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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20610
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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My prize winning 3 year old Hamburg hen has a swollen foot

Customer Question

My prize winning 3 year old Hamburg hen has a swollen foot and one of the claws is black and curled.
Her comb is still bright red which would indicate she is healthy. The swollen ball of the foot is smooth and hard with no scabs or lesions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has her foot been like this?

How is she otherwise? Still eating, drinking, and bright?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please see attached photos. Eating and drinking normally. Like this for 4 days.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Based on your photos, I would be very concerned that we have a case of bumblefoot in this lass. This is a very stubborn infection in an area with poor blood circulation, so it can be difficult to treat. Especially when it progresses to a point where it is affecting the toe circulation as it is here.

Now in regards ***** ***** we do often put these chickens on broad-spectrum antibiotics (ie Penicillin G, Erythromycin, Lincomycin, etc) to start. Still, when we have severe lesions like this, we also will treat at the problem site.

To do so, we would want to start soaking the lesion with an antiseptic (ideally Bactine). We’d want to apply Bactine soaked gauze to the bottom of the foot (to the affected area only). If there is a scab anywhere on this swollen tissue, we’d want to peel it away, express any pus we can, and scrub the area with antibacterial soap before applying the gauze. If we don’t have a scab, then sometimes we will need their vet to sedate them to open the tissue and drain the infection.

Once we have the soaked gauze in place, we’d then wrap the area with bandage material and leave this for an 1-1.5 hours. After soaking, you will be able to remove some of the compromised tissue. To do so, you can use a sterile scalpel blade and gently scrape away the infected mass, starting at the edges and working around the lesion until we can remove the core of infection. If the infected tissue goes very deep, then we may remove quite a deficit of tissue. When you've loosened all the edges of this infected tissue (with only the deepest attachment remaining), you can then grab this with sterile forceps and with a gentle twisting action, slowly but firmly pulling the whole thing out. If you haven’t done this before, you may want to have your local vet show you how to do so effectively and safely.

If you see any pus remaining once this is removed, then we’d need cleanse and flush the area with an antiseptic (ie chlorohexidine, betadine). Afterwards, we’ll dry the area and pack the lesion with a topical antibiotic cream before re-bandaging. We will want to change these bandages daily until there is only healthy pink tissue to see. This can take up to 2 weeks and of course during that time she needs to be isolated in a warm, deeply bedded (with soft bedding like towels) hospitalization pen.

All the best and happy holidays,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you get my pictures
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

I certainly did (which is why I noted what it looked like and my concerns about that toe). Just in case you are not seeing my reply from when you replied to me, I will repost it here -Dr. B.-->

Based on your photos, I would be very concerned that we have a case of bumblefoot in this lass. This is a very stubborn infection in an area with poor blood circulation, so it can be difficult to treat. Especially when it progresses to a point where it is affecting the toe circulation as it is here.

Now in regards ***** ***** we do often put these chickens on broad-spectrum antibiotics (ie Penicillin G, Erythromycin, Lincomycin, etc) to start. Still, when we have severe lesions like this, we also will treat at the problem site.

To do so, we would want to start soaking the lesion with an antiseptic (ideally Bactine). We’d want to apply Bactine soaked gauze to the bottom of the foot (to the affected area only). If there is a scab anywhere on this swollen tissue, we’d want to peel it away, express any pus we can, and scrub the area with antibacterial soap before applying the gauze. If we don’t have a scab, then sometimes we will need their vet to sedate them to open the tissue and drain the infection.

Once we have the soaked gauze in place, we’d then wrap the area with bandage material and leave this for an 1-1.5 hours. After soaking, you will be able to remove some of the compromised tissue. To do so, you can use a sterile scalpel blade and gently scrape away the infected mass, starting at the edges and working around the lesion until we can remove the core of infection. If the infected tissue goes very deep, then we may remove quite a deficit of tissue. When you've loosened all the edges of this infected tissue (with only the deepest attachment remaining), you can then grab this with sterile forceps and with a gentle twisting action, slowly but firmly pulling the whole thing out. If you haven’t done this before, you may want to have your local vet show you how to do so effectively and safely.

If you see any pus remaining once this is removed, then we’d need cleanse and flush the area with an antiseptic (ie chlorohexidine, betadine). Afterwards, we’ll dry the area and pack the lesion with a topical antibiotic cream before re-bandaging. We will want to change these bandages daily until there is only healthy pink tissue to see. This can take up to 2 weeks and of course during that time she needs to be isolated in a warm, deeply bedded (with soft bedding like towels) hospitalization pen.

All the best and happy holidays,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )