UPDATE on 2X Failed Bumblefoot Surgery - Need Advice

Surgery Options : Red/Blue/Green

  • Blue - Cut larger circle around scab

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Green - Cut only around scab

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Red - Cut line across foot pad

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Jul 19, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Hi all. See my original post here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/2x-failed-bumblefoot-surgery-what-to-do-next.1325094/

It is 1.5 months after my chicken's twice failed bumblefoot surgery. I have been doing twice weekly epsom salt foot soaks and have not attempted surgery since late July. Since the last failed surgery, I have noticed my chicken having a slight limp, picking at the scab, and her leg with the scab is very, very warm compared to her non-affected leg (she is still eating, drinking, and acting normally). I also cannot feel a kernel or something similar within her foot pad.

I am very concerned/anxious/worried about doing a third surgery, even though I know she needs it done. During the last two surgeries, I didn't find any kernel/etc. and had a hard time deciphering between bumble tissue and normal foot tissue. We have no avian vets in my area, so I have no other options but at home surgery or letting it go until the inevitable happens (death). Does anyone have any advice on getting rid of this for good or anything to calm my nerves before a third surgery? During the last two surgeries, I only cut around the scab and didn't cut into the foot tissue, but am thinking I need to cut a larger circle around the scab to try and grab bumble tissue. She is my favorite chicken and has the most sweet personality, so I am so worried about her!

I have attached 3 photos:
1. Normal Foot
2. Bumble Foot
3. Bumble Foot Surgery Options with green (cut only around scab), red (cut line down the center of foot pad) and blue (cut larger circle around scab)

What surgery option will you think be most successful and effective? Any advice for calming my nerves before surgery?
Thanks for your help,


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Can you fill your bathtub with a couple of inches of warm water, let her stand in it for an hour, peel the scab off, then post pictures of it?
Foot After Scab Removal.JPG
Foot After Squeezing.JPG
Foot Before Bandaging.JPG
Ok, so here are a few additional pictures (taken evening of 19 Sept):
Soaked foot in epsom salts and very warm water for 45 minutes.
Photo #1 shows foot immediately after scab removal (had to use scalpel)
Photo #2 shows small discharge after LOTS of pressure and squeezing (chicken was in pain)
Photo #3 shows foot right before bandaging.
Foot was sprayed with Vetricyn, wound coated with neosporin, wrapped with non-stick gauze, and bandaged with vetwrap.

Any additional thoughts or opinions?
I am no expert like some of the others, but I had a chicken with bumblefoot a while back. I soaked her foot in epsom salt every day, for 20 minutes, then would gently apply pressure around the scab, and try to squeeze it upward gently. After about a week, it loosened enough that I was able to peel the scab off and some of the stuff inside. I kept it up. It took a while, maybe three weeks, but I didn't want to cut into her foot. I did use tweezers to try to pull some out as well, after each soak.

She did well. I used antibiotic spray and bandaged each day as well.

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