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#105356 - 08/19/12 09:43 PM bumblefoot question
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
I've read the section on treatment of bumblefoot and had a few questions.

So far I have found three hens with bumblefoot. After all these years this is the first time I am dealing with it. As of now, only the footpad seems to be involved in all cases. One hen seems to have a very early case of it as the footpad in not too swollen and the scab is small.

Now with three hens involved and not much time to devote to three hens during a day, my first question is, how necessary is it to remove the plug if there is one? If you don't remove the scab or plug, do you still have to bandage? I read the treatment plan and someone suggested just giving the Pen-G shots and not soaking etc. Is just the injections effective? And when giving the injections, if two feet are involved (which seems to be the case in all the hens)do you give an injection in each leg? 1/2 cc in each leg?

Help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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#105370 - 08/20/12 07:08 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Fowled Out]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3768
Loc: Denmark
It seems to me like bumblefoot can be two types: one type with puss(bacterial infection) which, when untreated, can embrace the whole foot and the adjacent joint. Can end up in severe damage to the joints and eventually death. Some sources mention the need of draining the puss(Wikipedia). Personally I use to drain it.

The other type occurs only on the footpad and is without puss. It is most probably caused by improper perching. I had two hens last year with very thick skin on the footpad, but no puss inside.

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#105373 - 08/20/12 09:18 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Wieslaw]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
80 years ago, when my family kept 450 bird layer flocks, ONE year, there were hens with Bumblefoot. Was too young to remember if treated (????) The roosts were high, and hard to explain their construction, but the whole roost rows, wired under to keep birds from the droppings board below==really, a very large "shelf" . Row of nest boxes (unique design, hinged drop door to keep nest dark, and opened to collect eggs, but open in back for the hens to enter, a roost for them to land on before entering the nest ) were attached unter the roost shelves, and gave floor space for the hens, the entire floor of each of the 3 "rooms" of the house. Wish I had pictures. Anyway, breeds changed when new point of lay pullets were obtained (my first exposures to a number of laying breeds). One flock of heavies were the ones that had the Bumblefoot. When they were gone. in between replacements, my father rebuilt the roost area--to built ins, on the back of the rooms in the poultry house and just about 2 feet from the floor. Took a lot of floor space, but he felt it was worth the redesigning. The whole roost boxed area lifted for cleanout. He felt that it was the drop from the high roosts that led to the Bumblefoot, heavy breed only. And he liked that breed? New Hampshires?
So, are the birds suffering from BF, heavies? And if so, do they roost high and have to drop to the floor? Keep the floor well bedded for softer landing, and keep stiring to keep dry and less chance of the Staph to live in it. Wear plastic gloves treating the birds. Good luck, CJR

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#105380 - 08/20/12 10:09 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: CJR]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3768
Loc: Denmark
The two hens without the puss in the footpad were not heavies. The thing they had in common was, that they had a habit of roosting on the threshold to the nests, which was narrow.

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#105382 - 08/20/12 12:07 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Wieslaw]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
Well, they are Ameraucanas, not a heavy breed. My roosts are the recommended 4ft high. There is a drop board about 6 inches under the roost and nest boxes under that. The roosts are 2x4's with a corner of the 2" side shaved off. I felt the roosts last night and they are very smooth. A few of the hens don't even get on the roosts, they stand on the drop boards. I'm not sure if those are the ones with the problem feet or not. Will have to check tonight. I have a dirt floor with some straw scattered, but not very thick at all right now. It is dry in there and has been dry for the last couple of years around here. Now I did run some misters in the outside pen a few weeks back for cooling. The weather was very hot, over 100 degrees for several weeks here and I was providing a cool spot for them. They free range so it was their choice. But the misters do muddy up the ground. So it was muddy for a while in one area of the pen. Don't know if that caused it or not. These hens with the bumblefoot are 2 to 6 years old, so I would be surprised it the roosts caused the problem. One of the older hens footpad looked like it may have de-flated because it isn't very swollen but it does have the black spot and sort of like a fold to it that I can lift up. I'm wondering if I should even do anything about that foot.

Does anyone know if just Pen-G injections are good enough to cure them of this? And whether they get a shot in each leg? Is there any other medication that works better?

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#105384 - 08/20/12 12:46 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Fowled Out]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3768
Loc: Denmark
Did you actually prick them with a needle to check if there is puss? If there is no puss , they will most probably do not need antibiotics?

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#105385 - 08/20/12 01:09 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Wieslaw]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
No, I didn't prick them. Wouldn't that open up another hole for infection to get in assuming they don't have any now? I'm going to have to wait two more days to do anything until my husband is off work and can help me with them. He hates me asking to do anything with the chickens on his work days. All I have done so far is soak their feet in espom salts. I thought that might start to soften up the scab.

Also, from what I have read, there is supposed to be a cheesy core under that scab and that is what you have to remove. If no pus appears does that mean there is not a cheesy core?


Edited by Fowled Out (08/20/12 01:11 PM)

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#105389 - 08/20/12 04:51 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Fowled Out]
Moderator2 Offline
Administrator
Flock Leader

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 330
Loc: Eastern USA
If they are not limping or favoring the foot you can wait and watch for now. I go straight for the Pen-G if I am going to treat. Small scabs, I would not lance or try to empty. Do not double the dose. Give in the breast for more even distribution.
_________________________
M2

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#105398 - 08/21/12 12:22 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Moderator2]
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
Recently I operated on a hen that had bumblefoot. I gloved up and took a new scalpel to the scab and opened up the area slightly. The cheezy core was able to come out with a little pushing on the foot. There was no pus.I wrapped it with vet wrap and some antibiotic ointment. She escaped from the cage 3 days later, lost the wrap and is now walking around normally.

I did the operation by myself by turning the bird upside down on my thighs, her head at my knees and hugged by my legs.

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#105418 - 08/21/12 04:20 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Maria Ricardo]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
Thank you all for the replies. All the hens in question are not limping or favoring any foot. Although the first hen I noticed and checked on was because she was hanging out in the coop and not very active (free ranging). I picked her up and noticed a little swollen pad. That's when I first discovered it and picked up a few more hens later and discovered more.
My husband will help me tommorrow and I will be checking as many as I get my hands on and start the Pen-G injections at the very least.

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#105469 - 08/23/12 08:39 PM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Fowled Out]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
Well, after working on two hens I have decided I would much rather do a crop surgery any day instead of this.
Hardest part was getting the scab off. It probably would have helped if I had a scapel, but my little pair of scissors was all I had to work with.
I left the worse hen for last. The first hen had nothing under the scab but flesh. So I put some antiseptic on her and wrapped it up anyway. The other hen was a bit more messy. Both feet involved and scab very hard to remove. I found a little bit of pus under the first scab but no cheesy core. I was able to reach the tweezers into the hole, but could not find anything solid. Just that little bit of pus and not much of anything else. While picking at the scab on the other foot, it started bleeding and when removed, I didn't find a cheesy core. I stuck the tweezers in the hole and managed to get maybe one little piece of what looked like a string out and once again liquid stuff that was impossible to grab and get rid of. I was digging so deep and still finding liquid like string I was worried I was removing something I wasn't supposed too and the hen was pulling her foot a bit with each dig. It was not easy to grab and not coming out easily, so not knowing what I was digging out of her, I stopped. I washed it out the best I could and treated it and wrapped it up also. I guess I will see what happens with them. After an hour and a half of this, I do not wish to ever do it again. My husband was a bear throughout the whole ordeal.
I found several other hens with the black spot on the footpad, but little swelling, so I'm just going to give them the Pen-G.

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#105484 - 08/24/12 08:57 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: Fowled Out]
jonnydot Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 298
Loc: australia
Perhaps it was not bumble foot but a shortage of magnesium and /or manganese this can cause a simular problem but with out the casius formations (usually with lameness though) ,poultry puss has a protease inhibitor which gives it the cheese like look ( Protease !!exceeeeeeeeeeeedingly interesting read especially when corned with viral complications !!) both of these minerals work juxtaposed with potasium ,so a deficiency of this can cause the same ,I would give lots of Bananna's split them open but include the skins

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#105504 - 08/25/12 10:35 AM Re: bumblefoot question [Re: jonnydot]
Fowled Out Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Arkansas
Well they do get my overipe bananas which some chickens love and others don't. They also get vitamin mineral supplements in their water so I would be surprised if it was a vitamin or mineral deficiency. This is on top of them free ranging. Of course it has been so dry here there isn't much to eat out there. Insects are even scarce.

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