Very large comb now flopped over and rotting underneath, any comb support to keep it up?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dudu, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    Dear all,

    I was wondering if anyone has encountered it - our young (under 1 year) Minorca rooster Aleandro had a beautiful, straight, gigantic comb, but over a course of a few weeks it went down to one side (as his breeder explained, because of lack of sunshine in the large crate where he lives), and about a week ago we noticed that it had puss underneath - where it comes in touch with his head. :(

    We started washing it with peroxide (taking care not to put any in his eye), but the puss is, as always seems to be in chickens, very hard and firmly attached to the dead tissue as well as live flesh. It's hard to even remove it with tweezers :(

    We then started to spray Betadine (iodine) on the wound to hopefully help it dry up, but also with no great results so far.

    I enquired about him with our vet and he recommended to try Synulox (antibiotic) in pills as well as Fucidine ointment. It's been about 3-4 days now on the antibiotics but the scene is still the same (rather grave).

    The problem is that his comb is so gigantic and now that it is falling over his eye, everything underneath it remains wet and even his eye is squished by the comb.

    Is there a way to support the comb - like a brace for the comb, or maybe something can be made with the help of a sock or something? We've been trying to invent something but nothing good comes to mind.

    If you've had a similar situation, please do share what could be done to help.

    We are very ready to have our vet remove his comb surgically also if that's the only thing to do, but for now the doctor did recommend to try antibiotics for 10 days, so we are trying (and in the meantime looking for a solution to support his comb upwards somehow).

    Thanks a lot in advance!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I would follow your vet's suggestions. Carry out the regimen of antibiotic treatment both topical and oral. Then if there is no improvement, dub him. Dubbing may actually be the best solution because if you cure things this time it may reoccur. Good luck.
  3. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    You may want to ask your vet to surgically removed the flopped over infected part...and usually any skin-like infection responds well to Baytril (that's top of the line) or Cephalosporins.

    it's good that you are doing topical cleanings and treatments as well...

    Good luck
  4. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    Thank you both so much.

    The infected part is right close to his head, the base of the comb - the rest of the comb seems just fine :(

    I am going to the vet's today with one of our bunnies and will book him in for some time very soon. Meanwhile will definitely continue treatments.

    I just feel bad that we didn't take into account that the comb was slowly bending over and didn't think that it might get infected underneath, but the lesson is learned now for sure for any future boys with large combs.

    If there MIGHT be a way to hold his comb upwards, please do share! I think it would help greatly, if only it was possible.
  5. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    A small update - yesterday (Friday) took him to the vet's, had him booked for a comb surgery (dubbing, apparently) but when the doctor saw his comb he said it's too inflamed and he isnt going to risk cutting it off.

    So he changed antibotics for him, gave also anti-inflammatory and topical treatment with an antibacterial lotion. We'll see how it goes. Our boy so far seems to be in OK spirits, crowing too...

    Any more ideas and breed specific advice would be very much appreciated so we can consult our doc about it also and find the best way to go about it.
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    So are you saying you are keeping him in a large crate? Or that the breeder was?

    If you mean you are, perhaps its time to house him properly???
    Being locked in a crate without sunshine cannot be helping the situation, droopy combs are always an early sign of a chicken with something wrong. Maybe getting it into a proper coop would assist the healing process by allowing both sunshine and better moral for the poor thing.

    If you meant the breeder please ignore above.
  7. omegorchards

    omegorchards Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had several Minorcas with combs that fell over as the birds matured. These birds were in very good facilities with access to sunlight in outdoor runs. I am not an expert but there was no correlation between the environment and floppy combs. The problem is likely genetic in nature as the cock birds with floppy combs throw offspring with floppy combs. Hence the reason a floppy comb is considered a disqualification in Minorcas (if I recall correctly).

    My idea would be to dub the comb and treat the infection.
    1 person likes this.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would do as the vet says and get him dubbed once the infection is under control.

    It sounds like this is very serious and I hope the antibiotics work!
  9. BarnChickyOO

    BarnChickyOO Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2013
    Proudly Born in the USA
    Ouch. :(

    You don't want to risk anything happening to his eye, so I would probably dub him, but the vet definitely knows best. However, I would not want to spend lots of money on a treatment just to save a comb.:/

    Good Luck.
  10. Dudu

    Dudu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ħal Luqa, Malta
    Appps, first of all I'd like to address your attack.

    It seems from your signature that you only have less than a dozen chickens, am I right? We have around a hundred. MOST of them are free in the large yard we have (with adequate shelters too, but most prefer to sleep at the very top in the trees, even in the rain), some are in large rooms with both sunlight and shelter, and some are indeed in large crates because if they are let outside with the rest, they will end up beaten up or killed by the oldies. We keep ex battery hennies separately also, in a large room (you could say a shed, or a barn, but here a room means a construction of large square limestone bricks with a roof over it, some windows and a door of wire - for the Maltese climate it is enough). The proper professional breeders here keep chickens in much smaller cages and it's a pity, however they do take good care of them. Our larger cages have everything - wood shavings for dustbathing, a roost and a nest in the corner. At first I wasn't very ok with that either (coming from a country where most people keep chickens on their vast, green properties free ranged and in the barn at night), but I have to be realistic - we will never own a several hectare property in Malta because it is financially impossible, but we have bought land in my home country and, I hope, in the future will move from this country. Meanwhile, however, life goes on here - our place is open for rescues (we have an ex fighting rooster with a broken beak, some from unfortunate situations where they were starved, one from a roundabout, several birds of people who simply didn't want to keep them anymore), but my boyfriend (and even me now) does want to keep a few purebred birds also to show and have fun with. Despite the number of souls that sounds quite unbelievable even to myself, we do treat ALL of our chickens as individuals, our vet nurses know me by my voice already and we have always endevoured to do the best possible for our chickens (and other feathered or furry family members) in every situation. And my mind is always working on how to improve their lives even more and provide them with more possibilities, and a lot of it is being done and a lot more is in the plans.

    The problem is that Aleandro's crate was probably one of the darkest, being in the corner under a roof, therefore his breeder, when we called him to ask what could be done, told us it's because lack of direct sunshine. Right now we have moved him alone in a smaller crate, temporary out in the yard where there is plenty of sun, if it helps any (I realize it might be too late for the comb to be saved).

    Thank you also Omegorchards, this (genetic predisposition) is something I'll have to enquire more about (at our Club and also on this forum), because my boyfriend was in fact planning to breed him and keep some progeny. Personally I don't fancy anything very extreme - droppy-eyed or short muzzled dog breeds, and now chickens too with such large combs, but apparently some people do succeed in keeping them well.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013

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