Quail chick with mysteriously swollen foot

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MooniePie, Jun 12, 2019 at 7:28 PM.

  1. MooniePie

    MooniePie Hatching

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    Jun 1, 2019
    Howdy all.
    We have a small group of quails and are pretty new to chick raising. Lately, I've noticed one has a severely swollen foot that has only gotten worse, and her back toe is shriveled and black. Her feathers are fluffed up and messy, and she's not as skittish as her siblings. I've checked the foot, and can't see anything that could be cutting off blood flow. Is there anything I can do to help her? 20190612_201941.jpg
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Is there are hair or something wrapped around the foot? Note the red line around the foot. Try to slip something under that to see if it is a hair.
     
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  3. MooniePie

    MooniePie Hatching

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    We've also been wondering if that's the case, but it's so swollen over that it's impossible to tell, let alone to try and cut her free.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    If you have a seam ripper or a very small pair of scissors, I would try to slip them under whatever it is, because it can cut off circulation and the foot will die. Could there have been a leg band on that got too small. A string or a hair is the usual culprit in thes situations.
     
  5. MooniePie

    MooniePie Hatching

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    I will try, but again, it's very swollen over, and if there is a hair, it will be very tricky to remove it without also injuring her in the process.
     
  6. MooniePie

    MooniePie Hatching

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    It's so swollen over that I could not get the seam ripper in there, and I think the hair may have even begun to cut through her skin. Is there anything else I could try, or is there a possibility that the hair might snap off on it's own?
     
  7. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

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    I just had to deal with this on one of my silkies tonight.
    Hair won't snap on it's own. Needs to be removed.
    Are there any loose ends?
    It's horrible to feel like we're causing them pain when trying to remove the hair, but it will hurt a lot more if it's left there and the entire foot dies.
    I used an exacto knife to to cut the hair and then used my fingers to unwind it from the foot. It had grown into the flesh, so there was a fair amount of resistance. I know it hurt the poor baby, but he's on his way to recovery now that the hair is gone and the wound is washed and has meds on it.
     
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  8. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    I'm so sorry. I'm no expert but it does look like a hair tourniquet to me. I've read that hair remover cream is used when this happens to human babies. I don't know how that might react on chick skin, but if nothing else works it may be worth trying.

    Based on what I've read, because my quail chick recently had a hair tourniquet, if a toe is black and shriveled, it means it has died--but it is at risk of excessive bleeding if you puncture it, so be very careful. I think it sounds like the chick needs to go to the vet asap. I hope she'll be ok.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    How is the foot looking today? It is always hard to inflict more pain with getting an embedded hair or leg band off, but the outcome will be loss of the limb, so it would be worth the pain. This is very common with small chicks.

    This happens frequently with strings accidentally dropped from feed bags getting swallowed after wrapping around the tongue. The tongue swells, and the string is already passed down to the crop, and the chick dies because of a blocked airway.
     
  10. MooniePie

    MooniePie Hatching

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone.
    Earlier today, we tried again to remove the hair with a needle, but with no such luck. We consulted a local bird expert, and he suggested we use depilatory cream, and if that doesn't work, to lance the swollen bits to better reach the hair.
    So, I tried the cream, and I think it may have worked, but I'm gonna look at it tomorrow just to be certain.
    Again, thanks for all of the suggestions and support throughout this stressful situation! I will give an update on her condition tomorrow.
     
    maadroj likes this.

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