Narragansett turkeys with leg wounds - scaly mites or ???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bluemaranfan, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. bluemaranfan

    bluemaranfan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2014
    I have a small flock of 30 chickens and 18 Narragansett turkeys including 6 jakes/jennies hatched a few months ago. They are on about 1/2 acre of grass and brush. A few days ago I noticed a round 1 cm pussy lesion on the toe and a swollen joint just above that on the leg of a turkey hen when I locked her up for the night. By the next day it was a bloody indentation from her biting. No one else had symptoms. Then yesterday she had it on both feet and 2 of my 3 toms had bloody crusty wounds on their legs. No other birds seem affected at this point, but this is not a good trend, obviously.
    An indication of a parasite (IMHO) is that they are all three very uncomfortable, biting and holding out their legs, but I'm a little perplexed that none of the other birds have any apparent discomfort and these three are really a mess.
    I cleaned out the shed, washed the roosts with vinegar, dusted everything inside with wood ashes and diatomaceous earth, and put electrolytes in the water to give everyone a boost while I try to figure out what to do next. I also moved the water to a different spot in case the muddy soil near it is now contaminated.
    At this point I have assumed it's scaly mites, although I don't know if her infection is a typical symptom of that pest. Anyone care to weigh in? Could it be bumblefoot?
    If it's not mites can it be infectious synovitis? I was thinking about putting the three on antibiotics just to try to make sure their wounds don't get infected. I was going to treat for mites by rubbing their legs and feet with rice oil and wrapping their feet with vet wrap to try to keep them from biting at the lesions. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. TWK777

    TWK777 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2016
    Hi, i don't have much experience with turkeys, but i do have issues with scaly leg mites on my chickens. this does NOT sound like anything i have ever experienced with my birds. I don't know what the cost of your birds are, but you might consider taking your birds to the vet if they are of any value. i would definitely clean the pen, and isolate the infected birds, and keep a very close watch on them to see if symptoms change. I usually rub their legs with petroleum jelly for leg mites, but again this doesn't sound like leg mites i have encountered.
     
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  3. bluemaranfan

    bluemaranfan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info - they really aren't super valuable or rare, but I want to take care of them. It's a problem finding a vet who does poultry.
     
  4. TWK777

    TWK777 Out Of The Brooder

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    They aren't as uncommon as you may think, especially if you are in an agricultural area. I live in western NC and many vets in our area see poultry, but don't advertise that they do. You might try calling a few vets and ask. Avian vets usually see poultry.If one dies you can also take one for a necropsy.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Can you post a several photos of the legs so we can take a look?

    I agree with @TWK777 it doesn't sound like scaly leg mite.
     
  6. bluemaranfan

    bluemaranfan Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a great idea but now it's a bit too dark. However I found this posting from 3013 right here on BYC - Guinea foul with scaly leg mites? - and my turkeys' legs look almost that bad, too. Check out the photo. I read the thread to see how this turned out, but it ends with just 2 responses advising vasoline treatment. I replied to the original poster, hoping they might be willing to discuss.
     
  7. TWK777

    TWK777 Out Of The Brooder

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    I looked at the post, but i think they might have misdiagnosed it. How often do you change your birds pen, and do they have access to a grassy area? I know with my seramas, if you leave them in an enclosure that isn't clean and they don't have access to different surfaces, their toes can rot and fall off while the bird is still alive. That is what those pictures appear to be. If you look at those pictures, you will notice that further up on the leg, the skin appears to be completely normal. However on the bottom of the feet, it looks raw and like parts are falling off. Regardless, I would highly advise rubbing petroleum jelly on the wounds. better safe than sorry.
     
  8. TWK777

    TWK777 Out Of The Brooder

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    On that thread they also mention mud being caked on the feet, which is never good for the birds.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    X2
    I agree it looks like that thread may have had a misdiagnosis. More going on there than SLM. Looks like some type of foot rot going on. When you can get us some photos that will be helpful.

    Clean dry bedding and access to dry areas would be ideal.
    If yours look that bad, then separating them and placing them on clean dry bedding only would be a good start - getting more mud/feces on the feet/legs would just make it worse.

    You can try soaking in epsom salts bath to help get any poop/mud off - if you do try to scrub/clean them be very gentle. If you do wash the feet, make sure they are dried very well before applying anything to them. Vaseline may help, but you may also want to consider some plain neosporin or vetericyn - if they look infected.

    Vet care would be best - again, if yours look similar to the other thread, then most likely antibiotic treatment will be necessary in addition to keeping feet clean and dry and keeping birds on clean, dry bedding.

    Let us know how they are doing.
     
  10. bluemaranfan

    bluemaranfan Out Of The Brooder

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    At this point just the one hen and 2 of my 3 big toms, but no chickens and no poults are affected which would make me think bumblefoot, except the hen's wound initially looked more like staph and she and one of the toms are still pecking at their feet. I will continue to rub their legs down with rice oil because that's what I have on hand and it seems like it would kill mites and may be a little safer than a petroleum product. The shed they sleep in is cleaned out and treated with ashes and diatomaceous earth. How can I get the hen to stop pecking her foot?

    Being in NorCal, mud is NOT a problem in August. The big guys have swollen foot pads and the heaviest one didn't want to jump off the perch this morning. I think the perches at 3 ft are a little too high and will be lowering them to 18" in case it's bumblefoot after all.

    The affected birds are eating and drinking. I will continue electrolytes, but until now held off on antibiotics. I think I need to treat the 2 that are worst off. I have tetracycline and tylocin (Tylan), and am not sure which is the best one to use.
     

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