Hen is Limping and Now Lethargic :(


7 Years
Sep 12, 2012
Hi friends--

On Tuesday morning, I noticed one of my Dominique hens was limping REALLY badly, stumbling each time she tried to put her weight on one of her feet. She had been perfectly fine the night before when I shut the girls in their run, so I assumed she must have sprained her leg somehow between bedtime and breakfast time. I picked her up and checked her foot for any injuries or swelling, and it seemed normal (hence the assumption of a sprain). She was perky--eating, drinking, scratching for worms, and going up and down the porch steps (though clumsily). I decided to take a wait and see approach. The next morning, I thought the foot looked red and a little puffy, so I started to suspect bumblefoot. Rather than start cutting into her foot, I went to the feed store and got some injectable penicillin. On Wednesday evening, I gave her 1/2 cc. of pencillin, injected into the breast, and have been giving her 1/2 cc. of penicillin a day since then. She has now had five doses. I didn't really notice much of a change, except that she seemed to be putting more weight on the foot, and she was still eating and drinking fine. Today, however, she has seemed quite lethargic, and the foot/leg are still red. I'm starting to get worried about her, as she is one of my favorite hens. I don't see any scabs that would indicate bumblefoot, but I guess she could still have it. Tomorrow, I think I'm going to give her some baby aspirin in yogurt (in case the pain is what's making her unhappy) and soak her foot in warm water and epsom salts for awhile.

My questions are these:

If it's bumblefoot, would that cause lethargy??

What else could it be if it's not a sprain or bumblefoot? I suppose it could still be a sprain, but I have no clue how to tell...

What else should I be doing for her??

Should I try injecting the penicillin directly into her foot, instead?

Any advice or insight you could offer would be great. I'll try to get some pics of her foot tomorrow.


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