Hen with foot problems


In the Brooder
Jun 30, 2017
Hi We have a Brahma cross hen app 2 years old. Has developed a problem with her foot (initial limp, now noticeable problem on upper foot/ankle-see pic)

She had lost weight, but took her to vet last week and with weight gain powder has improved her weight. Vet prescribed initial course of anti biotics, but although she is 'brighter' she still clearly has issues and is still not walking. Vet doesn't think it's 'worth' looking at a different or second course.

At the moment I have an appointment for her tomorrow that she probably won't come back from in the absence of a clear diagnosis or course of treatment.
Is there something obvious I'm missing?

There's no obvious injury to have caused this. Other hens are unaffected. (the purple in the photo is anti septic spray) Vet thinks surgery isn't a viable option due to location & seems unwilling to actually diagnose anything specific.

I don't want to keep her if things are hopeless, she really is struggling to stand or walk any more than a few steps: but equally don't want to have her PTS if there is something else I could reasons do. She is eating/drinking /preening/ poop looks normal now we've got her weight back up eyes are bright and clear, comb is nicely red


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It looks like scaly leg mites to me. There is loss of scales on the top of the foot, on the toes you can see the raised scales and on the back toe there is a lot of build up. The large swelling looks like infection, either from injury from the scale loss and tender skin being exposed or from the mites themselves. So the mites need to be treated, and the infection needs to be treated, probably cleaned out, with a round of antibiotics.
Thanks, the vet has already prescribed anti biotics and we are at the end of a 10 day course. I can treat for scaly leg mite, but if the infection hasn't/isnt responding to treatment is there anything I can do about that? TIA
Can you post a picture of both feet for comparison. I also think it may be scaly leg mites with some sort of injury or infection. But usually both legs are affected with mites. Castor oil is one of the oils commonly used about once a week to treat leg mites, and may be a bit less messy.
Hi sorry hens had gone to bed by the time I got back. i will try and grab some more pics when I bathe her leg today
It could be a combination of scaly leg mites and bumble foot. Can you take a photo of the underside of her foot as well just to clarify if there is any scab on the sole? Which antibiotic have you been using? I believe feet can be quite difficult to treat systemically with antibiotics. Have you tried topical antibiotics or possibly honey treatment.... medical honey dressings would be worth a go I think if you are emotionally attached to her.
First thing to do would be oil or grease... maybe something with tea tree in it to deal with any remaining mites. I would probably clip back most of the feathers too to make the job easier.
Other foot for comparison. We are already treating for scaly mites


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The anti biotic we are trying has the brand name meloxicam . Can you tell me more about honey dressings please? (under foot is clear, no obvious bumble foot signs)
Meloxicam is not an antibiotic, but it an anti-inflammatory drug. Most antibiotics are not approved for chickens; hence vets are reluctant to prescribe them since they end up in the eggs. Many antibiotics are commonly used with a sensible egg withdrawal time, anywhere from 2 weeks to a month.

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