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Swollen toes on roo/frostbite?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by flyboy129, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all. I noticed my RIR roo seemed unsteady on his feet at times, especially when he tries to sit down or lay out in the grass. I concluded his spurs probably needed trimming. He is an awesome roo, and calm around people, so I usually don't remember his spurs till he is high stepping over them. He is walking better after I cut the spurs back. However, after shortening his spurs, I noticed his middle toe on one foot was swollen at the end. There appears to be no toe nail there anymore. How serious is this, and what do I need to do for the guy? He seemed okay as far as walking (maybe just to convince his ladies he was perfectly fine after I had him down for the pic). Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  2. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bump. Watched him a little more this afternon before work. He is definitely favoring his other foot, so it is causing some discomfort. I have everything needed for surgery tomorrow if it comes to that. I plan on soaking his feet in warm salt water for a few minutes and see from there. Any other suggestions?
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    He has scaly leg, but that's not what caused his toe issue because it's not progressed far enough, though when it does, it can amputate toes and feet. I would guess he's cut his claw off on mesh when scratching or when he's caught it on something, or, as once nearly happened to one of my hens, someone almost shut the coop door on her main toe. Lucky I was there and stopped that one, it would have been a gusher. Another time some ignorant but well meaning people dragged a mesh bottomed cage with one of my best hens convalescing in it a few feet and almost amputated one of her toes, which later dropped off because of the sheer level of damage done. That one was obviously very painful.

    He has swelling at the toe tip, which almost certainly means infection, and infection can progress up the leg and claim his life if you don't act on it; in fact I'm not sure it hasn't progressed already. His leg looks swollen but that could be the scaly leg...

    Also, what's that lump on his ankle at the base of his outermost toe?

    And what's that black mark halfway up his toe? Hopefully pigmentation and not tissue death.

    I think I see some blood on his toe tip, so perhaps it's a glass wound or something like that.

    Surgery is not recommended except as a last resort in most cases. If he's missing the toe tip/claw, as it appears he is, disinfecting would be a better bet than cutting into it, which can spread the damage. If he has some bumblefoot present, it can become systemic and cause the leg bone itself to become infected, which can cause such swelling, and carries a higher chance of death as well.

    But at this point it's impossible to say what's going on. Is the other leg the same? Sorry for all the questions but it's necessary to suss out what's going on.

    Being a practitioner of natural therapies I can only recommend what I'd use. Someone will be along soon, no doubt, to prescribe artificial antibiotics, and if that's what you're familiar with and trust, do what you think is best, as always. I will give my recommendations anyway.

    Personally I would inspect the toe and if he has any claw remaining, just disinfect and clean and coat his foot with something antiseptic which promotes healing. It depends on what exactly has happened. I guess someone else might recommend Blue Cote or something like that but personally I'd use Stockholm Tar, since that's worked wonders for my animals even with predator-caused gangrenous wounds and amputations, and it also works with scaly leg. Some really object to the sticky hands fuss of it though. But with Stockholm Tar you can apply it once and leave him for a few days, free ranging or whatever like normal, and it will kill the infection and foster rapid healing. Two applications for any issue are generally all that is needed. One does it fairly often but in rare cases three or four applications is necessary but it soaks into flesh, scales etc and does its job over a few days and quite often there is no scar tissue resulting, everything heals like new; I've never seen any infection survive it. We've used it on golden staph too.

    I would feed him at least one, probably two, fresh raw cloves of cut or crushed garlic per day, mixed with his feed or something he likes, for example yoghurt if he likes it, and I'd separate him from the hens to do that so he doesn't share it all out to them at his own expense.

    Or just feed them all an appropriately larger dose so he gets his share as well, if he's too anxious if separated from the hens.

    Freshly damaged raw garlic contains Allicin, which results from the interaction of the enzymes released in the damage, which is a potent natural antibiotic which can defeat bacteria etc that the strongest man-made antibiotics can't. Fresh or not raw garlic contains 34+ other natural antibiotics, and flushing his system with this from the inside out will kill harmful bacteria etc without killing the good as well, unlike artificial antibiotics. Also, garlic's high in sulfur and a few other things which are vital to repair and disease resistance/defeat.

    How you treat this depends on what's happened so it's necessary to find out what.

    His leg scales are quite misaligned, so if he produces offspring with a high incidence of spraddling, check their scales and you will soon see if the spraddling is genetic. Often misaligned leg scales indicate subtly misaligned bone and other structures underneath, which is heritable and causes chicks whose legs spraddle outwards or inwards depending on which direction the scales twist towards; it can be a sorry mess to fix once it's throughout your flock. I can now tell which chicks to cull from hatching onwards just based on leg scaling, which isn't much of a cheery prospect, lol. While they will eventually gain their feet, it's painful for them and there's no real value in breeding that on. Good breeders and hatcheries used to cull for this trait, the non-straight leg scales, but lately it seems people no longer have that information for the greater part. I'd suspect this is partly due to almost extinct breeds being resurrected, so the breeding stock may have been sub par but could not be dispensed with, so people bred through the problem instead of culling it out, and so many chickens on this site have some horrible leg scaling but mostly straight legs, though to be fair there's an awful lot of posts about spraddled chicks all the time too. And plenty of breeds that were never in danger of dying out have this issue too. But that's all rather irrelevant at the moment if your rooster dies, so hope he recovers; he should do, I reckon, with the right care. It's not a serious issue, but would be painful.

    A random suggestion is to purchase some hydrated agricultural lime and sprinkle some on all the ground they walk on, to kill pathogens, parasite eggs etc in the soil and help prevent his wounds picking up more bacteria. But of course what you feed him and apply to him will matter far more than how clean you can make his walking surfaces.

    Best wishes with your roo. Another thing I should mention is not to 'bump' --- there are site rules against that.
     
  4. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, I soaked his feet in warm water and epsom salt this morning as well as cleaned them so I could see better. The black mark on the middle section of his toe was dirt. Both middle toes are swollen at the tip, but I'm leaning toward frostbite as a possible cause. The other toe still has it's toenail, so I'm not sure if he injured the one without a nail further, or if it fell off due to frostbite. The one missing the nail definitely has dried blood where the nail was, almost indicating he got it caught and injured it. Here are more pics. It doesn't look like bumble foot. He definitely has some scaly leg. I live in the states and am unsure if I can get stockholm tar, but will try to find some kind of tar paste to try. Sticky hands don't bother me, and I'd rather he remain with his girls as that will keep him from staying upset.

    Pic of bottom of foot missing nail. No sign of bumblefoot. The only swollen area is the tip of his toe. [​IMG]
    Same foot, end view. Just a little redness on the side about a quarter inch (7mm) back from injury.
    [​IMG]
    Bottom of same foot. Swollen area prominently on bottom of toe.
    [​IMG]
    Other foot, minor swelling and discoloration at end of middle toe. Frostbite?
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help. Now to bleach out the sink.
     
  5. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. A bit of an update. While the rest of his legs and his other toe with what seemed to be frostbite look better, his one toe had swollen a bit more. He was getting around better than before, but I could tell that one toe still bothered him greatly. So, I just got through with the operation.

    Took about an hour. I soaked and cleaned his feet before wrapping him in a towel. After applying peroxide to the toe, I used an sterilized xacto knife and began flaking the scab off. After a few minutes of chipping, I got to some minor blood. While rinsing under warm water, I seen the white inside. A slight poke with the knife let out a tiny bit of milky fluid, but I figured there would be more, so I kept digging as gently as possible. I could see the cheesy looking stuff, but seemed unable to dig it out with the knife. Plus, the poor guy definitely hated me poking around his toe with it. I'm guessing he probably has nerve endings like we do?

    So, I gritted my teeth (and if he had teeth, he would have gritted too), and slowly began squeezing the toe from the upper part, working my way toward the tip. A decent sized chunk of cheese (About 1/2 the size of the swollen area) came out. That was all I could find. There was some thin tissue-like white just below his scales/skin all the way around the perimeter of his toe. A little cutting and a tug with some disinfected pliers pulled a small piece out, but it almost appears like cartilage? So, I didn't pull any more of that out.

    The swelling was reduced, but was still there after I got the infection out. Will it go down after the fact, or should it be gone completely? I cleand the wound with peroxide and packed the end of his toe with neosporin and wrapped it in gauze before taping it up. He is back with his ladies for now and just crowed as I write this.

    Any other tips or sugestions? Thanks
     
  6. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. Just an update to this issue. I di a couple weeks of Pen-G injections into his breast, every other day as well as alternating sides. Kept his foot bandaged, cleaning it every day and using some chlorhexidine ointment I got from the vet applied directly to the wound. I kept him in a cage inside the coop (sometimes letting him have a lady for company).[​IMG]

    The infection cleared up, however, the toe stayed large on the end. It is slightly crooked as well, which leads me to believe he somehow got it caught in something, ripped off his toenail, and possibly broke the end of that toe.
    His other middle toe apparently did have frostbite. After the one middle toe healed, the toenail came off of the other middle, frostbitten toe. No infection came from that. I treated him and kept it wrapped for a few days.

    Later on, he lost yet another toenail somehow. I caught that one early as well. I also did a thorough search of the outdoor run area and eliminated anything that I deemed could be causing the issue.

    Anyhoo, I am posting this because tonight, he reached a milestone. For the first time in close to 6 months....
    ... HE IS PERCHED ON THE ROOST!! [​IMG] I went out and checked on the peeps just a while ago, and much to my amazement, he was up there, with his ladies, looking out the window overlooking the field.
     
  7. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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