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WE'RE STUMPED, PLEASE HELP! Chicken foot scabs & bumps... (with photos)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by erinnire, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. erinnire

    erinnire In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2018
    This is going to be a long one, but bear with me. I want to be sure to include every ounce of information that I can in order to figure out what the heck is going on!!!!

    Okay. So, I came across information about bumblefoot ages ago when trying to figure out what was wrong with one of our chickens. About a week later I happened to notice a large bumblefoot scab on the foot of our Rhode Island Red. Naturally I freaked out because I had read that it can be fatal if left untreated, so I checked the rest of the flock and found one other chicken (Barred Rock) with a small/medium size scab on one foot and a tiny little scab on her other foot.

    I got everything I needed to soak their feet at Tractor Supply, including Erythromycin that I got from a pet supply store that is intended to be used for fish ulcers. I'd read about Tricide Neo but the price tag was a bit high at that point for me to justify.

    After probably 2 weeks of soaking every other day, spraying the scabs with Banixx, and wrapping them up with neosporin, gauze, and vetwrap, there wasn't a TON of improvement with either chicken. The tiny scab on the Barred Rock had migrated off of the foot, and I was satisfied that it was healed, but other than that there was no noticeable changes.

    As for the behavior of the chickens, neither of them were limping or sitting for long periods of time, and there were absolutely no physical symptoms other than the scab to be seen with either of them (and there still aren't any, although it is bitter cold now so they don't elect to go out of the coop very much).

    After 3 weeks, we decided to bite the bullet and actually perform the removal surgery on our RIR because her scab is quite large and there was a boil-like bump that was beginning to form on the top of her foot. It was horrible and I felt so guilty for taking a scalpel to her foot, and in the end we couldn't find a kernel. It was just healthy pink flesh underneath the skin and not the cheesy/waxy substance that most people report. I tried to gently poke around, but there was some blood that was making it hard for me to see what was going on, and I really didn't want to prolong things any more than I had to, so we slathered the wound with neosporin and wrapped it well.

    She was limping a tiny tiny bit for the rest of the day, and for the next day, which is to be expected, but she was still scratching at the dirt and walking around as she always does so we figured that she was alright. We continued to bring her inside to soak her foot and change her bandage every other day, but we're basically back to square one at this point.

    My mom bought some Tricide Neo because we're really at our wits end, and we're day 4 into soaking her foot in that, but there is again no discernible difference. The boil-like thing in between her toes looks like a really gnarly pimple at this point, and there has been a white spot that has only gotten more and more pronounced. It's kind of hard, but looks sensitive.

    My mom talked to a vet that she works with, and she recommended that we perform the surgery (which is why we did just that, but that didn't quite pan out) and we don't have an avian vet or farm vet near us, so we're just stumped. The chicken is eating normally, behaving normally, and has no limp. The scab on the bottom of the foot isn't super hot, and isn't super red which I would expect to find if it was infected.

    I have seen a mite or 2 crawling on her leg, and I've added a dust bath with a bit of diatomaceous earth and I haven't seen a mite in probably 3 weeks or so, so I'm not sure that the issues are related. I just need to get a better understanding of what exactly is going on, and what (if anything) we should do. I've added all the pictures I have below, and I've dated them so you can see the progression. I have photos of what I removed with the surgery, so I've included that as well.

    No idea is a bad idea, and I'm sure anything will be helpful at this point. I just want to make sure she is alright, and I'm nervous that I'm over-treating a problem and putting her through something that she doesn't need to be subjected to

    Day 1: October 24; This was before we soaked her foot, so it's really dirty (oops). This is the gnarliest scab of the bunch by a pretty wide margin.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.58.13 PM.png

    October 25; after soaking in epsom salt and warm water and wrapping the scab with neosporin. Obviously no difference in appearance, apart from the fact that it is cleaner and I was able to take a better picture.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.58.34 PM.png

    This is her other foot on the same day.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.58.26 PM.png

    November 7; We had been repeating the process of soaking her feet in Erithromycin and warm water and wrapping them with neosporin for about 2 weeks at this point, and decided to do the surgery. Unfortunately I haven't been the best with keeping up with photo documentation, and was very nervous to actually perform the surgery so it totally slipped my mind to take photos of her foot before and after. But this is essentially just the scab that we removed. like I said, there was absolutely no kernel to be found, and it was just your typical pink healthy footpad flesh underneath.

    We were trying to press down on the boil-like bump between her toes to see if anything was going to pop out and come through to the bottom of the foot, but there was nothing.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.54.43 PM.png
    November 20; Day 1 of Tricide Neo treatment. This is after the surgery, but her foot looks the same as the very first day. Urgh.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.58.45 PM.png

    This is the bump on the top of her foot.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.58.54 PM.png

    I'll update with pictures tomorrow, we're now on day 3 of the Tricide Neo soaks (we skipped on Thanksgiving) and it really doesn't look much different than what you see here.

    She has gotten used to the process for the most part, and will sit calmly with her feet in the solution as we feed her snacks. Even so, I don't want to keep dislodging her from the perch every evening to soak her feet if there is no need.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.59.07 PM.png

    Thanks so much for reading! I know this was a long one, and I really appreciate any tips or bits of insight that you may have to provide!
  2. ejtrout31

    ejtrout31 Songster

    Aug 13, 2018
    deer river mn
    EggWalrus likes this.
  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Gosh, I don’t know why the scab has returned, but I would keep at it and remove it again. Can you do that and post a photo? The bump on top is s concern to me. I’m wondering if it might be good to try a drawing salve on it? Looking forward to reading more responses.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  4. ejtrout31

    ejtrout31 Songster

    Aug 13, 2018
    deer river mn
    Never dealt with this before wish I was more help all of the things I would suggest you have done
  5. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Oh, and I forgot to say what a good girl she is patiently soaking! :)
  6. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

    Jan 1, 2017
    Coastal NC
    My Coop
    Following. Two initial comments.

    DE will not get rid of the mites.
    If you see them you need to aggressively treat for them. Both birds and coop.
    Permethrin fly spray for horses is effective and cheap.

    Also that boil on the top of the foot is painful because it’s full of infection and needs to be opened and cleaned out.

    The infection on the bottom of the foot has traveled UP to there.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  7. Ninjasquirrel

    Ninjasquirrel Songster

    May 11, 2018
    I would think you didnt get all the pus out. You need to be absolutely sure its all out and cleaned out well. I hate to say it because id hate for your bird to go through surgery again but i dont think theres another option especially since the infection is spreading. I hope she gets better. Sending love and prayers your way. Good luck!
  8. ~cochinlover~

    ~cochinlover~ Chirping

    Jul 24, 2018
    I have never seen anything like that... Maybe antibiotics?
    to BarbsGirls and erinnire like this.
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hard to know which direction to go with this.
    Since you started the Tricide Neo, you may want to go at least 5-7 days with it to see if there is any improvement.

    I do agree that you more than likely need to re-do the surgery on the bottom of the foot. The Bumble on the top of the foot look like you can see the pus - it would be a good idea to get that pus out.
    Since your Mom works with a vet, can she take photos or the hen with her to work and ask for further opinion/assistance?
  10. ejtrout31

    ejtrout31 Songster

    Aug 13, 2018
    deer river mn
    where does it talk about mites. I think that was meant for a different post.

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