seems a bit happier with the bandages on, but it is recently much colder here (25F low) and maybe it's nice to have warmer feet.

    My other hen had a spot in the center of her footpad that looked like bumblefoot as well, but it wasn't black, it was normal skin color like a callus. I pulled at it a bit with tweezers and got some of it off, but it was just like pulling off a callus and her foot isn't swollen. I'm not sure whether I could feel anything hard inside or not, it felt similar to her other foot. She's also molting and acting completely normal, active, and happy.

    Their roost is 16" high. I'm changing their ladder to get down into their run today, but they never use it, just 'thump' down. Maybe that's the problem. They are in a tractor house designed for 4 chickens, so they have plenty of room and get moved daily.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    Forgot to say - they haven't been laying for three weeks, but it's winter and they're molting. But before that they were laying about every third day. They're 2.5 years old.
     
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    You've already done an excellent job tending to her feet. I like to use 2 x 4 for roost with a ramp leading to each roost. That way the older or heavier birds can walk up to the roost of their choice. I don't usually treat callused feet. Nevertheless, I like to use 'Bag Balm' or similar cream on extreme calluses or recovering bumblefoot. Once the foot is healed I don't bandage.

    As for the hen with 'dimples' in her foot, I would observe her closely. The best thing you can do for any chicken with wrinkled/scarred pads is to keep your roosts immaculate. Some folks scrub their roost pole with antiseptic once a week. Some replace roosts every few months. You can also provide different types of roosts such as piece of plywood cut to 6-8 inch widths to allow larger birds to lay on their side.

    You've done a great job so far!
     
  4. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    Thanks for the help and the encouragement!
    I haven't cleaned their roosts ever, I'm not sure how to do it when it's below freezing, so maybe I have to replace it. I removed the bandages today, her feet and the dimples were still clean, I just replaced with new bandages. I still don't like the idea of them filling with dirt - which is going to happen whenever she scratches in the dirt.
    The callus still looked like a callus, and so I just left the bandages off, and I'll keep an eye on it. Is it true that early bumblefoot is still black, just smaller?

    It seems that the chickens like their new ladder - they actually use it to descend, which is exciting. It's got round rungs more widely spaced so they have to hop from rung to rung.
     
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    Bumblefoot usually start from some sort of foreign body getting through the layers of skin. One of my hens went suddenly lame and when I examined her foot I found a tiny black speck the size of a period on this page. I simply flicked it aside and she was instantly sound on her foot. I'm not one to go cutting on a foot unless I have a clean hospital cage to keep the bird in for several weeks to allow the foot to completely heal. I'm more into soaking and bandaging to let nature do her thing.

    If you do find the need to open an abscess you must flush the wound for several minutes. On chicken feet I like to use iodine solution. On other areas of the body I use chlorhex solution to flush thoroughly.

    And as always excellent nursing care makes all the difference in the world.
     

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