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Not the usual foot problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Trampledbygeese, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    There is something wrong with Henny Penny's foot. It's different from the usual things I've encountered and I'm wondering if you could help me figure out what's wrong and how to treat it.


    Hen history:
    Henny Penny (I know not the most creative name, but she seems to like it) is almost 3 years old, banti cross, probably somewhat to very inbred. She was a fall chick and was abandoned by her mum at time of hatching at which time the neighbours gave the clutch to me (because I'm the kind of person who often comes home to find someone has left a chicken in a box on my door step with a note saying 'hello, my name is...please take care of me').

    From the start she had trouble digesting regular dry food, so I usually mix a bit of hen food with water to make her a porridge each day. If I forget, she take the food over to the water and soaks it in there until it's soft.

    When she was about a year old, she hatched out a clutch of chicks, but the raccoon got most of them. Henny Penny was badly injured but not so bad as the raccoon. We caught the raccoon the next night and I don't think it would have survived the encounter with the hen, even if we hadn't given it swimming lessons. That's how strong and determined this little hen is. The hen suffered a puncture through the head and generally got banged up a bunch, but recovered fairly well. She still walks with a limp and occasionally crows if there is a strong change of weather or imminent earthquake.

    She's part of the 'wild' flock. It's basically a small mixed bunch of chickens that won't fit in with the larger flocks, due to injury (loss of an eye) or personality (too kind to defend self). The chickens get on really well, with non of the usual infighting. They seem to understand that they are all damaged in some way and look out for each other. They basically have free run of the yard.

    Despite weekly massage of bag balm and/or other creams, she's had a minor scaly mite problem since we got her. In the last few months she's started to develop something strange on her 'thumb' and acting a bit poorly. Not poorly enough to be concerned but enough that sometimes I catch her all hunched up when she thinks no one is looking.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    It's nothing I recognize. It's a small black band around the toe with a larger patch at the bottom. Kind of like if you put a tire around a sapling, and then it grows into a big tree with this tight band around the trunk. It hurts her to touch it or walk on it. I'm wondering if maybe she's injured it and it's a low lvl infection? I don't think it looks much like bumble foot, but I've never had a problem with that before.

    This is the one chicken that I'm most fond of and am pretty much willing to move heaven and earth for. I asked around the neighbours and the feedshop for recommendations on a vet, but they say there is no one in town that is good with chickens.



    Treatment so far:
    - weekly massage with bag balm or other guck that is suppose to reduce scaly mights
    - kimchi and/or sauerkraut juice added to food (for immune boost) - not on the lay right now so don't have to worry about it flavouring the eggs.
    - today I gave her a warm foot bath with Epsom salts. She LOVED it and wouldn't come out for over 20 min, until the water was cold. Then I put an antibiotic cream on the foot. She is now separated into the 'hospital' which is a large dog crate next to the front door.

    So, any ideas what it might be and how to treat it?
     
  2. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Bumping this up to the top.

    Please, can someone help me?
     
  3. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

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    I subscribed to this thread much earlier this morning to see if anyone knows what is wrong with your girl's foot. I don't have any experience of this particular problem, but I do have some general knowledge.

    First, if you are noticing that she is feeling "low" then something is probably wrong. Birds in general hide or mask any symptoms that might make them appear weak to the rest of the flock. Usually people don't notice anything is wrong until the bird is quite ill. Since you have been working with her, you have had a good opportunity to observe her closely, and so hopefully have caught whatever it is early.

    As for vets, look for someone who specializes in small animals other than cats or dogs, someone who might see rabbits or caged birds. Your county animal shelter might know of someone. (I took my son's parakeet to a small animal vet when he landed on the bunny's cage and got a toe bit off. Parakeet got a shot of antibiotics and recovered, but was very lucky, as he lost quite a bit of blood.)

    Could it be that your chicken's toe has been broken? If it is turning black at the tip, it may be dead tissue, in which case gangrene might be setting in and the infection could spread. The scaly mites need to be smothered with something like oil. There is lots of info on BYC about this.

    I hope you get an answer for your problem. Wish I knew more to help.
    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here are some more photos of her foot. That black band around the toe with it being obviously worse on the bottom of the foot.

    You can also see the scaly mite problem - which I've been treating for 3 years now with no signs of going away. She started having it at a few weeks old, which I've never seen before. I'm begining to wonder: either I need to find a stronger cure for it, or if it's not scaly mites after all.

    I don't think it's been broken, but if it was, it would have been some time ago. There is no bad smell to indicate flesh rot.



    [​IMG]

    Poor old Henny Penny does not like to be stuck in the chicken hospitle while all her friends are out playing in the yard. But at least her spirits are up.

    Please help me find out what's causing this.
     
  5. Wayne&Kim1963

    Wayne&Kim1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a chickens toe do that one time. It was higher on her foot but I put big blob of triple antibiotic ointment on whole foot padded toe with gauze and took coban or [​IMG]and wrapped around toe to seal it and around foot like a boot. To seal it up like that will soften that tissue so you can humanely clean it off so she can heal. It looks like old wound of some kind to me could have been mites and the hardened tissue is damaging instead helping. [​IMG]this is not my picture but one I googled so you could see what it looks like except wrap it around her toe also. I would give her penicillin shot or some antibiotics but I tend to always want to give them somethimg I am nurse who believes in antibiotics. I usually give chicken 1 cc of penicillin under skin on breast. The reason I would is to prevent infection in toe from going in bone and promoting healing. I change dressing about every 3 days.
     
  6. Wayne&Kim1963

    Wayne&Kim1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can coat her whole legs everyday with triple antibiotic ointment without pain relief medication. Just plain kind. It will kill the mites. I also use vaseline but if I think it is infection their legs I use triple Antibiotic ointment. Petroleum product in ointment parts suffocate mites.
     

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