Multiple Health Concerns


Oct 25, 2017
New Zealand
I have just moved back into my father's home after being away for a few years. Flock is not doing well, I was always the one who cared for them and I guess after I left they were not given proper attention. Many have died, of what I don’t know. Most of the remaining hens are okay enough aside external parasites which I have treated but one is not so good.

Sneeze is a seven year old Oprington or Australorp, maybe and mix. She has a bad bumble and her scale mites have deformed her toes. She has a strange purple patch on her belly and a scab, this might be because she spends alot of time sitting, due to her feet hurting. Her eyes have white patches in them and have bubbles at the side. The coop was dirty and I believe she has ammonia burns on her belly, I have cleaned it since. She doesn’t lay anymore, but she is older so that's not unusual. The other birds look as though they may have a mild case of scale mites but nothing so bad.

Here are my questions.

  1. Can I treat this Bumblefoot without cutting out the Bumble?

  2. Once the scale mites are gone is there anyway I can help her toes into a better position.

  3. What can I do about the purple patch? Is it something to be concerned about? Is her skin rotting? Is it just a bruise?

  4. Are the white things in her pupil a symptom of something else or is she going blind?

  5. What do the bubbles in her eyes mean?


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Just briefly looking at your pictures, I think that your hen might be dealing with mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG, CRD) and mycoplasma synovitis (MS) which are respiratory diseases that cause sinus infection, and conjunctivitis and MS causes infection in the joints. MS causes swollen ankles and hocks, and may cause breast blisters from lying around or pressure on the breast bone. Those blisters can break down and become abscessed. I cannot see the left ankle as well as the right, so if the left ankle is not swollen, then the right may be injured or sprained.

MG can be treated by Tylan, some tetracycline drugs such as doxycycline, and Denagard. Unfortunately, MS which can be treated with the same antibiotics, is difficult to treat or get rid of.

Scaly leg mites can also cause pain and irritation. It can be treated by soaking in Epsom salts and smothering the legs in oil at least once a week until new scales ebgin growing in. Bumblefoot sometimes respknds to 30 minute foot soaks, where you may be able to remove the scab and squeeze out the yellow core. Surgery may be needed if that doesn’t work, and that can be done by you. Here is some reading about MG and MS: Recognizing and Preventing Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) Infecti....pdf handout for Backyard Flocks 4-12.pdf
Other white things in her pupils are cataracts. Her vision will be very blurry or she could possibly be blinded by them. Make sure to keep food and water where she is accustomed to finding it. You may want to spend some time observing here to see if her impaired vision is causing problems that you could help her with.
Yep, both her ankles are swollen now that you mention it. It makes sense she has a respiratory issue, she breathes noisily sometimes. I have vaseline instead of oil, I’ll get some epsom salts tomorrow. I’ve watched her and she doesn’t have any problem navigating the run or eating. I’ll keep an eye on her vision as she gets older.

As for the Bumblefoot, will I have to keep her indoors for a while after its been taken out or will she be fine in the yard?
I would also clean her bubbly eyes with saline or an eye wash, and apply some Terramycin ointment from your feed store twice a day. Or use some plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment.
I would also clean her bubbly eyes with saline or an eye wash, and apply some Terramycin ointment from your feed store twice a day. Or use some plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment.
Hello. I am not sure I removed the bumble correctly. Can you plsease look at these photos and let me know if it will heal now. First one is the next day after taking it out, sceond is about a week latter. Looks to me like I left the bumble in.


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