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Need Advice On Amputation ASAP - Rooster Has Frostbitten Leg - UPDATE: Leg Has Been Amputated Succes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GravelBeak, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this works well on soft tissue, do you know anyone who has had success amputating with that method? Tails are easily removed by banding between joints, but a tail is not solid bone like a leg. (BTW, I don't believe banding is cruel, I see people do it to puppies tails and the family jewels of calves all the time.)
     
  2. GravelBeak

    GravelBeak Out Of The Brooder

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    They have actually, yes. Some of them have popped and drained. The thing I'm really worried about is the fact that his leg smells rotten. I'll go wash it off again, and then see if the smell goes down at all.

    If I just leave it to fall off, aren't the chances of the infection spreading very high? I don't want to wait if it's just going to get worse, but maybe I should wait a couple more days and see what happens. Can't say I'm in a rush to get it done, but I don't want to wait too long and let him die either.
     
  3. GravelBeak

    GravelBeak Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE: I washed his foot off really good, and it still has the rotting smell. Some of the skin above a blister is peeling off, and the skin underneath is white. He definitely has no feeling in his foot, it's dead. I don't think there's any way around cutting it off...because even if I let it fall off on it's own and hope that it won't get infected, the bone would still be there.

    Funny how these things happen to the sweetest chickens, and just when you're incredibly busy. The holidays are always an extremely busy time of year for me, but to top it off, I have a hen who developed thrush, and I have to treat her as well! At any rate, I hope he'll be OK for a few days longer. I'll see how it develops, but if it doesn't get any better, which I'm almost certain it won't, I'm going to get rid of the leg. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would wait a couple of days. With second degree frostbite the skin freezes,but deep tissue is not affected,blisters may appear a couple of days after frostbite has occurred,may take over a month to heal and may result in permanent insensitivity to heat and recurrent frostbite.

    With 3rd degree,the bone/muscles/tendons and blood vessels have been frozen and permanently damaged,if left untreated limbs usually fall off,BUT if you suspect gangrene then you would probably have no choice but to remove limb. When blisters popped,where they blood filled?
     
  5. GravelBeak

    GravelBeak Out Of The Brooder

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    His toes are blackening more and more, so I think it's almost certainly gangrene. The blister that just drained out today had a bit of bloody fluid in it, but was pretty much empty, and when the skin peeled off, it was white underneath, no blood.
     
  6. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it is gangrene,then you may have no choice but to remove limb as you cannot leave necrotic tissue. The skin underneath appears dead also? I do know that frostbite is one of the most common causes of necrotic tissue. I agree the rotting smell is not good.
     
  7. gibsterl

    gibsterl Out Of The Brooder

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    Can't give you advise about amputation or not-but curious to know where you are from and what the conditions were to cause this to begin with. Hope your Rooster turns out fine-
     
  8. GravelBeak

    GravelBeak Out Of The Brooder

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    It's hard to tell what the skin is like underneath because of those crazy dinosaur scales, but his toes and definitely black and dead. I'm planning on amputation this afternoon, or possibly tomorrow.

    I live in the southwest USA. It's not incredibly cold here, it just froze really hard one night. The problem is that I have a few roosters living in a separate flock, and though they have a whole shed to themselves, the problem with this rooster is that he's the underdog, so he was sleeping away from the others I guess, and got frozen feet. Now I make a point to huddle up all the roosters together at night (this guy is of course with the other flock right now though).
     
  9. GravelBeak

    GravelBeak Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE time.

    Well, the deed is done. It was probably the worst thing I've ever had to do, but it's done. Amazingly, it was probably harder on me than it was on him, mentally. He only squawked once while I made the cut, and not nearly as loudly or painfully as I would have expected, then went straight back to eating bread afterwards!

    So, I ended up using a pair of pruning shears that I boiled first to cut it. Disgusting, I know, but they had the power and the sharpness to do the job. Originally, I was going to peel the skin back a ways so that it would be sure to heal over the bone, but the skin below the 'knee' is far too rigid to move much, so I had to make one quick cut with the shears. I used the bander to create a tourniquet of sorts above the site where I cut. However, I ended up removing it a bit too soon, and the stump started bleeding a lot, so I had to staunch the bleeding before I could bandage it up. I was an idiot and forgot to get blood-stop powder, but constant pressure, some yarrow, and cornstarch did the job.

    All this happened yesterday. Changed his bandages this morning, and gave him some yogurt with oatmeal for breakfast, and a clove of garlic to discourage infection. I bandaged the stump with some yarrow, initially, to help stop the bleeding, then put some antibiotic paste on later.

    He was actually crowing this morning and waking everyone up! He seems a lot better off, and perkier with that lump of dead meat off of his body. As I said, it was probably a lot harder on me, mentally. I was pretty much an emotional wreck yesterday, worrying if I was going to do it right, whether I should do it at all, and then if I HAD done it right. For that, and for the obvious fact that can be risky, I certainly don't recommend that other people try amputation at home, unless you absolutely have to. However, if you can't access a vet who works with chickens, and/or if it's a choice between killing and amputation, do the amputation. It doesn't seem to be that bad for chickens, amazingly.

    Going to possibly eventually make him a prosthetic, or at least a peg-leg, and see how that works out for him. For now, he's focused on healing, and doing a lot better than he was with that leg hanging from him. Just have to hope now that it heals right, with the skin healing OVER the stump.

    Thanks for all the input everyone, I'll try to update in a few days with progress! Wish him luck. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Just a big, goofy, mellow dude. BTW, his name is Jonsi (yes, like the Icelandic musician [​IMG]).
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad it went well. He probably did not have much feeling left in leg,with 3rd degree frostbite tissues/muscles/tendons/blood vessels are dead. Did you manage to remove all the dead tissue? Watch for infection,he might not even want/use a prosthetic leg,just hop on one. Keep an eye on him as he will not be able escape predators.
     

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