My baby is cured of bumblefoot

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Aylesbury, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Aylesbury

    Aylesbury In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2014
    Aylesbury UK
    Dear Friends,

    Around 10 weeks ago I posted a picture of my Aylesbury duck Daddy and asked about the infection on her foot. Some of you kindly replied and confirmed that it was bumblefoot. And they also sen some advice and pointers. Thanks

    What I did not know then was how hard it was to treat bumblefoot. I thought taking her to the vet should do the trick but no. So over the last 10 weeks we have been through a rollercoaster of treaments and pain.

    The first treatment that was tried was to open up the site remove the core. There was not much of a core to remove but the vet did the best he can and cleaned the site and put her on oral antibiotics. And following the advice from BYC I started her on a course of Epsom salt treatments; several times a day for at least 10 minutes. I could see the salts working and softening the tissue but the bumblefoot did not budge. The vet also gave idone solution and I flushed the site with that twice a day. I was covered with idone, poop and worst of all my duck did not know what was going on.

    At that point the vet had asked me to wrap the foot so I did just that. Little did I know that I did it too tightly. I used some plaster (bandaid) but this cut the blood supply so one morning I realised that part of her foot web was purple. The vet said the web was dying, and that she would be lucky to keep her toes. Again he mentioned that perhaps putting her down would be something to consider!

    She is my baby and I am a farmer with a flock. Her and the drake are my only ducks and I have had them since they were tiny.

    Anyway I never wrapped the foot again and despite the bumblefoot it recoved with some loss of web tissue. She has lovely pink foot web now.

    Lesson: Do not even try to wrap duck feet unless you know exactly what you are doing.

    But the bumblefoot did not stop.

    So I wrote an email to the vet and pleaded with him to try something new (he was adamant at that point that nothing would work). So we decided to directly inject antibiotic injections (penicilin) into the bumblefoot itself. So I took her to the vet everyday for a week and her injection was given. And guess what the bumblefoot started shrinking. This is like mid June. I was very happy and carried on with the injections.

    But about a few days later the bumblefoot came with vengeance despite continued injections. It started growing again and the site looked really bad. !!! Nothing worked.

    The vet did an X-Ray and that was still not spreading to bone. And he also took a swab and sent for analysis. I had to wait for 8 days for results. When the results came back it was bad news. The bacteria that was responsible was highly resistant to ALL antibiotics except for two specialist antibiotics. One was

    So I spoke to the vet again and I must say he has been extremely passionate and kind. He has also become a good friend throughout all this. So he did some research and found this avian specialist vet in Swindon. And this was the last thing to try. So I said yes. Swindon is about 2 hours from Aylesbury here.

    This avian vet, he has contributed to 25 text books, has written countless articles and is a Europe level top cheese. Very nice guy too.

    So he took one look and said yes I can fix this. I almost hugged him. He said she would need General Anesthetics and a team of nurses, anesthetists etc. So he put forward an estimate and that was £750. That's US $1260...

    So he took her in. They put her under GA and he did a superb job of removing the entire infection and some of the tissue around it. And stitched it all up. She came out of GA, loopy and happy.

    He said that there were two antibiotics he could use according to the lab results. GSK Fortum OR Amikacin. He said Amikacin presented a risk to the kidneys and so he had prescribed and injected her with Fortum already. He gave me a day's supply and told me to speak to my local vet to source the rest. Little did I know that finding Fortum would be an impossible task.

    So I drove my duck back home. Put her in a pen I made in my home office (Imagine me joining teleconferences with her quacking in the background). The drake was left out in the pond in the garden.

    So I spoke to my local vet and he said it would be easy to find Fortum so he sent out an order and blank! I called a few pharmacies, blank!!! He called Royal Vet College's pharmacy, blank!! I called GlaxoSmithKline offices and after falsely declaring that I was a health worker I was told that they had production problems and it was rationed and I would only take one dose if I had a case in hospital or something. I did not explain to the lady that the patient was my duck before politely hanging up.

    So we had to switch to Amikacin and Daffy had only had a 36 hours dose and she has had a break from antibiotics for 36 hours now. So we called the vet in Swindon and they put the vials in post with Royal Mail Special Delivery (Including Saturdays) For those of you living outside UK this is the best service you can get from the mail service. This was on a Friday. So Saturday morning, I started ringing the local vet as the parcel was sent to them. In the end I actually went to the vet and waited for the postman to arrive!!! It was 1 o'clock and no one was arriving!!! So we called the vets in Swindon again they swore they shipped it. When they checked the tracking ID, we found out Royal Mail kindly decided to deliver it next Monday at the "request of recipient". Which is a complete, blatant LIE. So Sat afternoon, I jumped to my car, drove to Swindon, two hours in two hours back. Luckly they had more Amikacin and I got the vials and got back. Did the injection and just held her on my chest and I cannot describe what it felt like!

    So we carried on with Amikacin for a week and the bumblefoot disappeared completely. The local vet took the sutures out and declared that it was all history. We were over the moon. I took Daffy back introduced back to the pond. The pond had been drained, scrubbed down with F10 at the order of the vet in Swindon.

    At that point, Daffy was still not 100% so when our drake necked her several times a day violently, I decided to take the drake to the hatchery we got them from so at least she could recover. I wrote another post on BYC then declaring that my drake was up for adoption. My stance has changed now. He is still with the farmer but the local vet and I will inject something to him to reduce his libido. I will share my impressions then seperately.

    So anyway, the sutures came out, few more days passed and we went back to Swindon for a checkup. The vet was happy to see the progress but he very quickly discovered another one! Yes another bumblefoot about 1-2 cm (half inch) from the main site. This one you can only feel when you squeeze and it had no head. That was another £550 ($925) thank you very much. So another GA another week of Amikacin.

    You see this guy, as good as he is, does not always treat ducks. I saw a large number of parrots and other exotic and expensive birds he treated there. So my duck, which I bough for £15 at the time is not exactly his main clientele. But she is my duck and I am important and I deserve the best and so she does.

    It has been two weeks since she had her second operation. She is very happy, bubbly, eating well. She has no sign of bumblefoot! None. She has pink webs due to all the creams I apply and her feet are soft like cotton.

    One of the things the vet in Swindon told me to do was to cover all the edges of the pond (which was paving stones) and all other sharpish areas with "Astroturf". This is so that she never hurts her lovely feet again.

    Thank you for reading all this. I hope it helps other sufferers. I also wanted it to make a permanent record of what happened in this crazy 10 weeks.

    Every moment I spend with Daffy is now golden. I savour every moment and I know she is very special.

    I will now attach some pictures.


    The first lot is when I first discovered the bumblefoot




    And these pictures are when I wrapped it too tightly and cut the blood supply. It was not a good day!!!





    And this is after all the treatments, a few days ago


    And some pictures of me and my baby








  2. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Bless her heart and your's! Yes I have a high dollar chicken now thanks to bumblefoot surgery last summer and again this summer! I am glad you are able to take care of your duck so well,.Good luck that you have no more issues!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    A dedicated duck daddy!

    Glad you are both well.

    Thank you for detailing this healing journey.
    1 person likes this.

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