[UPDATED] Cockerel with DEAD feet! Gangrenous toes!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RussianChickens, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been noticing my cockerel sumatra was not acting well for a while, I looked at him and he was alright. Then in the last few days he quit going outside or leaving the perch.

    I just noticed his toes are dead!! They werent like this last week before I left!

    All of them are dying! It isn't bumblefoot but they are now horribly infected and he is no doubt going to need to be culled. It is spreading like wild fire up his legs. He is obviously in major pain and his feet are shot. I can't imagine him living a meaningful life with no feet even if I could do anything for him. Mom wants to try and save him. I hope it works, he is a very sweet bird and I love his eyes. Maybe we will be lucky. I thought he was going to be a goner for sure.

    All my other birds feet are fine. I was checking today to see who needs a nail/beak trim. I last trimmed 3 months ago so that can't be what's wrong with him. Its even dying around his spurs! Its like something in his nails.


    This isn't the greatest pic but you can see what I mean.


    [​IMG]

    I did notice a long time ago his spurs and nails weren't growing correctly and i didn't think anything of it other than he was typical hatchery stock. The matching hen wasn't like that though. My my dad takes care of the birds on weeks when I am away and he said a while back he thought his feet were bleeding. I went out and checked and his rear toenails were missing, I thought they just got ripped out somehow so i cleaned them up and put ointment on them and they seemed fine. Now this!


    What in the world would cause his toes to rot away like this?

    Gosh I wish I got a clue sooner that something wasn't right! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    His feet got frozen/frostbite. Any of the blackened areas are dead and will slough off once they dry up. How far up his legs does the damage extend? If it isn't too bad beyond the toes, then he may be able to live a full life span despite the handicap.
     
  3. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can't be frostbite as none of the other chicks s have any sign and B, its been in the 40s for the last two weeks. I know its gangrene, but I haven't the slightest idea where it came from especially sense all the others are fine.

    I also don't know what, If anything to do for it. Its getting worse rapidly. Its almost like a nasty flesh eating bacteria in people. He went from fine to horrible in just a week.

    I tthink there was something wrong with his feet originally. They never were quite right. I have head circulation problems can cause this.
     
  4. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK here's how he's doing tonight. I gave him a good soak in Epsom salt water as long has he would set there, which was actually quite a while. Then I wrapped him in a blanket and put antibiotic ointment on his feet and wrapped the worst one in a loose paper towel to keep things from sticking to it. He kept drinking the salt water so I gave him regular water in a dish to drink which he did. I then let him have chick starter and bologna which he enjoyed a lot. Then I put him in the box with shavings with his feed and water for the night. He was making happy chicken sounds so I thought that was good.

    I took a few pictures. The toes are still extremely dirty and I tried to clean the pockets as much as I could. One toe is almost off, just hanging by two tendons. However there is bone exposed out of the flesh on the live side as well which you can see in the pic. :/ The bone is the white in the middle and the little white string is a tendon.

    [​IMG]
    The soak
    [​IMG]
    Bone is in the middle and tendon to the bottom of the big hole on the left. ^
    [​IMG]
    Just a picture of the whole foot (bottom side) Worst foot. The gooey stuff is ointment.
    [​IMG]
    The bandage

    You can also see him patiently standing in the soak and the lose bandage I made to keep more debris out of the area.

    Edited for pictures
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  5. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whoa! Those are some gnarly toes...If they're going to fall off like that, I wonder if it's the best idea to let him live? I mean, he's going to need to walk around somehow, and he's bound to get feces and other bacteria in the open parts.
     
  6. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well a lot of people have claimed they had chickens walking on nubs less than what he's got. If it stays where its at he can still walk. Just long as infection spreads no further.

    As for the poop thing. That's why he is inside and has a banage on the worst foot. He will stay with us until he is either better or is determined a cull.

    Right now he seams in a very good mood after I treated his feet. I was just about to make the call to cull him when my mom goes "Oh but I want to try and save him! Don't kill him!" So I did some research and it sounds like he might have a fair shot. I do like him, especially his eyes and he is friendly. He's not a pesky roo and doesn't crow hardly at all. So I figured I should at least give him a chance. :)
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Roos walk around all the time on partial feet or no feet at all. As long as you can keep the feet from getting infected before they heal, he should be OK without them.

    I would swap out using the ointment for straight cleanings several times a day with iodine/betadine. You want those toes to dry up faster, so they desiccate quicker, so they fall off sooner. Sounds nasty, I know, but that's what is going to happen anyways, so you may as well speed it up.
     
  8. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you mean soak in betadine? How long?

    Then put the ointment on? Should I just clip that lose tow off?

    What about that exposed bone on the middle toe?
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    You don't need to soak them in betadine, just swab them as often as you can. You can soak them if you have the time, but it is really not necessary. You are not trying to curb or kill an infection, you are just trying to get dead tissue to slough off. I would skip on using any ointments. You want the feet to dry up, so adding an ointment is just counteracting that. You can clip back the toe that is just hanging on by the tendons, but then you need to decide how far to clip back the exposed bone. I would think that snipping the bone off at the joint is the best thing. Try to get the whole bone. I might wait a bit on cutting back the bone, though. The bone may very well break off at the joint on its own. I have seen that happen before. The blood supply that feeds the bone is shot, so the whole bone will just die and slough off, too.

    He is going to need to stay inside in a very clean space until these feet are healed. It is also not a bad idea to get a bottle of PenG to keep in your fridge and some syringes just in case he needs it.
     
  10. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok. As far as the bone goes here are the pictures post removal of dead tissues. Its already off at the joint and its too short to try and cut off but part of it is dead already. several other toes are dead in the middle of the bone shaft as well and I have no idea how those are suppose to come off either.

    [​IMG]
    Before cleaning post toe removal

    [​IMG]
    After cleaning. You can see it has come off at the joint on its own but the bone is dead with no way to cut it off. (I don't have any of the right surgical tools. If someone can tell me where I can get them for cheap it would be appreciated.)


    Also, Since the soak the swelling and infection have gone down a lot. His pain has also been reduced as he is now walking and trying to fly about my basement. There doesn't seem to be any more discharge. Its just blood now from the looks. He seems to be in a good mood and sill eating and drinking. I re wrapped his toe with paper towel and tape loosely to keep dirts out f it. (He's on shavings but still they are dusty and he does poop.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014

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