Unsuccessful bumblefoot surgery -- help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by austinhens, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. austinhens

    austinhens New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    My two-year old hen has had a swollen foot for a few months now, but I had been putting off surgery because she had been walking fine on it, and it hadn't gotten any bigger. Additionally, even though I thought it was bumblefoot, she has never had the tell-tale scar on the bottom of her foot.

    In the past couple days the swelling quickly got a lot worse, and this morning I noticed she wasn't walking at all on the bad foot (instead, she was standing on her one good foot and hopping wherever she needed to go). I ran out to the store and got a scalpel, veterycin, antibiotic gel, gauze, and vet wrap. I made two incisions in different parts of the bottom of her foot (again, there was no scab), but despite going deep into the swollen area, I couldn't find any evidence of the kernel of infected tissue that should be in there. I tried massaging the foot and feeling around for anything hard, but I was out of luck. She would twitch more and more the deeper I went, and since I couldn't find anything, I couldn't bring myself to keep probing. I filled both incisions with as much antibiotic gel as I could, wrapped her foot up with some vetericyn-soaked gauze, and went to work. After the procedure, she was back to standing on one foot and hopping around, but still not putting the bad foot on the ground at all.

    Is there any chance the swelling is due to something besides bumblefoot? I'm running out of hope here. In addition to the gel and spray on her foot, she has antibiotics in her drinking water (which I've done before), but if her foot doesn't improve at all, I'm worried that the responsible thing to do might just be to cull her. I'm REALLY hesitant to put her through what I did this morning again without knowing for sure that she's got bumblefoot.

    Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the foot before wrapping it, but before the surgery, it looked just like the chicken foot below. The swollen area was really soft and fleshy, unlike other pictures of bumblefoot I've seen before.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. austinhens

    austinhens New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Can anyone help me out? This is my first flock of chickens and I don't know what to do. Does anyone know if this could be something besides bumblefoot? THANKS!!
     
  3. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok, first I would stop slicing at the poor girls foot especially if you don't know what it is you're slicing at. At this point I think it would be a little more difficult to tell since she will understandably favor that foot now. Keep it clean and wrapped like you have now. Is there any other swelling besides the foot itself? Like the ankle or up the leg?
     
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you tried an epsom salt soak? I don't know how safe it would be to do with cuts on her feet, but maybe someone else knows. I've done them for swollen feet and other maladies. It will help pull an infection to the surface.
     
  5. austinhens

    austinhens New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Thanks for your reply -- I'll look into doing an Epsom salt soak on her with the cuts. I've soaked it before, a few months ago, but without results. Maybe I could try it again in a few days after the wounds heal up? The swelling has moved into her ankle a bit in the last couple days.
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have a vet you could go to? I understand if you cant. How high are your roosts?
     

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