Swollen toe with necrotic-looking claw. Mites? Fungal?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by torilovessmiles, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A little over a month ago I noticed that my one year old rooster's toenail was dull and short. I figured he had just broken the claw and that it would grow back. However, looking at it today, it's still short, brown, not growing, and accompanied by swollen tissue.
    [​IMG]

    Next to the healthy toe for comparison
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    It doesn't seem to be causing him any pain, and the scales on his legs look fine.
    Is this due to injury, fungi, or mites?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Here he is standing, if that helps
     
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if, like you said, he broke it down to the quick and it set up a little infection.

    I'd bring him inside, and keep him nice and warm in a bathroom or something. Wrap him in a towel and place another towel loosely over his head to calm him down. Clean off his toe really well... Get all the gunk and dirt out from there. I'd use a q-tip, a towel, maybe some nail clippers to gently dig around the sides, and some saline water. See if you can identify where an infection has started. If it's swollen, I betcha anything he got some bacteria in an open wound.

    Treat just like you would if you had a broken nail get infected. :)

    Clean it really well, put some antibiotic ointment ***without painkiller*** on it, wrap it with some gauze and vet wrap and let him heal his little toe. :) Change the poultice daily for a few days, reassess, and see if it's healed enough to leave it open to finish healing.

    I don't think it's mites... His scales would be lifting, and there would be a crust around the edges. I don't think it's a fungus, either.

    Clean if off really well and take a look at it. A picture after cleaningwould help us help you, too!

    Keep us posted. :)

    MrsB
     
  4. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here it is cleaned off. The nail is still brown, only more blackish-reddish-brown, and I cut into the nail a bit with the nail clippers to see what the inside was like. It's a bit spongy and stringy.
    What worries me about it after cleaning is that there is a ring on the toe next to the nail, that is paler than the other skin but looks a bit like a bruise. The toe does not feel warm as I would expect with a bacterial infection, nor is it oozing.

    [​IMG]


    Another side-by-side comparison. You can see the odd colored tissue better here.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't have any antibiotic ointment without painkiller, so I used blu-kote on it instead. If I have to cut into it, I'll wait a few days to clean up a working area and a place for him to stay. Kittens are already occupying our spare bathroom...
    He did get frostbite on his comb a couple weeks ago, but this showed up before then and my roosts are wide, so they sleep sitting on their feet.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Honestly, I think the tip of his toe got frostbite. Usually with frostbite in a toe, the toe tip will turn black with the nail and eventually fall off, while the still alive tissue above it will be swollen and clubbed. A broken off toenail will also look a bit like that. Here are 2 examples of frostbite to show what I mean:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great job!

    It may be just the photo or his foot, but is that little tan-ish spot perhaps a puss pocket? That seems to be where the deepest part of the nail goes.

    I feel like this will need a little time and TLC to help him heal, but if it's just a toenail break, it should grow back with no issue.

    In place of antibiotic ointment, you can also use a little honey. :)

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  7. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poor little feets!!! :(

    MrsB
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It really could be just an injured toenail, too, but last month was awful for srostbite. I have a hen who tore her toenails partially off on a fence, and her toenail turned black, fell off, and the toe has remained swollen and clubbed at the tip.
     
  9. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see, his toe does look similar, just milder
    However, this did appear just before those big storms, when the winter was particularly mild. I don't think we had a night under 15 degrees F until those big storms, actually! However, it's possible it was low one night and I just wasn't paying attention to the weather.
    Weather it's frostbite or an injured toenail, I will keep antibiotic ointment on it (when I get it) to help the infection. I'm just happy it's not something that can be transmitted to the other chickens!
    Thanks for the help to both of you! It's greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Due to the swollen appearance, It is likely a small localized staph infection from catching a toe on something, or getting punctured, then becoming infected. If you want it to heal properly and not remain infective, no Blue-Kote, Neosporin, or honey will help against staph. You need Nitrofurazone salve (preferably) or Silvadene cream (silver sulfadiazine). Soak the foot in very warm water-epsom salt solution for about 5 minutes. If you can see the center point of infection, heat sterilize the blade of a small, sharp pocket knife. Wear surgical gloves. Apply Betadine with a non stick pad or clean cotton balls. Perforate the infected tissue, and squeeze the exudate out. You may need to carefully scoop out hardened pus. Wipe the wound clean inside and out. Clean it out until you see blood. Blood flowing back into the area of the wound will help the medicine reach the point of infection. You can stop bleeding by gently pinching the toe/applying pressure. You will need non-stick pads some sports tape or duct tape, and some Vetrap tape: http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e07463-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5 Apply Nitrofurazone with a tongue depressor or a clean, flat object you will not reuse. Tape the non stick pad around the toe so it won't come off. Be inventive starting around the leg with Vetrap, and circling around the toe so the toe is completely protected from dirt or debris.Don't wrap it too tight. Replace bandaging each day after removing old bandage, cleaning wound, and reapplying Nitrofurazone. Do this until the infection is gone and the wound heals.

    This no joke or excessive methodology. I am currently dealing with a much nastier infection than that one, and have learned much about staph and it's resilience to old methods of treatment. Finally, after using the more effective topical, and Trimethoprim Sulfa oral suspension 12 hours apart for 5 days, has improvement quickened. Your bird's infection is small and localized. Larger infections run the risk of staph traveling through the body, causing slow, painful death, which is why tissue penetrating meds such as Trimethoprim Sulfa are so much more effective than penicillin, erythromycin, lincomycin, and spectinomycin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

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