Swollen toes, toenails covered or missing -photos-

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by albinocrow, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. albinocrow

    albinocrow New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Hi all, I am new here to posting. I usually just lurk to find answers.
    I am including photos of toes of some of my chickens. I know I have problems with scaly leg mites, but isn't this different?
    I can't figure out if the nails fell out or if they became engulfed by the swelling. I took the worst one and smothered his feet in bag balm the other day, and it seemed to make no difference. Is this a different symptom of scaley leg mites? or do you think it has to do with inbreeding? I have had chickens for about 15 years and have not seen this before. thanks,
    ~Sara
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    That looks painful. HOw does one get rid of the leg mites anyway? Just in case I end up having to tend to it. My chickens are fine but who knows what lays around the corner.
     
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Wow! That looks painful. I have never seen swelling from leg mite infestation actually pop the toenails off, so you may have another issue there.

    As for the leg mites themselves, taking care of that is as simple as a good, thick smear of vaseline, being sure to cover the legs and toes (and in between toes) really well. You will have to reapply on a semi-regular basis.

    For a really bad case like this you should probably scrub those legs down gently with an old toothbrush and a mild soapy-water solution first. Rinse, then dry the legs well before applying the vaseline.

    There are other more extreme methods some people use (like kerosene), but I do not care for going the toxic route. This is one of the easiest pests to eliminate - - no need to get all crazy.

    Good luck, and please let us know how it goes. Perhaps someone else can chime in about those toes.


    [Edited to add - - is it possible a fungal infection has set in? If so, is it possible that something like Blu Kote would work? It is an antifungal. Thoughts on this??]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  4. newdock

    newdock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a silkie I've been watching that has that going on with one toe as well. I'm interested to hear if anyone has any insight....
     
  5. albinocrow

    albinocrow New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2009
    hi emvickery,

    they don't seem to be in pain, but I know I would be.
    scaley leg mites are brutal and so hard to get rid of.

    I never had the problem till I traded some nasty roos for some older layers about 12 years ago, and I didn't realize at the time what 'those crusty' legs meant....and have been plagued ever since.

    smother their feet in bag balm at the first sign, evey day or so, change perches often....and don't take in other peoples chickens!
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC - it's great that you posted a picture so we can easily see what's going on. I for one have difficulty visualizing things that are described.

    The thing that seems a little odd to me is that typically swelling is accompanied by redness...I don't see any redness in either chicken, which makes me wonder if this is an old issue that has since resolved, and that the birds will just look this way from now on? I'm by NO means an expert, though. Do they appear to be painful when they walk?
     
  7. albinocrow

    albinocrow New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2009
    wow, you guys are fast to reply/help, thanks!
    yes, I was thinking perhaps fungus too. is blu kote available at farm and feed or pet stores? I think I should try it
    ~Sara
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't realize Blu Kote is an antifungal. Yes, you can find it at most feed stores. Good luck!
     
  9. albinocrow

    albinocrow New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Wynette,
    the roo in the first photo (the most affected chicken) actually favors his better leg as if it hurts instead of the right (bad) one. (?)

    it is actually getting worse and affecting more chickens. I thought it was because they had been penned/cooped up this past (long, harsh winter) but letting them out to forgage and take daily dirt/sun baths doesn't seem to be helping like I thought it would.

    thanks!
     
  10. Marion

    Marion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ivermectin is supposed to work for scaly leg mites as well as worms, I don't know the dosage but maybe someone else can help with that. I have no ideas about the toe issue though, doesn't look as though the scaly leg mites are bad enough to have caused that although I have read that they CAN cause many problems if they are left unattended to..

    "Knemidocoptes mutans, commonly known as the scaly-leg mite, causes disease in various avian species. In a peep of bantam chickens, proliferative skin lesions were observed on the shanks of 6 of 29 birds, with digit necrosis observed in some birds. Histologic examination of the necrotic digits revealed Knemidocoptes species in the stratum corneum. No new cases of scaly-leg mite infection occurred in the flock after administration of ivermectin, and treatment halted the progression of the disease process in infected chickens. This case report documents that severe Knemidocoptes infection can be associated with digit necrosis in chickens." from a site called BioOne Online Journals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009

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