Swollen Foot

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rachel96, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Rachel96

    Rachel96 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today I noticed one of my hens, Suzy, had a rather odd-looking foot. Upon closer inspection, it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously this isn't good.
    She doesn't seem to be having any trouble walking and to be honest I would have missed it if she hadn't been quite close to me (I dread to think how long I've already been missing it). It doesn't seem to be affecting her much.

    But it looks quite horrible - the toes look like the bones are being pushed out of how they should be or something equally ghastly - and must be painful even if she doesn't seem to be reacting to it at all unless we poke at it.

    The lump is reasonably firm - that is, it isn't rock-hard, but it isn't soft and wobbly like it were puss-filled, either. In fact, it feels much like the bottom of a chook's foot normally does.

    I've separated her from the others and put her in 'ICU' - that is, an old rabbit cage up on the back verandah. I have no idea what to do with this - I've never encountered this sort of a problem before. We think something's gotten imbedded in her foot (see the little darker speck in the middle of the lump) but couldn't get it out with tweezers.

    Any ideas for how to treat this?

    [​IMG]

    from Rachel (and Suzy).
     
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh man, that is really bad bumblefoot. The foot pad is swollen and infected with a lump of hard... stuff. You have to do surgery if she's going to walk right. The infection can spread into the rest of her system, I think. There are a lot of good articles on here about it if you search "bumblefoot," here's one thread.
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree it's a case of bumblefoot.
     
  4. Rachel96

    Rachel96 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I tried the surgery described on the other thread.

    The plug came out easily enough, along with some white stuff attached to it just as described. I couldn't see any 'white stuff' down the hole though, just purply-red stuff. I soaked it and kneaded it and little whisps of white stuff came out very very slowly and just sat by the hole.

    After soaking and kneading and poking around with tweezers for about an hour, I hadn't managed to get any white stuff out and Suzy was getting very distressed. She jumped up and off the table and tried to run away. There wasn't any visible difference in the foot. I decided to give it a rest for the moment, so put Betadine on it (we don't have Neosporin in Australia) and wrapped it up.

    She seems fine otherwise, but I don't know what to do. The surgery definitely didn't go as it was supposedly meant to. I'll try once more later today or maybe tomorrow, once she's calmed down.

    I can't take her to the vet. From an objective point of view, it just isn't feasible. Suzy's only really worth maybe $10 or $15, emotional attachment aside, and I have lots of other layers. Being 16, I simply don't have the kind of money needed for a vet visit. If the surgery doesn't work when I try again, I'm going to have to seriously consider putting her down, and that isn't a thought that appeals to be, especially given she's only about a year old.

    from Rachel.
     
  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you did a good job. Every case of bumblefoot is different and maybe you got all there was. Some of the puffiness might just be swelling in the surrounding area. I think you did the right thing, stopping when she got distressed. You might want to wait for a few days to see if the swelling goes down, keeping her foot clean and dry. If it looks like there has been no improvement you can do further surgery, but hopefully no more will be needed.
     
  6. Rachel96

    Rachel96 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I just checked the foot and the swelling seems to have gone down a little. It seems the bandage had come off overnight and the wound was quite dirty. I cleaned it with saline and Betadine and then re-wrapped it. I went to the chemist this morning and bought something called "antibacterial medical honey" which I put on the foot (I did a quick Google and to my understanding Neosporin is antibiotic/antibacterial cream, isn't it?). I will do as suggested and leave it for a few days and see what happens.

    from Rachel.
     
  7. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see that "antibacterial medical honey" contains "leptospermum honey", which is honey made from the tree species leptospermum, found only in New Zealand and Australia. Some early research suggests it is effective in killing some types of bacteria which have become resistant to antibiotics. Fascinating stuff! If you are dealing with true bumblefoot, usually the only effective treatment is removal of all of the infection if localized, or antibiotics if it has spread systemically. I hope the honey works for you.. Please post updates if you don't mind - I'll be watching this thread with interest.
     

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