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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7930
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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I have a turkey with bumblefoot. He has a severely deformed

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I have a turkey with bumblefoot. He has a severely deformed foot and I only just noticed the large ball under his foot as it grew larger and is now visible from the side. I've had this before with one of my hens and treated her with antibiotics for several weeks. Is this the best treatment and if so, can I buy the antibiotics or do I need a prescription. The turkey is male, unknown age, bronze breasted, 36 lbs (I weighed him, which is how I found his foot problem).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read about Sniraga's condition.
Bumblefoot is a stubborn and often frustrating condition to treat, because the bird keeps traumatizing it by walking on it,the staph bacteria responsible most often is a tough, hard to kill organism, and the circulation in the foot is very poor, much like that of human diabetics.
I used to go into a lengthy description of the treatment of bumblefoot, but I've found a site online that does a wonderful job of describing a novel treatment using commonly available materials. You can read this treatment plan here:
If you should have further questions, I'll be glad to answer them for you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That is an excellent explanation of the treatment. My only problem here is that this is a 36 lb. turkey. There is no way I can manipulate his foot to the degree necessary to do that treatment. He does eat out of my hand so it wouldn't be a problem to give him pills daily. Are pills something I need to approach my local vet about getting? Thanks, Shantal
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 years ago.
Hello again, Shantal.
You may be able to treat his foot by putting a pillow case over him, and letting the affected foot stick out to treat.
The circulation in the feet is so bad that any oral or even injectable, antibiotic is unlikely to achieve the levels needed to kill the bacteria. Your veterinarian can supply the medication if that is the route you're forced to take.
The treatment described is the best I've seen, but if you can't do it, then you must do what you can.
Try the pillow case though, I think you'll be amazed at how effective it is. The second and third time may be more of a challenge, as he learns what you're up to, though!
If I may be of further assistance to you, please let me know.
Dr. Bob
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