Old, rotting wound on leg won't heal

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dudu, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    6
    103
    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    One of our 3 year old hens used to have some kind of a tumor on her leg for a long time (on the scaley part, above the toes) which didn't seem to bother her. One day I believe it popped open, but nothing was coming out of it and it looked very dry (and black).

    A week ago we noticed she was limping and some blood had seeped out, so we FINALLY took her home to try to treat.

    It seemed to me that we will soak her feet good, remove what can be removed of the growth and then disinfect real well and begin to apply an ointment to heal (there is a herbal ointment based on honey and propolis (from bees) which has ALWAYS worked miracles on all kinds of wounds, human or animal).

    When we got off the outside layer (which was HARD as a rock despite soaking), we got to more soft, cooked-egg-like, porous tissue (what could that be? maybe old puss?) with a nasty rotten smell. I didn't dare to clip off too much of it as when I cut, it would in some places begin to bleed.

    We proceeded with trying to remove all of that stuff (which formed a sort of a bump on one side just above the toes) getting down to raw live flesh, disinfecting (with iodine solution or with peroxide), putting on the ointment and bandaging it not to get dirt inside. Some days we would spray Betadine on the leg instead of bandaging.

    I was hoping that the wound would begin to heal from underneath, but it seems that the nasty porous tissue forms some kind of a film over the live places where I had taken it off.

    The soaking that she gets (for about 30-40 min sometimes) has made some areas of the scales on her leg soft and some peaces have come off, including one revealing live flesh on the other leg (!) now. (A small one but it bled today after soaking)

    I am beginning to seriously worry about it. She is eating well and the wound does not seem to bother her, she can use the leg but prefers not to stand on it, keeping it up. However I am now scared and wondering what ELSE can we do to treat it.

    We should have probably taken her to the vet's to begin with, but I guess I was afraid they'd say there's nothing they could do for such an old, scary looking wound, so I tried to repair it myself. [​IMG] (which HAD always worked before [​IMG])

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. Looking at her legs, she may have had scaley mites at some point for sure, or even still has them.
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    821
    32
    133
    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Dudu,
    sorry about your poor bird. Could you put up a photo? I really feel people would need to see the wound to get an idea of how you might treat it.
    best wishes
    Erica
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,519
    72
    201
    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    The nasty stinky porous stuff is pus/infection. The soaks are good. You can even add some epsom salts to the soaks. It sounds like you're doing everything right. When pink tissue is revealed that bleeds a bit, that's actually a good thing. Keep using the ointment. Glob it on there pretty good and a small gauze pad over that and then wrap it. You can wait about 3 days to change it again and repeat the soak followed by the ointment and dressing material. Once every 3 days is sufficient. I applaud your efforts and wish you and you chicken the best.
     
  4. NC ChickenKate

    NC ChickenKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    5
    81
    Jul 30, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    First, let me say I finished veterinarian school but never went into practice.
    Tumors are full of blood vessels which feed the tumor, so they will and do bleed. Encapsulated tumors typically do not have little tentacles of blood vessels that reach out into the surrounding areas. Folks have used shark cartilege to shrink tumors in people for a dozen or more years(supposedly cuts off the blood supply to the tumor)...but I don't know of anyone trying it on chickens. You might research that.
    I have had several animals who developed tumors on different parts of their bodies that despite all the TLC given, it never went away or even lessened in size much, and the animal lived for many, many more years. Leg and foot problems are usually harder to fix as there is less skin and/or muscle to work with to close up any wound.
    Everything you are doing sounds just right and you are to be congratulated for such dilligence. As long as she isn't acting as if she's in pain, is eating, drinking, etc. normally all you can really do is continue treating her the same way and give it the "tincture of time".
    Hydrogen peroxide is only minimally better than plain water as a wound cleanser, and because it will dry the wound edges, it does not promote healing of the wound. Betadine solution is better all around for any wound. Iodine stings. Honey is a fabulous wound protectant with all it's aneseptic properties...one of my professors called it "nature's bandage".
    Best of luck and don't give up yet!
     
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,519
    72
    201
    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Quote:All that is true of a tumor/mass. If it is an abscess, it does not have its own blood supply but may appear bloody as the infection invades otherwise healthy vasculature. Just keep doing what you're doing, but I really don't think you have to do it daily.
     
  6. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    1
    109
    Dec 11, 2009
    Do a search for Bumble Foot on this forum. There have been a few really nice thread with pics and treatment. I will keep looking for it.
     
  7. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    1
    109
    Dec 11, 2009
  8. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    6
    103
    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    First of all, I want to offer my apologies for not getting back to this thread.

    Erica, I'm posting a few pics now and an update will follow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    turtlebird, thanks a lot, I looked at it thoroughly and it didn't seem to look like Bumblefoot, but what do I know after so much time.

    nurse_turtle and NC ChickenKate, thank you so much for the detailed info; I tried the treatment (soak + ointment) for a few more days, but the wound just had that nasty rot smell and as if kept forming more puss (i.e. I clean it off after soaking, put on ointment, but when I take off the bandage, the ointment looks like it never even started to absorb or work, and the spots which I had cleared of the puss substance are with it again, besides the whole thing was starting to look rather swollen [​IMG]).

    So I plucked up the courage to take her to the vet who said it might be a tumour or it might be infection only, but at any rate he prescribed antibiotics (Synulox) orally plus Loxicom against pain and inflammation. He said he prefers for the wound to dry up, and said that if I want to, I can spray Betadine on it to help it dry.

    Well, after a few days the really rotten smell seems to have gone, it's still swollen around the remains of the tumour or whatever it is, but I am continuing with Betadine and the drugs he prescribed and keeping fingers crossed that it will clear up.

    Here are pics of our Chicca:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ILOVELEGHORNS

    ILOVELEGHORNS Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    0
    79
    Nov 9, 2011
    Wisconsin
    gangreen
     
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    1,314
    46
    171
    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    It looks like the area affected may be too large for a home fix at this point; possibly even too much to save the leg if it runs deep enough into the tissue. When it comes to large areas of infection, oral medicines and injections usually don't help much because circulation is so compromised. Typically, infected tissue and much be manually removed and the whole area treated with a strong anti-microbial, often coupled with oral/intravenous medication.

    If you have a vet in your area who treats chickens, I'd see them sooner rather than later.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by