Treating Bumblefoot in Waterfowl

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GardenerGal, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

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    I have a 12-year-old African gander that has been in good health since I bought him as a young adult. A few years ago, he developed a case of bumblefoot, with a small "bumble" on the side of an outer toe. It didn't impeded his walking, stayed localized, and I decided then that treating it might be more complicated than leaving it be.

    Now, though, I've noticed that the infection has doubled in size and while it is still on the side of the foot, I'm concerned about the infection itself over time.

    I'm trying to decide whether to put the gander on a course of injected penicillin. I always keep a bottle of fresh penicillin in the refrigerators for emergencies, but I have always been hesitant to give my birds any kind of systemic medication unless it's absolutely necessary.

    My questions are --

    Should I treat him at this point?

    Has anyone here ever had to use injectible treatments for bumblefoot on a goose or duck, and if so, how did you manage the treatments?

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I would look up treatments and follow that advice- not sure they can have that type of antiboitc as baby waterfowl are not 'allowed' to have medicated starter.

    If you have the time and energy you could debris it and clean it- using triple antiboitc ointment w/o giving it systemically.
     
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

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    Thank you. I've read that waterfowl often react badly to certain antibiotics, but that penicillin is one that geese will tolerate. One reason why I have held off on systemic treatment was precisely because of concern about bad reactions to antibiotics.

    I've seen special "webbed boots" people have made to put on their waterfowls' feet during bumblefoot treatment, and am considering keeping this gander penned separately on clean bedding and try opening up the "bumble" and purging it, then keeping him booted until it's healed. But that is so risky too. I lost a turkey to bumblefoot, some years ago. I had tried to remove the infection but it just wouldn't heal and eventually took over his system. I know it's different with waterfowl, that the infection tends to stay localized, but I guess I'm still concerned about the chance of a worse infection happening after opening up that bumble.
     
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    They seem to get worse (larger or more bumbles) but stay encapsulated w/o treatment- ending in a crippled bird... not sure but good luck.
     
  5. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

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    Thank you for the good wishes.

    That's what I have heard, too. As long as the condition is less risky than the treatment, I will continue to monitor it. If it begins to impede the gander's ability to stand and walk, I will treat. For now, the bumble is along the outer edge of his foot, not under, so he is able to get around fine.

    I would love to hear from someone who has treated waterfowl with systemic antibiotics successfully.
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Well I'm all ears too I have a duck with one I am watching like a hawk.
     
  7. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

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    I found this site that might be helpful.

    http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/09/09/157/

    The first reply includes info on how to treat the bumble both "surgically" and with systemic antibiotics, and I've read other info elsewhere that confirms it (though other sites I've found are more precise in their approach to opening, cleaning and sterilizing, and bandaging the bumble).
    "Pen-G" is the kind of penicillin that I keep in supply for emergencies, and I got it from a poultry veterinary supply, by mail order. It actually is safe for waterfowl. Every year I throw away the old bottle and buy a new one, and keep fine gauge needles and hypos in supply.

    Hope this helps. I'm going to attempt to systemically treat the infection first, then remove the "bumble" -- I'll make a neoprene boot for the gander's foot and keep him in the barn on clean shavings until the foot is healed. Good luck with your duck!
     

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