How I Became a Chicken Podiatrist

rileysgranny

Songster
11 Years
Oct 17, 2008
315
2
129
Tennessee, USA
About a month ago I noticed one of my 1 yr. old White Leghorns walking with a limp. After closer inspection I noticed a black circle on the bottom of her foot. I suspected bumble foot because I'd read about it here on BYC. I was sure that I had seen pics of the surgery somewhere on BYC, but I can't seem to locate it at the moment.

Anyway, I finally got up the courage to do the surgery - one of the reasons I waited (besides the fact that I'm a chicken! OOps, is that chicken sacrilidge?!) is because it has been so cold and I was afraid of putting my little hen into shock, so waited for a warm spell. By this time she had a dark brown spot on the top of her foot as well. I felt really bad that I had waited so long.

I rounded up the equipment that was suggested - vet wrap, razor knife, epsom salts, cotton, neosporin, towel, DH - and we brought her into the kitchen. DH wrapped the towel around her and held her for me. She was an awesome patient, much to my surprise, because she is one of my more flighty girls. We worked on her for about 30 minutes, making little progress. Then DH suggested that I get the dental pic that he keeps in his bathroom. After working on the foot for just a few minutes I put the pic into the area and OUT POPPED A BIG OL, CORE! It was about as big as the end of my thumb and hard as a rock. DH said he could sense the hen relax after it popped out! He thought she had died, but when we unwrapped her she was just fine!

There was a huge hole in her foot that I could see all the way through. Following the instructions I had found, I put a big squeeze of Neosporin into the hole, placed a cotton pad on both sides of her foot and wraped it with the vet wrap. We changed the bandage several times over the weekend and she is walking so much better. We noticed bleeding on the other leg/foot, I guess where she or one of the others has pecked at her, so we cleaned it up and applied neosporin and vet wrap to it as well, and we watched her all day yesterday to make sure no one was pecking at her. The vet wrap we are using is yellow, so she now has 2 really yellow feet! And she is healing beautifully.

Sorry I don't have any pictures, but it was just DH and I doing the surgery, so I didn't have a free hand to take pictures. I mainly wanted to thank BYC and all it's members who are so willing to share their extensive knowledge. Because of you I may have saved one of my girls! And now she will let me pick her up and hold her, so unlike she was before the surgery.

I'll keep you all updated on her progress and try to take some "after" pictures. Thanks again to all you wonderful BYC members!!
 

dinologano

In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 13, 2009
25
0
22
Salem, Oregon
I have a rooster with a limp and am wondering if it could be the same problem as your hen. Would you describe the black circle on her pad? Was the pad on the bad foot much harder than on the other foot? When you cut open the pad on the foot was the incision perpendicular to the pad or was it horizontal, which would mean kind of a circular incision? Was the core that popped out just below the skin or was it under the pad?

My Rooster pad on the bad foot is very hard compared to the other. Both pad visually look about the same except for a very tiny black spot about the size of the tip of the lead in a pencil. Maybe she just sprained her foot, I mean there were no signs she was havinga problem until one day he just started limping.

I did see on BYC, I think, where there was a series of photos showing the operation for bumblefoot and the removal of the cheesy core, but can't find it again.

Appreciate any info you can provide.

Would you also send it to my email address; [email protected]

Thanks
Deane Logan
 

Kanga77510

Songster
10 Years
Oct 10, 2009
413
4
131
Santa Fe, TX
Quote:
This was the worst of my bumble foot. Poor thing
IMG_0063.jpg
 

rileysgranny

Songster
11 Years
Oct 17, 2008
315
2
129
Tennessee, USA
Yup, that's about what mine looked like. I think the most important part of what we did was soak the foot in warm epsom salts water. It seemed the more we soaked, the easier it got to work with. We did cut a little around the perimeter of the scab. The little kernel popped out though, using a little hook shaped dental tool. I just poked it into the edge and out it came! I have another hen (again - a white leghorn) with bumble foot on one of her toes. We worked on it a little and didn't get a kernel out. She was VERY stressed by the whole episode, so I've left her alone for a couple of weeks and just kept an eye on it. It actually looks a lot better and she is getting around really well on it. I may just keep an eye on her to make sure it doesn't get worse and wait for cooler weather until I perform surgery.
 

Terri O

Crowing
10 Years
Jan 2, 2010
4,671
45
296
WI~chickening for 30 years!
The little black dot may be the start of a bumble...I guess I would wait and see. If it gets bigger, you notice a limp or some swelling I would go ahead with the surgery. You could try just the Epsom salt soak for 15 or 20 minutes just to see if the black spot will come off...

That is a great idea about the dental pick! I might have to add that to my kit of "chicken tools!" Terri O
 

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