Old hen with bumblefoot, can I use Erythromycin?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ritz, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Ritz

    Ritz Hatching

    Mar 13, 2014
    I have a 19 year old hen who had developed bumblefoot a couple months ago. I did surgery and removed a kernel of infection and she looked like she was on the mend. I had been cleaning and wrapping the foot. I ended up having to do the same on her other foot about a week and half later, but again, she seemed to be doing better. However, it seemed like little spots kept forming on her toes. Just little scabs, and eventually her toes started looking red and purplish. Her feet are now looking fairly red-purple on the bottom and she is having increasing trouble walking. She is basically refusing to walk on one foot and is stumbling around, and it is affecting her ability to eat. She is hungry enough, but can't stand or turn properly because she won't put weight on the one foot.. She is also looking and acting increasingly slumpy and unwell. I had started giving her Poly-Vi-Sol because her diet is very restricted, owing to the fact that she will really only eat oatmeal, wheat germ, and banana (she is as stubborn as she is old). I have examined her feet and cleaned them several times, and though she has dark spots on the bottoms, there is no scab to pull off this time, so I'm not sure if the same surgery treatment will work.

    So, my main questions are thus:

    I read that vitamin A deficiency can cause bumblefoot. Is this true and how could I differentiate?

    Will erythromycin have any real effect on the illness? I have read it can be used to treat staph, another cause of bumblefoot.What would the dosage be? She doesn't drink water directly, she gets it in her oatmeal, so I'm trying to figure out how to add it to that. It's the only antibiotic I have around. I feel like I can either do nothing and watch her fade away, or try it.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Please don't tell me to cull her. I have heard it before and she's gotten through many other trials. I know it's only a matter of time, but I'm not going to throw in the towel for her.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I wonder if maybe because of her age the circulation to her legs/feet has been compromised. I would continue the vitamin supplementation, keep her comfortable and safe from bullying and make sure she has access to feed and water. I am really uncertain as to whether antibiotic treatment will have any positive impact. You have done a wonderful job with her in that she has lived to be 19 years old.

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