Severe bumblefoot surgery **GRAPHIC**

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by startingover, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    I wanted to share this so that it could be a learning experience for others.

    A little background. This is a blue copper Marans rooster who will be 3 in the spring. Skye has had a hard life and it always Seems like he gets beat up by others even though he is the biggest rooster I have. About a month ago he got beat up by one of my Tom turkeys. He was injured very badly and I was not sure that he was going to make it. Both of his eyes were injured, his comb, and various other serious injuries. He also had some serious injuries to his foot. I decided to treat the life-threatening ones first and ignored his foot. Long story short Skye pulled through and it was time to concentrate on his foot. By this time his foot had swollen tremendously and was obviously a severe case of bumble foot. I tried the usual treatments for bumble foot and it did not make any difference. I should also note that I do not ever under any circumstances give antibiotics. Sunday I decided that we needed to perform surgery in order to get the staph infection out. I did not want to cut on his entire foot at the same time as I felt that it would be too much to handle at once. We made one small incision Sunday and pulled a large staph infection plug out. We did use Betadine to disinfect the area prior to surgery. I used Teatree oil inside the wound and also on other parts of his foot prior to wrapping it.

    Today I unwrapped his foot and the wound that we cut looked great, swelling down tremendously in that area. However the Teatree oil obviously worked and was pulling a large amount of staph infection out to the surface.

    Today I basically soaked his foot in hot water, pulled out all the scab and staph infection plugs that I could.

    I've attached some pictures for you to see the progress of today. Please do not condone me for the Condition of his foot. I had to make a choice on whether he lived or died and had to treat the more serious injuries first.

    This is after unwrapping his bandage. You can see where we made the incision Sunday on the left side.


    Skye soaking in the tub. He's smart and used his wing over the tub for balance.


    This is after I cut, pulled, and dug out every staph plug I could. Those are some huge holes!


    Tea tree oil applied and bandaged. I did this surgery myself with no help. I wrapped him in a towel and he didn't move the entire time.


    The majority of the plugs I got out. [​IMG]

    I hope this helps someone else.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
    3 people like this.
  2. bird sitter

    bird sitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great job on your surgery! Hope your little chickie does ok! [​IMG]
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2012
    I'm not so sure about this...seems wrong to start cutting off pieces of foot without numbing or anaesthetic, then again I don't know how or what chickens
  4. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    I did not cut off a single portion of skin. Bumblefoot forms plugs that once loosened from the outer skin, come out easily. The outer scabs is what adheres to the skin. The areas where I was working did not have nerves because its infection - not skin. Those gaping holes were made by the size of the infection plugs.

    If this had been painful for him, I would not have been able to do this by myself. That towel is wrapped around him loosely just enough to keep him on his side (and feeling secure) so that his foot was exposed. He could have gotten up any time he wanted but he didn't. So obviously I did not cause him any pain.

    And the blood you see is great IMHO. That means he still has very healthy circulation to this area and it still clots on its own very quickly.

    I think it would have been considered neglect and abuse had I NOT done something with it.
    4 people like this.
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Chicken's brains are too small to react to pain the way people do. They have no reaction during surgery and, not all, but a lot of pain meds and anaesthetics are bad for birds. This is a simple, easy procedure that does not hurt the bird.

    Plus, I would rather you cut the infection off of my foot than let me die of something easily solved.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  6. bird sitter

    bird sitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, well said.
  7. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    When you have a case of bumblefoot you have to do this surgery!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! if I ever have to do this I will refer back to this thread.
  8. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well that is very very interesting, thanks for making the effort to do this whilst also attending your bird.
  9. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    Thanks guys! Skye is doing great today and putting more weight back on his foot. I will unwrap it later today and see how it looks!
  10. weaversfarm

    weaversfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 28, 2012
    As far as letting his foot go to care for his other wounds, I would have done the same thing. I have never seen Bumblefoot and am so glad you posted these pictures. Now if I ever have a case, I will know what to do. Why didn't the infection spread throughout his body? You would think being a staph infection it would have spread and it would have gone into the bloodstream. Although I have had chickens for a long time, I am still learning. Congratulations on giving him such good care and saving him and again, thank you for posting the pictures.

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