Swollen foot/leg... Bumblefoot? Emergency?


9 Years
May 21, 2013
Southern Ontario, Canada

My 6 year old chicken has a swollen foot and leg. There does appear to be a large lump on the foot pad but not a well defined black plug/scab as I've seen with other bumblefoot cases in the past.

She is not limping or otherwise seem sick but the leg does seem warmer to the touch than the other.

She has always had fat, gnarly legs which I think is why I didn't catch it sooner.

I made an appointment with my vet for Sept 16th (earliest available) but I'm debating if I should book her in as an emergency or try another clinic. I'm leaving for a week long overseas trip friday! I don't want anything bad to happen while I'm away or, if there is an infection, let her die of something curable. I've had a chicken with Bumblefoot before (looked a bit different) and the only thing that worked was oral antibiotics from the vet.

Thoughts on if this is Bumblefoot? Would it be ridiculous if I requested an emergency appt?

Thank you


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Yes, it looks like Bumblefoot to me. She has some spots on the other foot that are questionable as well. Hard to tell if that's dirt impacted in the nooks and crannies of the foot or what.
As for if it can wait until you get back from vacation, it's hard to know about that. Since you have vet care, can you send some photos to them and ask their opinion?
Thank you for your reply. I had washed her feet the first time I looked at them (probably should have done it again prior to the photo!) and a lot of it was dirt. But the spot on the left side did resemble a bit of necrotic bumblefoot scab... not as circular and well defined as other cases I've seen which was confusing. Both feet seem swollen and warm, left in the photo way worse than the right. She is a heavy bird (orpington) so she could have some other things going on as well (gout?). I watched her walking and while she isn't limping she does walk quite gingerly.

I looked over all my other chickens and found a mild case of obvious bumblefoot on another! I can treat this at home as it's in early stages.

I called my preferred vet again this morning... waiting for a triage nurse to call me back to discuss if this qualifies as an emergency and to offer up some photos.

I called another vet clinic I've previously used and was able to book a non-emergency visit for tomorrow morning. However, I'm a little nervous of using that clinic as they are expensive, haven't been overly helpful in the past and even made a few fatal mistakes (not as experienced as the other clinic with chickens). If this is just bumblefoot though... they could easily give her the right meds (and I know what to ask for).
A picture of your chicken’s feet while standing would be helpful as well. Beside the bumblefoot and foot pad dermatitus, the ankles appear swollen, so I would check to see if the other joints of the legs are swollen. Swollen joints may be a sign of possible MS (mycoplasma synovitis,) a bacterial joint infection.

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