Kind of gross foot problem...have questions.. PICS ADDED

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChooksinIowa, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. ChooksinIowa

    ChooksinIowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this morning I'm chilling out with my light brahmas who are trying to grow back their feathers on their backs and upper wings (shoulders?). Long story short - I got them from someone who was moving and they were in a somewhat neglected situation.

    I had the first one on my lap - she settled right down. I was checking her feathers for mites or anything else - just doing the overall "review" of her condition. I thought that I had noticed her limping the other day, just a bit, and so I took an opportunity to look at her feet. I noticed these huge lumps, in the webbing part, that were on the top of her feet. I wondered to myself, what the heck disease is that? I had read about bumblefoot but I knew it was not that. I felt the lumps and they were really yard. It sort of looked like she had extra toes pointing straight up. So, I gently looked under her foot, and saw this brown stuff - hard and dry, between the toes, poking out a small hole. I picked at it a little and realized it was compacted dirt and/or fecal matter, etc. Then I realized, the whole lump was a huge compacted ball of this stuff. I got out the vaseline, worked it around her foot, especially around the small hole underneath, and began to gently press on top of her foot where the lump was. After quite a bit of gentle pressing and working at the lump, this "thing" popped out the hole. It was about the size of a medium grape. It was hard as a rock, very smooth, and just this accretion of dirt and poo and crud. It was completely disgusting and smelled bad. She had another one on the other foot. I could not even break them open - they were that hard. Must have been there forever.

    Anyway, I began checking the feet of the other birds I got from that situation (these are the ones that were sort of neglected) and found a whole bunch more of these foot "rocks" embedded in the webbing. The webbing sort of expanded to make a "pouch" to accommodate the crud. Some were bigger "crud balls" than others. The biggest was about 3/4 inch ball shape. So now a bunch of my chickens have this huge pouch of loose skin on their feet from where the thing was.

    Any ideas on how I can help them? I put sulfur salve on it (from rooster booster) and there is no blood or anything. It was just really gross. I don't want the pouch to re-collect stuff and end up with the same problem.

    I didn't take pictures. It was too gross.
    Claire
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  2. ChooksinIowa

    ChooksinIowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to be clear that there was no liquid pus, no blood, no swelling of the foot, no scabs. Just this huge lump of "stuff" that had worked its way into the webbing. Once the "stuff" lump was pushed out, there is no swelling or redness or heat or anything except this empty pouch in the webbing.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I guess you wash it, salve it, and monitor it.

    I'm hoping there is someone else on here who can help you better than I.
     
  4. ChooksinIowa

    ChooksinIowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's my best guess too, Mahonri. I am just not sure if there is something else I should do. I certainly hope it doesn't recur but they are in a situation now with more care and observation, so I hope that will help prevent it. I wondered about stuffing a piece of cotton ball into the "pouch" in the foot with some antibiotic lotion on it, but I'd prefer the foot skin to shrink up rather than retain the pouch, so I decided against that unless someone tells me I should do it...
    Thanks!
     
  5. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Sort of sounds like bumblefoot to me. Was there a black spot on the ball of the foot?

    Rufus
     
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    soak in epsom salts and use a soft brush to scrub after ... within a few days of this it should be apparent if we are talking stuck on crud balls or bumblefoot. might even be scaley leg mite is involved > do you have a pic you can post?
     
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    If after you clean the feet and still notice lumps, then it is probably bumblefoot. I have dealt with this daily for years with my favorite crippled duck, who is prone to this because of her disabilities.

    Check the roosts for roughness. That is the number one area of the infection starting. The chicknes jump up and down on and scoot back and forth on rough roosts and the get scratches. Poop and other contaminants work in the cuts and scrapes and cause a staph infection.

    You can remove the plug on all the feet (or do one at a time for sanity). Clean well with betadine solution or chlorhexadine solution, using a Q-tip to get it deep into the hole. Pack with neosporin and bandage. I just use a piece of gauze and vet wrap. Clean it out every other day or so. Use tweezers to pick out any remaining infected matter. This needs to heal from the inside out.

    Remember to wash your hands and use latex gloves when handing a staph infected area, especially if you have scratches or open wounds on your hands.

    If you can get them on a course of Baytril, it will go a long way to getting rid of the infection.
    My vet says sulfa will do good, too, just check the effect on eggs and meat. Othere antibiotics such as terramycin will have no affect on this.

    You don't have to use antibiotics. I use them on my duck because she is not laying anymore and it will not affect anything.

    Good cleaning and evacuation of the affected area and removal of the cause will be your best cure.
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Terrie's advice is excellent. I deal with bumblefoot all the time, but mine is from whatever they scrape their feet on while freeranging, sharp rocks or the woodpile or whatever, so if you freerange in a rocky environment like I do, smooth roosts may not be that much help (but they still should be very smooth). Mine have been sanded and re-sanded and even oiled from time to time, but my girls still get bumblefoot, especially my heaviest hen, whose feet are a bit oddly shaped and hit the ground at a weird angle.
     
  9. ChooksinIowa

    ChooksinIowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everybody!

    No, there was no black spot on the foot anywhere. The only brown spot was the bottom of the actual "crud ball" and that was not part of the chicken - it was crud. When the crud ball was pushed out, there was no further brown spot, black spot, or any spots at all.

    There is no remaining swelling and no lumps after the crud ball is pushed out. Just a pouchy bit of skin.

    I will post pics later - it is raining cats and dogs (chickens?) right now so will go take a pic when the girls decide to come out of the coop!

    I would guess (although I certainly could be wrong) that it didn't have any actual infection because there wasn't any pus or blood or warmth to the area or any sign of redness, etc. The crud ball smelled bad because it was crud, but the foot does not smell bad and there was no goop or anything.

    Pics in a while when the rain moves off...
    Claire
     
  10. ChooksinIowa

    ChooksinIowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to mention that these hens came from a barn about 2 weeks ago that was rather filthy in my opinion and they roosted in the barn rafters so it is entirely possible that there could have been splinters. I've only had them for these couple of weeks and I am quite sure that these huge crud balls didn't develop in that time frame. So if it is bumblefoot, it is probably a result of splintery barn rafters and filth.

    However, I'm still not quite sure that it actually IS bumblefoot.

    Is it normal to have bumblefoot with:
    a) no remaining swelling after plug removed
    b) no pus
    c) no blood
    d) no redness/pinkness of skin
    e) no black spot on foot bottom

    Thanks!
     

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