Toe attached by tendon only, to cut or not? (Gross toe pics, beware)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mtngrl812, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. mtngrl812

    mtngrl812 Songster

    This morning I noticed one of my hens limping around and upon closer inspection noticed one of her toe ends rotated and covered in dried blood. She either got a toe hung up in the fence somehow and completely severed the skin and broke the bone, or somehow stayed close enough to a horse to get stepped on.
    It hurts pretty bad, I can tell by the way she was sitting with her feathers fluffed and not acting "chicken-like". My biggest issue is that if I go ahead and cut the tendon to remove what is hanging on, will that cause further problems with that toe later? Should I try to put a couple stitches in the tendon to try to anchor it in the end of the toe that is left to keep it from receding up into the rest of the toe? Will that help her keep some mobility in that toe?

    Here you can see the toe nail is turned and points upward (the toe to the right just looks funny because of dirt on it, but it is aimed downward and normal)

    It was heck trying to get a good picture holding the hen, the toe and the camera, but in this pic you can see the white piece of tendon which is all that is holding this toe end on to the foot. The bone can be seen, but I couldn't get the angle right with the camera, but it has been completely severed.
    Could the lump of tissue be used to cover the end of the stump (if it would live) to protect the exposed bone? If I stitch, tape, wrap or somehow get the tissue to cover the end of the toe should I also attempt to attach the piece of tendon to it to keep the tendon from shrinking? Or will the tendon really make no difference in the long run, just get the end of the toe to heal?
    I have some Betadine solution I am going to wash the toe in, and use some first aid antibiotic cream with a wrap for now.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Difficult decision, I would cut it, but your choice, or wait for further advice
  3. AnotherSusan

    AnotherSusan Chirping

    Feb 14, 2012
    I had a silkie get into a similar predicament much closer to the foot. I clipped it and soaked it and kept it bandaged till it healed. I had to use duct tape over the bandage to keep it on. I also kept him in a separate cage in the coop so it could heal without the others pecking at the bandage. I kept him isolated for three weeks bandaged and another week after taking the bandage off to make sure it stayed closed while he did his normal chicken routine. Because I kept him where the others could see him, he integrated back into the flock easily.

    Just keep a close eye on the wound. Change the bandage and soak the foot at least daily and watch for signs of infection.

    I don't have any experience other than what I said above. Hopefully others will help you as well.
  4. MelissaTXRn

    MelissaTXRn Songster

    Jun 3, 2013
    Oh ****! I would just cut it off. Clean it, apply antibiotic ointment and wrap it. Keep it clean!
  5. Majd

    Majd Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    For me..... If some fresh flesh is still there I would try my best to fix it and even stitch it and wrap it with bandage and apply anty inflamatory and antibiotics.... clean regularly with fresh banfmdage..... if after hard work nothing helped I would remove it..... take it personally and think more about it if you were in her condition..... what would you choose...??!!
  6. R.M.Qureshi

    R.M.Qureshi Songster

    Jun 20, 2011
    Lahore , Pakistan
    X 2
  7. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    If she was a peron and went to the hospital, they would finish the amputation, irrigate and clean it really well, stitch the flap over it as a natural bandaid, then put her on antibiotics.
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    You could try just cleaning, splinting and wrapping it... Then, if the toe turns black, cut it off. FWIW, I had to remove the wing from a chick and the bone was sticking out, so I just kept it wrapped and the skin did finally cover the bone, but it took weeks.

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  9. mtngrl812

    mtngrl812 Songster

    For her, I thought the best choice was to finish the amputation the horse started. The bone was completely severed, no attaching it back to other bone and if it tried and developed a huge arthritic sore section.... well that would be a long term source of pain for her. All the skin was already cut off, the only piece holding the end of the toe in place was tendon. With it being exposed I was worried about infection getting into the foot through it. So I held her and DH used sharp wire snips and cut the tendon. We washed the toe with betadine scrub, I covered it in antibacterial ointment then wrapped the end of the toe with a non-stick wound bandage then duct tape. That way she could go back with the flock like she wanted, but the toe would be protected from dirt and pecking.
    Today the tape was gone, fell off on it's own and the toe looks surprisingly well!! The extra piece of tissue didn't take, so it just sticks out a little instead of covering the end of the toe, but she does not appear to be nearly as sore on her foot and is running around with the flock very well.
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    [​IMG] Thanks for the update! You should post some "after" pictures.


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