Spur innards (infected?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickens4pet, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. chickens4pet

    chickens4pet New Egg

    Oct 16, 2012
    My rooster is a big, old boy and his spurs are big and thick. So instead of removing, I decided to trim with a Dremel (the sanding tool). It worked great, no pain, no blood. But last time, I came to this area of the spur that was not solid. It looked sort of like a lattice and had little holes in it. I stopped because I didn't know if that meant the 'quick' was coming up.

    Well, that spur looked dirty and black (stuffed with poop?dirt?) shortly thereafter. Now it has big black stripes running down it lengthwise on the inside. Did it bleed in there? Or could it be infected? And, he has started high-stepping with that leg. Something is hurting (foot looks fine). The other spur looks fine, completely normal.

    Has anyone seen this? Or know more about spur anatomy than I can find out?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Good clear pics would help immensely.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    From Wikipedia:

    A spur is an outgrowth of bone covered in a sheath of horn found in various anatomical locations in some animals. Unlike claws or nails, which grow from the tip of the toes, spurs form from other parts of the foot, usually in connection with joints where the toes meet the foot or the foot meets the long bones.[1] Spurs are most commonly found on the hindfeet, though some birds possess spurs at the leading edge of the wings.[2]

    A spur is much like a true horn; it is a bony core attached to the skeleton and has an outer horny layer. Like horns, the spur grows from the base outwards, so the tip is older than the base. Some spurs form as an outgrowth of an existing bone, though most are secondarily formed as dermal bone hinged to the skeleton through a semi-rigid joint. Spurs on the hind-feet do not appear to molt, but the wing spurs of birds are molted once a year along with the wing feathers.[2]
    Unlike claws, spurs are normally straight or only slightly curved, making them suited to striking or stabbing. In birds and mammals, their function appears to be for fighting, defense and territory marking, rather than for predation.[2] In reptiles, spurs are usually only found in the males and are used as holdfasts or to stimulate the female during copulation.[3]

    I agree that photos would help. But my guess is that what you're seeing is dried, encrusted blood.

    If you think the spur is not healing, try soaking it in warm Epsom salts for fifteen minutes, water hot, but not hot enough to burn your hand.

    After the soak, spray with Vetericyn. I've recently had my rooster's spurs refuse to harden after removing the outer horn. They would bleed whenever he banged them against anything hard. I wrapped them in vet wrap for a few days until they were mostly hardened. The tips were the last to want to harden, but exposure to air quickly did the trick.
  4. chickens4pet

    chickens4pet New Egg

    Oct 16, 2012
    Here is the good spur, just trimmed short, looks normal and white

    The other one (see 1st post)

    Here is the nice boy with one of his hens
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    The other one looks fine to me. The dark part could be internal blood or just natural coloring. It is normal for the tops of spurs to look like they're made of rings and be dry/flaky in texture. With that said, if your rooster is limping or still walking strange, in this case, that spur may not be as normal as it appears.
  6. chickens4pet

    chickens4pet New Egg

    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks for your comments. It isn't getting any worse. It didn't happen til I trimmed it, and I didn't understand what had happened in there. I never saw external blood, but it could be that. Wondered if it was an infection, if I should take that spur off. I certainly hesitate to trim it again.

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