Treating Bumblefoot: How to?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by GardenerGal, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    My nine-year-old African gander has developed bumblefoot. It's not a large one yet, but I don't want to let it fester. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to try injecting penicillin into the boil, or attempting to remove it. The boil is on the side of the footpad instead of the bottom - it could be gently pulled aside and snipped - but I am concerned about being able to keep such a surgical opening clean while it heals.

    Has anyone successfully treated their geese with injection, and if you have, did penicillin work or did you combine it with another antibiotic?

    Thanks for any insights.
  2. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    I've never had to treat bumblefoot, but everything I've seen says that you must get the pus plug out of the foot or it won't heal.
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    I guess I'll have to. I found a really good post elsewhere that explained how to clean, dress and wrap the foot, so I'll try.

    But I know I'll need to include some sort of antibiotic treatment. I've seen Baytril mentioned a lot, but I don't have a poultry vet here and apparently Baytril requires a prescription in the U.S.
    Are there other antibiotics that are not toxic to waterfowl and which would work against Bumblefoot staph?
  4. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Use iodine or Betadine squirted into the empty pus pocket. Let it set in there for a few minutes, then rinse it out with salt water.

    Grab the goose a couple of times a day and rinse it with a very diluted solution of bleach water (surprisingly, this does not kill off healing tissues, just germs). My grandmother dressed her leg ulcers from poor circulation in weak bleach solution and they healed right up. This was prescribed by her home health nurse.

    The hole should fill in pretty quickly [​IMG] Keep the bathing water clean, maybe some vinegar in the water to keep germs down, and let the goose paddle in that.

    Once a bird gets bumblefoot, they tend to get it again (an immune system deficiency, so I've heard). Hopefully not for your goosie [​IMG] but just be aware.

    ETA: the solution is one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Aren't there over the counter antibiotics used for human children (like Neosporin (mis spelled for sure) You know sprays salves etc that can be applied to open wounds. Heck I would even try one of these antibiotic hand cleaners that they hope will kill flu virus. No data but if it is safe for kids it is probably safe for geese.
  6. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Thanks Kim65 and goosedragon.

    Kim, how dilute should the bleach water be? A quarter cup of bleach per gallon, or more dilute?

    I did some reading around the forum and found reference to Neosporin many times, and also noted it was recommended in the various cooperative extension and university ag school poultry pages. So that's what I'll use. I also keep betadine in the first aid box and use it to clean wounds on my poultry. I'll definitely use it for this too.

    Goosedragon, that handcleaner stuff is good to have around the barn (Softsoap and the rest). It has a compound called triclosan in it that is supposed to kill pretty much all the nasty varmints, but I don't know if that includes flu bugs. But in an emergency I've glopped it into scratches and other shallow wounds on poultry and used it to keep a hen's prolapsed vent clean while it healed.

    Also... I always keep a bottle of penicillin g procaine, syringes and 18-gauge needles (also 25-gauge, but they're too small for the thick serum) hypos handy for emergencies, and I was thinking of injecting the "bumble" a couple of days first, before opening and draining. What are your thoughts?

    The bumble formed almost on the side of the gander's toe, not quite under it, so it's easy to manipulate. If I could keep his foot clean enough, I'd remove it completely with a scalpel, but I'm afraid I'd be creating a bigger problem as it would probably require a couple of sutures.

    Someone posted a photo of a neoprene "boot" they made for a duck to keep its foot clean after bumblefoot treatment, and I might try something like that and keep the gander in his barn stall on the deep litter for a week or more while he's recovering.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    This is very simple Bumblefoot responds very well to plain old penecilling. Inject 1 cc into the thigh of the leg which has the bumble.

    If you are using Durapen (long acting) it is repeated every 24 or 48 hours (read the label). If you use Pen-G, it may be twice per day.

    Continue giving the penecillin until the bumble is gone + 5 days. It's very common in waterfowl kept on farms to get bumbles if they are walking over bark mulch, gravel, dirt, etc. It's uncomfortable for them; but it's not lethal either. So don't freak out too much.
  8. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Thanks greyfields. It's penicillin g so I'll do the 2X per day. Will inject in the thigh and not directly into the boil.

    I've had the gander since he was young, and he has never had bumblefoot until now, and he's 9 years old. It's good to hear that it's not lethal in waterfowl, but I don't want to leave it to chance. [​IMG] I keep the waterfowl pen swept clean but the New England soil "grows" rocks so you never can remove them all! Who knows how they get "booboos" on their feet -- stones, splinters, it's a rough world out there.

    I lost a 5 year old turkey to bumblefoot last year but that was because I let it go too long and the bacteria became systemic. I was too afraid to open the boil and by the time I did it was too late. I don't want it to happen with my gander. His bumblefoot just happened within the past few weeks and I'm going to get it early.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  9. jonip55

    jonip55 New Egg

    Jan 3, 2015
    one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    does that mean soak? how often

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