Jul 26, 2011

BUMBLEFOOT in Chickens: Causes & treatment. **WARNING: Graphic Photos**

Bumblefoot in backyard chickens.
“Bumblefoot” is the term used to describe an infection on a chicken’s foot; it is referred to as “plantar pododermatitis” by medical professionals. Bumblefoot is characterized by swelling, sometimes redness and often a characteristic black or brown scab on the bottom of the foot. Left untreated, serious cases of bumblefoot can be fatal as the infection can spread to other tissues and bones.
Silver Spangled Hamburg hen who had bumblefoot


Causes:
Bumblefoot results when the skin of the foot is compromised in some way, allowing bacteria to invade the foot, causing infection. Broken skin allows bacteria (e.g.: staphylococcus) to get inside the foot, which leads to a pus-filled abscess.

The entry point for bacteria can be a cut, scrape, injury or breakdown of the skin from walking on wet, dirty bedding. Injuries can result from a splintered roost or repetitive, heavy landings from heights, particularly in heavy breeds and obese chickens. My unscientific opinion is that most bumblefoot infections result from small cuts or scrapes acquired during normal, scratching and foraging.  

Whatever the cause, failure to treat it can result in the spread of the infection to the bones and tendons, debilitating pain and death.

This is an advanced case of Bumblefoot, which was successfully treated by surgical removal at home.
Severe case of bumblefoot, which appears at the top of the foot in between toes in this case

Prevention and Detection:
Preventative measures should be taken to avoid bumblefoot as treatment is painful and time-consuming and eradicating it, difficult. Regular flock foot inspections are highly recommended to detect infections at the earliest possible stage.


The bird in the following photo is a bumblefoot frequent-flyer. She was not limping despite the awful-looking scab. The lesion was discovered during a routine exam.
Hen with chronic bumblefoot
Four months after bumblefoot surgery, this is how her foot looks:
Foot after treatment for bumblefoot
Chickens require a complete, balanced diet to avoid vitamin deficiencies and obesity that put them at risk of contracting bumblefoot. Laying hens need a complete layer ration with an additional calcium source such as crushed oyster shells or egg shells available to them in a separate hopper. Treats, snacks and kitchen scraps should not comprise more than 5-10 percent of a flock’s daily dietary intake so as not to disrupt the nutritional balance carefully calculated in commercial layer feeds and to avoid obesity.

Roosts should be splinter-free and less than eighteen inches from the floor. Coop litter should be kept dry and clean. Consider using sand instead of pine shavings or straw in the coop and run. Any spills drain away from the surface of sand quickly, sand is not as hospitable to bacterial growth as other litter types and it coats and desiccates droppings, which results in cleaner feet.
Marans hen who is a bumblefoot frequent flyer
Windy, a Blue Splash Marans, is a bumblefoot frequent-flyer.

The most common behavioral symptoms of bumblefoot include limping and lameness. By the time a chicken is seen limping, the infection has ordinarily been festering for quite some time. Examination of the foot pad may reveal redness, swelling and either a callous-looking lesion, a lump between the toes or a black scab on the foot pad.

 This is Phoebe, she's my bantam, Cochin Frizzle. As if it weren't enough to suffer the indignity of this horrific molt last year, she had to endure bumblefoot surgery on top of it. 
Bantam Cochin Frizzle with bumblefoot
We caught Phoebe's infection early. Note the swelling and redness in this first photo, but lack of a distinct, black scab in the photo below it:
Bantam Cochin Frizzle with bumblefoot
Chicken foot with small scab and slight swelling, indicated bumblefoot
The following photo shows minor swelling, redness and the beginning stages of scabbing.
Bumblefoot on chicken's foot pad

*The following is not professional, veterinary or medical advice. It is based on my experience as a backyard chicken-keeper and is shared knowing that without it, some pets may suffer or perish from the inability to obtain professional veterinary care.*
Treatment Options
1) Mild cases can take a 'wait and see' approach but they tend to get worse. Some cases can be treated with the removal of the scab and the application of Vetericyn 2-3 times a day until healed, but most cannot.
or
2) Cut out the scab and underlying infected tissue as detailed below.

SURGICAL TREATMENT:
Ideally, a chicken with bumblefoot will be treated by an avian veterinarian. I do not have an avian vet locally and the following procedures are the ones I use on my chickens’ bumblefoot infections. As unpleasant as the procedure is for me, I am always mindful that if I do not treat them, they will suffer. When the alternatives to not treating the bird are pain, death from the infection or euthanasia, I opt for treating my birds myself.

The procedure is not complicated or technically challenging, but it can be time consuming and emotionally taxing to perform this graphic procedure on one’s pet. It generally takes about an hour to complete and while it can be done by one person, two makes it much easier. I find that performing this procedure is best done at the kitchen sink where adequate lighting, counter space and a water source are available.


PAIN
There is no question that this procedure is painful. My chickens appear to tolerate this procedure well, however, chickens do not react to or express pain in ways we are accustomed to expect: crying, wincing, cringing, whimpering, etc. While the bird remains stoic throughout the procedure, the calm demeanor is thought to have evolved as a defense mechanism for self-preservation in the wild so as not to attract attention from predators. The bumblefoot removal procedure is indeed painful for chickens, however birds should not be given common anesthetics such as benzocaine or xylocaine as this class of drugs is known to cause heart failure and death in birds. Even over-the-counter products such as tripleantibiotic ointment containing topical anesthetics ending in the suffix “caine” can be fatal. At my request, my dog’s vet prescribed Metacam® for me to keep on-hand for pain relief, which is safe for use in chickens. I give my chickens a dose thirty minutes prior to the procedure whenever possible.

I always keep a basic first-aid kit handy and stocked with: Vetericyn VFBetadinetriple antibiotic ointmentvitamins & electrolytessterile scalpelsnon-stick gauze padsVetrap, tweezers, disposable glovesEpsom salt and scissors. 
Bumblefoot treatment supplies
Classic bumblefoot scab on chicken's foot pad
PREPARATION & EQUIPMENT:
The supplies and equipment used include: several large towels, gloves, Vetrap, scalpel or biopsy punch, paper towels, VetericynVF or triple antibiotic ointment & non-stick gauze. All of the supplies are available online and many are commonly found in drugstores or supermarkets.

Infection control is of the utmost importance at every stage of this procedure. The sink is sanitized with a bleach and water solution and sterile instruments are used. Gloves are worn to protect the bird and the operator as staph infections can be contracted by humans.

The following is my YouTube video of bumblefoot surgery from start to finish.
SOAK
The affected foot is soaked in warm water and Epsom salt or warm water and Betadine and scrubbed for a general cleaning and to soften up the foot tissue. Vetericyn VF is then applied to kill bacteria remaining on the surface of the foot. Very mild cases of bumblefoot may then be treated by excising the scab with a scalpel, applying Vetericyn VF to the abscess, covering with non-stick gauze and wrapping the foot with Vetrap. Vetericyn is re-applied two to three times a day and covered until healed. Not all cases of bumblefoot respond to this superficial treatment, however. Stubborn or more advanced abscesses are surgically removed. In some instances, antibiotics may be necessary, however none of my bumblefoot cases have required antibiotics in order to heal.
 Chicken soaking in water to clean and soften the foot pad for bumblefoot treatment
WRAP
When surgical removal is necessary, after the foot is cleaned the bird is wrapped very loosely in a towel, covering its head and eyes, ensuring ample breathing room. This keeps the bird immobilized and calm.  It is laid on the work surface, on its back with the affected foot facing towards the operator.  It helps to have assistant holding the chicken in place gently and securely. Talking to the chicken throughout the procedure can be reassuring to both the bird and the operator. Vetericyn VF is again applied to the foot. Some oozing blood is expected, but not ghastly amounts. Dabbing the blood with paper towels helps create a clearer view of the work area. 
 Chicken wrapped in towel for bumblefoot treatment
The object is to locate the heart of the abscess or dead tissue, which is commonly referred to as the “kernel,” core” or “plug.”  The plug consists of dehydrated pus that has solidified- it looks like a waxy, dried kernel of corn. Healthy tissue inside the foot is soft, pliable and pink. A solid kernel is not always present, in which case, the infection appears as stringy, slippery bits of thread-like, whitish/yellowish tissue.
 biopsy punch for bumblefoot treatment
Using a scalpel or biopsy punch, the foot pad is cut into around the circumference of the scab, straight down into the foot. A biopsy punch acts like an apple corer, removing the abscess. If using a scalpel, the task is a bit more tedious as live tissue is teased away from the abscess little by little. The scab itself is often attached to the abscess and can help lift the core out of the foot with the aid of a dry paper towel. 
Bumblefoot infection in chicken's foot pad
 Bumblefoot surgery reveals hard inner kernel of infected tissue
BREATHE. Most of us are not accustomed to this type of invasive procedure and it can be taxing mentally and emotionally. Remembering to breathe throughout the procedure can help. We often find it necessary to sit down and regroup for a few minutes before returning to the job. Talking to the bird can be reassuring.
Bumblefoot surgery on chicken's foot
Removal of bumblefoot kernel from chicken's foot pad
When a kernel is located and removed, the foot is again soaked in a sanitized sink or clean bowl containing Betadine and water. The foot pad is gently squeeze and massaged to loosen any dead tissue remaining. The foot is dried, Vetericyn is again applied to the area, the chicken is re-wrapped in the towel and the removal procedure continues. It often takes quite a while of digging, squeezing and soaking, alternately, to remove the all of the affected tissue.
 Bumblefoot infection removed from chicken's foot pad
Removal of most of the kernel with tweezers.
Bumblefoot infection in chicken's foot pad, kernel excised
This is the kernel that was removed.
The following pictures show the removal a large kernel from an advanced infection.
Bumblefoot kernel from chicken's foot pad infection
Foot pad scab attached to necrotic tissue from bumblefoot infection
Bumblefoot kernel removed from chicken's foot pad
Removing infected tissue from chicken's foot pad
Kernel of infected tissue removed from swollen foot of chicken
bumblefoot kernel after removal from chicken's foot pad
FINISHING UP & BANDAGING 
In cases where there is no central core or kernel, deciding when to end the procedure can be challenging. The stringy bits of tissue are extremely difficult to remove and it rarely seems as if it has all been removed. When it is determined that most of the tissue that can be removed has been removed, the foot is then prepared for bandaging.
Bandaging chicken's foot after bumblefoot surgery with Vetrap
Either Vetericyn or a triple antibiotic ointment is liberally applied to the open wound a 2” x 2” square of non-stick gauze is placed over the wound. The four corners of the gauze are folded in towards the center of the square, creating a smaller square, which creates a little bit of pressure to the area to stem any residual bleeding or oozing and keeps the Vetericyn or antibiotic ointment in place.

The gauze is kept in place with Vetrap, which is a self-adhesive bandaging material that is lightweight, flexible and requires no tape to stay secured in place. . It is not sticky or gluey and it stays secure even under normal scratching and roosting activities. It is important not to pull the Vetrap too tightly as it can cut off circulation to the foot.

One, six inch strip of Vetrap cut lengthwise into three or four smaller pieces is usually sufficient. The first strip of Vetrap is held in one hand, starting at the top of the foot and with the other hand, pulled over the gauze, then around and between the toes. The weaving is repeated with the remaining two strips, ending the wrap around the “ankle” by an inch or so. 
OBSERVATION & FOLLOW-UP
The Vetrap remains in place for 24-48 hours when it is removed to assess the wound. If the gauze has stuck to the wound at all, soaking in warm water loosens it.
Changing dressing on chicken's foot after bumblefoot surgery
After the Vetwrap was removed, the gauze showed a little oozing, which is to be expected. The Vetwrap does a great job of keeping the area clean and dry. Stella has been in the coop with the rest of the flock since the surgery. Since the gauze was a little stuck to the wound area, (we had run out of non-stick gauze. oops)  we soaked it in Epsom salt water before attempting to remove it.
Soaking chicken's foot to remove gauze, which had stuck to foot pad
Soaking chicken's foot to change dressing after bumblefoot procedure
 This is exactly how the wound should look three days after the procedure. A new, healthy scab is forming, some of which came off with the removal of the gauze, but it looks healthy. We re-bandaged as described above.
Chicken's foot pad healing after successful bumblefoot surgery
The examination is intended to identify any redness, swelling, foul odor, red streaks up the foot and leg or excessive oozing that may indicate a secondary infection that would require treatment antibiotics.
Chicken's foot five days after bumblefoot surgery, healing nicely
This is how Phoebe's foot looked five days after her surgery, 
which is just how it should appear.
If the foot appears to be healing well, the same wound care and bandaging procedure described above is repeated. The bandage remains on the foot for a week to ten days, changing it approximately 48 hours. A new and improved scab will form; it will not be black as the original scab may have been. 

While injured chickens are ordinarily separated from the flock for their own protection from other flock members, it is not necessary when using Vetrap as the bandage stays securely in place and the wound cannot be accessed by curious birds.
Hen is returned to the backyard after bumblefoot surgery
 This is Phoebe five weeks after her bumblefoot surgery, happily digging in the woods. Back to business as usual and molting hideously.
Bantam Cochin Frizzle after bumblefoot surgery
Silver Spangled hamburg after bumblefoot surgery with pink Vetrap on foot.
Four days post-op and Stella is out-and-about with the rest of the flock, 
getting her scratch on!
Disclaimer The-Chicken-Chick.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®
This post and my YouTube videos were featured at Backyard Poultry's Healthy Chickens Bulletin on 12/5/12.

289 comments :

  1. great to know and keep for future need.. hope wont need it but now I know what it is and what to do about it.. thanks.

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  2. Thanks everyone, my pleasure. :)

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  3. I've worked for a vet for 30 years. I hate to say this but abscesses and warbles fascinate me. I check my chickens feet weekly. You did a great job :)

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  4. Great article, love the step by step photos. I'll file this away for future use. Thanks for taking the time to do this :)

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  5. Thanks Allison, my pleasure. I hope you never need it!

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  6. Thanks, I'm going to check my Ladies feet tomorrow!

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  7. Very Good Information... I am going to build me a coop and buy me some chickens in the spring... They will be free range :)

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  8. @LaFollette Organic Farms: Welcome to the club! It's such a rewarding endeavor. Enjoy!

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  9. Thank you so much for giving us this valuable information. I have found not many vets have medical knowledge for chickens and much of the information caring for my chickens has come from within the chicken community, priceless information! Thanks again!Anna Seigler

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    1. My pleasure, Anna. I had to do lots of digging and reading about bumblefoot when I found my first case of it in my hen and I can tell you that is not the time you want to have to do research to figure these things out. It was stressful and time-consuming. I thought it would be useful to others to put all the information I gathered along with my personal experience all in in one place so others don't have to scramble like I did.

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  10. Nice job! I did a bumblefoot surgery on Butter, my buff Chantecler hen. It took 3 tries to get out the core. It was up along side one of her toes though the infection site was in the sole of her foot.There was so much junk, I was amazed. I did keep it all clean during the procedure but when I was done, I squeezed the neosporin in to fill the crater that was left behind. I sprayed on Blukote, let it dry, and let her go. She was great.

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    1. Thanks Sara. The surgery doesn't ordinarily go as easily as this one did!

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    2. this sounds like my issue. I'm wondering, if the core (Im assuming the hard clump I'm feeling is called the core)isnt near the infection site, is it necessary to make a new incision? or try to draw it out of the original scab site?

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  11. Wow! I hope I never have to do this but your instructions are great!

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    1. Thanks very much. I hope you never need to use this information but you'll be prepared and know what to do now if you must. :)

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  12. Thank you. I performed my first bumblefoot surgery using your tutorial today and everything went just grand. :-)

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    1. Good for you, Angie!! I'm happy to hear it went well & glad to have helped. Keep me updated on her recovery!

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  13. Vert Stanley2/19/12, 9:02 PM

    Ouch! Bumblefoot surgery doesn't look fun. I hope I don't have to do it anytime soon!

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    1. It's no fun for the humans, Vert, and even less so for the poor chickens. Unfortunately, the alternatives are worse. :(

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  14. That is horrible! I couldn't possibly do that. Oh my gadz, I dont think I do this chicken thing, I may have to rethink this. Thank you for the lesson. I think I am gonna faint.

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    1. Breathe deeply, IBF. This is one of those lessons that you take, hoping never to have to need the information, but it's good to know just in case. Bumblefoot is not uncommon, however, not everyone is willing or able to treat it themselves. With any luck, you'll have an avian vet (or a willing non-avian vet) available to help if you ever need it.
      Most of us don't.

      I assure you that keeping-chickens has rewards so far beyond providing food that regardless of the potential difficulties for us, we gladly do whatever is required to help them when they are in pain or danger.

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  15. Have you evr used honey for wound healing? I do that with chickens injuries since I don't keep antibiotic cream around. This information is great! I need to take a look at one of my roosters who was limping but seems to have recovered. I think it was a joint issue, not foot, but I will check his feet now that I have this info.

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you found it useful. It's a good idea to check all your chickens' feet regularly so that infections are discovered before they become painful.

      I have never used honey for wound healing but I know folks do. Please let me know how your rooster checks out!

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  16. Very good article! I read it hoping what it was what was ailing my hen,Trouble, but no such luck..I don't know why she is limping, I can't see anything wrong with her foot or leg, but she is limping and the other ladies are beginning to pick on her. Any suggestions?

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    1. Thanks Bernadette. It's possible that she injured her foot or leg. How long has she been limping? Is there any redness or swelling on the top or bottom of the foot?

      If the others are picking at her because she is injured, you need to remove her from the flock (or the offenders, if a manageable number) until she has healed. Picking can be caused by a number of factors though, so without ruling those out, it's hard to know why it's happening.

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  17. I did surgery on my hen yesterday. She tolerated it very well. I was able to excise the scab and some stringy tissue with it but there is still a hard lump off to the side between her toes. I tried to push it towards the hole but did not have any luck. I felt as though I would need to make another incision closer to the hard lump to get it out. Without knowing what to do, I cleaned the wound with betadine, applied ample antibiotic ointment, and dressed it. I changed her dressings again today. Not sure what I should do about the hard piece still in there. Any advice?

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    1. Hi Deborah. I have found that sometimes it is necessary to cut from the top of the foot down towards the kernel. It sounds like you got some of the cheesy, semi-liquified infection and while there is not always a hard core, the fact that you feel it in this instance is pretty good evidence that more advanced infection is probably present. I have had to go back in a second time only once.

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  18. Thanks for the advice. I did go ahead and make an incision on the top of her foot and removed the hard kernel that I could feel. It went fine. She seems to be acting perfectly normal. On the other hand, I have another hen (without a wound or bumblefoot) that is acting ill today. She has stayed in the coop all day, just laying around with her eyes closed. She was not even interested in her favorite snack (chips). I'm afraid that she might have gotten an infection from the hen with bumblefoot. I did see her pecking at her dressing once. Her stool looks runny and yellow. I suppose I should have separated them. Kind of regretting that now. I'm worried that they will all get sick now if I don't isolate her. Do you think I am jumping to conclusions here? I've never had a sick chicken so this is a little new to me. Thanks again for your response.

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    1. I'm glad to know you were able to remove the infection. I don't think the behavior or symptoms of the other hen are related in any way to the bumblefoot issue though.

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  19. I don't have chickens and found this fascinating. If I did have them I'm positive I could take care of this just so they wouldn't be in pain. Great job on the tutorial. Makes me want chickens now. My friends son has a rooster, my daughter was babysitting, child brought his roster friend in the house. Totally normal for him to do. My daughter called in a panic, proclaimed "I'm not getting paid enough to clean up chicken poop!" I told her no worries have child clean up messes, make him keep his pet in kitchen if it freaks you out. Needless to say I don't think she ever volunteered to babysit again

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  20. I loved your article and youtube video.However, I am feeling really bad right now! I noticed recently that one of the chickens had a swollen toe and after researching realised it was bumblefoot, I proceeded to de-scab and get the pus out, wrap the foot etc. didnt have a problem with this as I've grown up with animals and often had to deal with cuts and bruises. The swelling wasnt going down, so in the end I took the plung, sliced off the swelling on the side of her toe, found the cheese like lump and everything is well. But then I had to perform surgery on the foot of one of the other girls, typical bumblefoot symptoms, but her foot bled and bled and bled, it was literally a river of blood! I felt like a butcher. Couldnt find anything inside..still bleeding...wouldnt stop, so I put some antibiotic cream on and wrapped her foot, this morning she is limping heavily, blood on the perch. I took the wrapping off, washed her foot in antiseptic solution and re wrapped, started bleeding again, not as bad and I am sure it will heal but I feel like this shouldnt have happened, maybe her foot was okay in the first place. Have you ever had a chickens whos foot bled this much? Regards Ellen

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  21. I have had chickens who bled more than expected or more than is usual. I always keep them inside in a crate for a few days until they get a chance to begin healing and to limit their scratching/roosting with the injured foot.
    If you don't have any Vetericyn, now is a good time to pick some up. Your local vet may carry it but if not, it is sold on Amazon, for instance.

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  22. Thanks Kathy

    Thats what I'm doing and will pick up some Vetericyn!

    Regards

    Ellen

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  23. I learned a lot, not just about the surgery, but also some prevention...Also, I need to get Epsom salts since it seems to come up a lot.

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  24. The procedure was interesting, but I also learned some good stuff on prevention. Noticed that epsom salts are needed in a lot of circumstances. Thanks

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  25. Thanks for the info. Hope to be a Chiken Mama soon!

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    1. My pleasure. Good for you! Let us know when they arrive!

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  26. oh my ive never heard of that till i red this blog so glad you take the time to share such great info! thanks bobby sue jabat Kbjabat@att.net

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  27. Thanks for your informative step by step procedures. I have performed very similar treatment to my
    old 10 year old hen "Miss VIcky", what a process it was. In the end she healed nicely. It's been 8 months and she is
    limping again and has swelling at her ankle. No scab like what her foot looked like.
    Can you give hens anti-inflamatory meds to help with the swelling. She is eating and walking and seems fine, but a sore painful limp. Thanks.

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  28. I am so glad that we have never had a case of bumblefoot, but grateful to have this reference as well as your video. Thank you for taking the time to present this so completely.
    Oh, and I love your wall paper!

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  29. I so hope I never have a chicken that has bumblefoot because I can't even get a splinter out of somebody's finger. It makes me sick to my stomach.

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    1. I hear ya. This is much less tolerable than a splinter. :/

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  30. Just two days ago i noticed a chicken with bubbly looking lumps between her toes. I suspected bumblefoot right away. Today I believe all but 2 which are separate (Mom and baby) of our 24 girls have it now with a scab on the bottom of the foot. We cleaned chicken feet today in epsom salt and applied antibiotic ointment and wrapped their feet. I'm afraid we may have to do surgery and I think I might puke. I am not a medical kind of person. Do you always have to do surgery? Can the plug come out on it's own? Thanks for all the info... I'm gonna go take some deep breaths now...

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    1. Wrapping their feet after their pedicures isn't going to clear up the infection, unfortunately. The chicken with the lumps you can see from the top of the foot between the toes has an advanced case that needs to be addressed. If there is not a vet in your area who will take care of it for you, maybe you can enlist the help of a friend or relative (someone in the medical field who might not be as sensitive to the graphic nature of this procedure). You can try the modified approach with just removing the scab with a scalpel and spraying it 2-3 times per day with Vetericyn VF. It's very time-consuming but I've done it and it worked after several weeks.
      Best of luck to you Dana, please let me know if you have any other questions at all. Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  31. I just watched the bumblefoot surgery on Stella and when I saw someone cutting the bottom of the chickens foot and trying to pull away a round part of skin I was a bit skeptical about the proceedure but then after it was removed all it took was some well placed pressure on the foot and the rest just popped right out and Stellas foot returned to normal size. You guys do great work and I admire how gentle you were with Stella.

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  32. Robin Spencer8/2/12, 9:57 PM

    I have a rooster who had this. His name is now Mr. Bumblefoot!!

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  33. Found your video! My family and I are former city kids, now living on a farm with 40 chickens. Finding a chicken vet is a bit of an issue here, and not cost effective. So, we are learning. Without your video, I'm not sure it would have gone as well as it did. Our chicken is resting in a box on the back porch for a few days. Looks good today! Thank you again.

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  34. There is another condition that birds can get and it is called constricted toe syndrome. The toes become swollen and look like a hair or fine wire is wrapped around the joints of the toe. But when examined nothing can be found. My vet cut the toe off...not much else that can be done. The bird didnt miss the toe and actually seemed happier without it. No more pain or numb feeling.

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  35. I just love your site! I bought my nephews and nieces some chicks this spring and we've all been learning. They should begin laying soon. We've just put their nesting boxes in and have laid out some fake eggs to help them understand what to do in them. Our first pen was just for chicks and will now become the baby chick pen. We built a nice little coop for them to transfer to, letting them out most of the day and returning in the evening. The kids can't wait for them to start laying! I hope they don't ever need this type of surgery or treatment because I'm 2 hrs away from them!

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  36. Great information and video!

    I'm just starting my 2nd year with chickens and suspect one of my Austrolorps may have bumblefoot. I don't see any swelling but the black scab is there and she walks as little as possible (she is otherwise perky and eating fine). I'm going to try the non-surgical procedure first (soaking & scab removal) and will move on to the knife if necessary.

    One question - once you bandage the foot, do you isolate the chicken for a few days or place her back with the flock? I would certainly isolate her if I saw that she was being picked on, but otherwise do you keep the patient in the coop (while still checking and changing the dressing)? It seems that would be the least stressful for her. Thank you!

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  37. Great job in explaining how to do this!!! The first time is always the worst and seems to take the longest!! Keep in mind it can be pretty gross and some chickens bleed ALOT more than others!!! Remember its for the best!!!!

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  38. I seriously can't thank you enough for posting this.
    I accidentally stepped on the toe of one of my chickens about 6 weeks ago or even longer, and my family's reaction when she started to go downhill was to "get rid of her".
    We first thought it was a soft tissue injury, but to cut a long story short - it's infected.
    I started searching the net but didn't think to check youtube until yesterday when i came across your post and one other. Late yesterday I took to a lump that recently developed above her ankle (which did form a scab) and cleaned that out. Today I soaked her foot again, cleaned it up, and then lanced her middle toe, which has had swelling from the word go, and I took out an amazing amount of pus and i think 2 fragments of bone. So at this stage it seems like i accidently broke her toe and it got an infection from the scale that came out when I trod on her.
    She’s done so well to get this far and your video and website has helped me to better help her. Thanks again :)
    Cassandra
    PS thanks for the names of the drugs you use, cause in Australia, betadine is as good as it gets for over the counter! Thank goodness for internet shopping!

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  39. Kristin Brown1/6/13, 4:44 AM

    Best video on the web of bumblefoot removal and treatment. Thank you for sharing the details! I haven't seen this in my flock before, however am eager to do a foot check tomorrow when I get a chance.

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  40. TheChickenChick1/8/13, 11:47 PM

    Thanks so much Kristin. I hope you don't need the information, but feel good about knowing where to access it if you do.

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  41. Anne Tellefsen1/9/13, 11:34 PM

    Kathy you refer to both between Vetericyn and Vetericyn VF. Is there a difference or, are they interchangeable?   Hillary, one of my blue splash marans, developed bumblefoot on one of her feet. But thanks to you, your blog, your video, and a bit of minor surgery with Vetericyn, she has recovered wonderfully. Also, thanks to the information you've passed along, I've made modifications to the coop and run in the hopes of alleviating future infections. Lastly, proactive foot inspections have become a regular occurrence with my not so little fuzzy bottoms.
    Thank you Kathy for *ALL* that you do for all of the chicken addicts out here and all of their beloved fuzzy butts.

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  42. TheChickenChick1/10/13, 9:49 PM

    Hi Anne. Vetericyn VF is "veterinary formula," which is stronger than Vetericyn. I use the VF, more bang for the buck. :)

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  43. Anne Tellefsen1/11/13, 12:51 AM

    Many thanks for the clarification!!

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  44. is it not painful ,is the chicken in any pain as you are digging in to her flesh.

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  45. I think that my plymouth rock hen may have this. She's got one biggish one and a smaller one. The foot with the bigger one is also swollen and red :(
    Is this apart of bumble foot ?

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  46. Velma Brown1/23/13, 7:09 PM

    Another symptom for my hens has been a very hot foot due to the infection - we noticed our hen limping and when we picked her up and put our hand around her foot, it was quite hot to the touch. Then when we looked at the bottom of her foot, it was clearly Bumblefoot. :-(

    We took her to the vet who recommended soaking in epsom salts and getting that plug out. We soaked her feet every night for a week, plucked away at it with tweezers, and then slathered antibiotic ointment on it. After about a week it was on the mend. Thankfully we've not had to do the 'surgery' as I'm not sure I could do that.
    We have successfully cleared up three feet by doing this. Although, it does require follow up to make sure nothing it doesn't recur. Their little feet have nothing but pink skin and a very faint round scar on the skin where the scab used to be.

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  47. I have one adopted older hen who repeatedly gets something like bumblefoot - but interestingly, the hard kernel forms in a "hole" in her foot which has been healed - possibly from a bumblefoot surgery before I got her?  It seems that dirt and such pack into the opening over time when she's out foraging.  I can pick her up and flex that area at the base of her toes and simply pull the plug out.   Although it seems to go quite deep, there's no bleeding, no raw flesh. It only takes a moment to pop out the plug.  I had not wrapped the foot in the past because it didn't quite seem like an open sore or injury, if you can picture it.  Have you heard of anything like this?  She's quite happy and mobile, but I'm always concerned about it because I think it may be painful when she's roosting with her weight on those feet.

    We now have a TSC (!) so I think I'll try the Vetericyn and some wrap to see if I can get the "hole" to close more.  It's been getting smaller as I continue to keep it cleaned out.

    And, yep, it's gross.  On the other hand, if you've ever confronted packed anal glands on a poodle, this is a piece of cake..... LOL

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  48. TheChickenChick2/19/13, 10:07 PM

    I suspect the area you are describing is a natural fold/pocket in the foot. One of my hens with crooked toes has a pronounced pocket, similar to what you are describing and dirt, etc gets packed into it, but is easily popped out by inverting the skin from the top of the foot.

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  49. I think you have a PhD in chickendry (if that is even a word). I learn so much from you

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  50. Thank the Gods for your info. Pre-emptive phase here with the epsom soak and vetricyn. She is wrapped. I am ready for phase 2 now.

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  51. Thank you so much for posting this! I never knew how many things could go wrong with my chickens. I'm going to check their feet tomorrow and make sure they're all okay. I'm so glad you have this detailed information out there just in case I need it some day!

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  52. Julie Moore4/11/13, 4:13 AM

    Kathy, please can you answer one question. I performed the op on my precious rooster (thanks for the great video) who's had bumblefoot for about a year. I did not know what the 1cm black scab was and it never bothered him until last week when the foot swelled to twice its size. The op went well, lots of solid 'cheese' and stringy bits removed, cleaned with Betadine and he's rested on a towel in our kitchen since. Posture has improved, healthy appetite but it's day 2, second change of dressing and yellow bits are forming on surface. I have some sharp closeup photo's here:

    www.velopyrenees.com/images/tigers-foot-sharp-closeup.jpg
    www.velopyrenees.com/images/tigers-side-view-foot.jpg
    www.velopyrenees.com/images/tigers-whole-foot.jpg

    Please can you or anyone tell me if this is ok? just clean it with Betadine or should I quickly get antibiotics. I live in France so not sure how easy this will prove. Thank you all for your time and for a brilliant blog.

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  53. TheChickenChick4/11/13, 10:18 PM

    If he has had bumblefoot for a year, I would definitely ask a vet for some antibiotics. I don't know whether that yellow is cause for concern yet. If you are able to get some Vetericyn VF hydrogel, that's your best bet. They sell it on Amazon, can you buy products on Amazon.com?

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  54. Julie Moore4/12/13, 3:44 PM

    Hi Kathy Thank you very much for your advice. I visited a vet today who said that the yellow was cause for concern and it should be scraped away each day. She has given me Dermaflon cream and anitbiotics (Baytril) to be administered once a day. She put about 30 gauze pads on each foot and heavily bandaged it all in place - she said it was a mechanical problem and that I needed to alleviate pressure from his weight on his feet (if the 2nd foot wasn't bandaged, he'd favour his 'good' leg and cause more problems). She thinks that it will take a while for it to heal.

    I wanted to say thank you for your informative post, but more importantly for taking the time to help me with your quick response and advice.

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  55. I did this with my rooster George it was easy and he healed very well! He even fell asleep while I held him upside down during:)

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  56. Hi we followed this today as our chicken was limping and had the swollen pad with scab, husband cut round it but has bleed a lot and we where unable to carry on and look for pus didn't see any when scab was removed have put septic powder and bandaged well but im concered how much chickens can bleed.

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  57. So, after checking over me girls today I noticed by buff brahma has double bumblefoot. There was a little swelling, no redness but scabs on each pad. I soaked her feet twice in a warm Epsom salt solution. Rubbed the area down with povidine. The scabs came off easily but there were no kernels or solidified pus after squeezing and digging around. The tissue was fairly soft under the scabs. I applied triple antibiotic ointment and wrapped. Should there have been a kernel? Should I have dug around more?

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  58. Wow. This is a very useful page with fantastic pictures and very clear infomation. No doubt you have saved many more chickens with this page!

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  59. TheChickenChick5/20/13, 9:18 PM

    Thank you, Fern. ♥

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  60. Thanks so much I learn a lot from you and I am closer to getting my coop it is so nice to know there is help if you need have a blessed day

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  61. I have one chicken recovering from bumble foot surgery. She is 18 days post op and it has been a rough road but she seems to finally be doing better. She is lowest on the pecking order and I put her back in the coop too soon. She was still limping and was cornered and attacked. We now have her in a pen in the coop and this seems to be the best arrangement. I will be checking all mine regular now.

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  62. Jonnie-Michelle Riggs7/25/13, 1:14 PM

    Kathy, thank you SO much for this information. My Light Sussex Rooster is in desperate need of this and I am about to attempt helping him with the info you have listed. I have a feeling Big Boy will take this much better than I am going to.

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  63. Audra Baucom Ellis7/29/13, 11:18 AM

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I owe you dearly for this step by step instruction. I had to use it last weekend and I don't think I could've done it without you!

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  64. TheChickenChick8/2/13, 4:22 PM

    I'm happy to know it helped, Audra!

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  65. ron bennett8/3/13, 1:38 PM

    Thankyou for this information that you have provided.After watching this video of removal procedure I went out side and worked on my Hen. within an hour I was done.went good just like yourvideo Again Thanks

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  66. I don't know whether or not I should try on my Silkie hen. She's had bumble foot for a while and...I just don't want anything to go pear shaped....

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  67. Yomamabird Rhonda8/7/13, 1:24 PM

    Someone gave me a sweet chicky with what looks just like Bumblefoot on both legs at the joint above the foot. apparently she was born with a sort of splay leg thing where her feet are turned up and she has been using that joint in both legs to walk on :( looks like Bumblefoot sores on both legs at that joint. same swell. same scab. I have her on deep soft paper litter. she will never walk. she's about 4 months old now. I love her dearly and want to do the best thing for her. no vet wants to help like they once did. your suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.

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  68. Terry Kessinger8/9/13, 10:36 AM

    I just inherited a dozen hens about 2 weeks ago. A week ago one of them 'came up lame'. I've crated her and just started letting her out to see how she is, still limping. Completely new to chickens, I asked around and everyone said, that sometimes happens, crate her awhile and she'll recuperate. As soon as I saw the Pinterest photo, I knew this is what the issue was. Thank you so much for such a thorough (and hopeful) post. I'm not daunted by yucky. Scratches and peck, yes, but not enough to dissuade me from doing this.

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  69. TheChickenChick8/9/13, 1:08 PM

    Very sad. :(

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  70. PoultryPedia8/9/13, 8:58 PM

    There is info on treating many kinds of leg problems on the Poultry Podiatry page at www.PoultryPedia.com.
    It sounds like she cannot recover, but some ideas on that page may help you care for her as long as you think it's good.
    Hugs.

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  71. TheChickenChick8/9/13, 9:39 PM

    I'm happy that you were able to identify the problem, Terry. Let me know how it goes.

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  72. Thank you for this information. We did the procedure as you instructed and our girl came through it beautifully. This was our first experience with bumblefoot but your instructions were a lifesaver in both diagnosing and treating our Regina.

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  73. TheChickenChick8/11/13, 8:09 PM

    I'm so happy to know Regina did well, Pat. ♥

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  74. Rob N Carri Hensley8/11/13, 8:54 PM

    thanks this is great and exactly what I have been through - glad for the affirmation and the visuals!

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  75. Sara Michaud8/12/13, 3:31 PM

    I checked the feet of my girls today and it appear that 3 out of the 5 might have bumblefoot! None are limping and there is no redness. Could it be something else if they aren't showing signs of pain? One has a very large scab on her foot. My initial plan is to soak her foot and rub at the scab with my hand to see if it comes off, then coat it with antibiotic cream and wrap with gauze. I'm hoping if it doesn't come off with the soaking I can pull it off with the gauze the next day. Even more hopeful it's just poop (but probably not since she's on grass all day)!

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  76. Sheamus Warior8/21/13, 4:04 AM

    Self storage photo is illustrating the good ideas that how beneficial it is to utilize them for storing the valuable items safely, I really like this blog.http://www.progait.co.uk/gait-analysis

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  77. Brian Brumfield9/2/13, 7:56 PM

    I really want to thank you for this posting. We had a gal with a pretty bad case, and after reading this, watching your videos, and consulting with out vet, we decided to undertake this procedure ourselves. It went perfectly, and our hen is recovering very well.
    Thanks again!

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  78. TheChickenChick9/4/13, 11:58 PM

    That's great to know, Brian. Well done! Happy I could help. :)

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  79. I think one of my chickens have this, not sure, she is a sultan,cochin mix and has feathers on her feet too that just came in after molting and they are long, she has a hard time walking. She has had these bumps on her feet now for around 6months and her feet are like a sultan but the feathers don't help, can I trim the feathers ? I will try and get a picture of her to show you, she doesn't come down off the perch only a couple of times a week, she seems content on her little cage I made her, Thanks

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  80. Thank you so much for this article. We have had a hen limping for about a year now and just thought it was arthritis or something like that. But she did have this smallish (about the size of half a pea) dark thing embedded in her foot. We thought maybe it was some debris and removed it. It's in a crevice by her toe. Should we try to do this surgery there or just try and keep clean and use the VT spray|neoporin?

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  81. TheChickenChick9/23/13, 10:29 PM

    I'd have to see it, Frances. Is the thing underneath her foot? Sometimes dirt and droppings get stuck into a hardened, pea-sized lump in between their toes, which is easy to clean out without any invasive measures. Can you share a photo of it on my Facebook timeline?

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  82. Sure I can take a pic tomorrow. I did remove it though and it has come back and been removed a few times now. It doesn't seem to be getting worse but she still lumps and seems to be in pain when walking. I'll send the pic tomorrow though. Thanks !

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  83. Dr Stone (me) and my son the assistant medical man performed surgery on one of our girls a month ago and it went well! Your explanation and video was excellent and almost exactly how the surgery went. It was amazing how calm my girl was and never showed any pain or discomfort when we were digging into her foot. She is now happy and it was funny to see her strutting around with the dressing on her foot as the other girls checked out her new gauze wardrobe. Thanks for posting all the information and I love this site!

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  84. I am here to share my impression when i saw your blog its very unique and new topic you select on your blog because i Am chicken farm owner and chicken farm business not a easy task to get earn revenue and your blog helping me know about more BUMBLEFOOT causes and more about chicken.

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  85. Excellent skills you have my Dear. Steady hands and the patience of an angel. Have you considered using a Rat Tooth or Adson Tissue Forcep(s) to hold on the growth as you are cutting it out? I think it would be helpful. You could lift the lump and see what you are cutting away, Good job!! Your Bandaging skills are awesome as well!! And of course your restrainer did an excellent job!! (y) Loved the video!!

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  86. Joyce Godsey10/13/13, 1:36 PM

    looks like a hemostat, a clamp would help you tremendously as a third hand.

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  87. TheChickenChick10/13/13, 11:50 PM

    Thanks Isela (I think?). Nope, I hadn't considered those tools. I'm a lawyer, not a doctor. Are you in the medical field? I have to give my husband equal credit for the procedure. He follows instructions well. :) He can't bandage a chicken foot to save his life though. :D

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  88. I was in the medical field...retired Vet Tech ;)

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  89. Love this post and video...I have it bookmarked and on my Pinterest Chicken page in case I need it for my chicks...thanks for such a graphic and educational post!

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  90. Donna Bernhard-Rogers10/19/13, 8:31 PM

    You taught me everything I needed to know on doing this on my little girl last year & I often share this video & link on The LCC when asked about bumble foot
    Thank You soo much
    Donna Rogers

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  91. I so have to do this, thanks for the info.

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  92. TheChickenChick10/19/13, 8:41 PM

    Thanks for sharing, Donna. ♥

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  93. TheChickenChick10/19/13, 8:44 PM

    Thanks Leah. I hope you never need it.

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  94. there is a very better way to cure this situation as I recently do to my hen . the infection was so big that surgery would cut the whole leg.

    1- you should wash the infected leg with warm water and Betadine so the remaining poop or dirt is removed from the leg
    2- use an oily cream that has antibiotic in it you can buy it from human pharmacies every where in the world (at least in my country) you can ask the pharmasist to help you pick a good one.
    3- bandage the leg with the infection completely creamed with a isolated bandage.
    4- if your nest is some how wet you can use electricity tape that is made from plastic and do not let the water come to the infection as well as new infections.
    5-leave the leg with bandage for 7 day and do not open it even if the outer bandage is not clean.
    6- after 7 days open the bandage and see that you did not pain your hen and the infection has gone.


    precautions:
    1- before using surgery do this and if it was not helping go for surgery.
    2- use huge amount of cream and bandage because you do not want to open it for a week and it should not let the leg become dirty at all.


    I dont know how I can upload pictures but if any one ask me I can send the pictures of the whole operation and drugs that I used as well as the amount of bandage and cream.

    sewmhr@yahoo.co.uk

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  95. Jennifer Marchand10/25/13, 8:08 PM

    THank you so much for this excellent information! I had to perform a bumblefoot surgery 2 days ago and it went just about exactly as you so wonderfully described. With the only exception being that I discovered my chicken had a bumblefoot on the bottom of her foot in addition to what I saw on top so I had twice the fun ! :/

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  96. TheChickenChick10/25/13, 8:58 PM

    I'm so happy to know that you were able to help her, Jennifer! Good work.

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  97. I had my first case of bumblefoot ten days ago. We took Rosie to the vet, because my husband was worried she would hurt during the surgery. The vet looked at the foot, gave her an injection of antibiotics and sent us home with antibiotic tablets and Meloxicam soln. for the pain and inflammation. He said it would take 6 weeks for it to be cured. So we have been soaking her foot each day in an Epsom salt bath and applying Vetericyn and and a bandage. Yesterday evening I noticed another hen, Lacey, with a swollen foot. This time I followed your advice and removed the kernel. When it came time to treat Rosie, I checked to see if she had a kernel as there had been little decrease in the swelling. Sure enough I was able to remove it and now both chickens are walking around with their new "shoe". Hopefully they will continue to make progress in healing. Thanks so much for your information!

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  98. TheChickenChick10/27/13, 12:53 AM

    Great to hear, Barb- nice work!!

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  99. I have "studied" all your info and videos concerning Bumblefoot and will be performing surgery on my Barred Rock rooster, Rocky, tomorrow with the help of my sister. Thanks, Kathy, for all your expertise and experience!

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  100. TheChickenChick10/29/13, 9:37 PM

    Best wishes to you both, you'll do fine!

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  101. Linda Ljung Cranford11/11/13, 9:42 PM

    This is amazing, thank you again

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  102. Excellent video.

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  103. I'm so glad you did the bumble foot surgery on those dear sweet angels.

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  104. Lori Westerman Falkenstien11/22/13, 8:06 AM

    I've noticed the beginnings of bumblefooto several ofmy girls. After reading this I suspect it is because of the height of their roosts. They are probably about 6 ft high. I placed them there because they preferred it and with our 8 ft ceilings they were roosting on the cross supports high up on the coop walls. I've tried lowering them since they are now too large to roost on those supports but they freaked out and wouldn't use the new lowered roosts. I had to put the old one back up. Any suggestions? Thank you!

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  105. TheChickenChick11/22/13, 8:16 PM

    Chickens will always be freaked out by change, don't let that deter you from doing what you have to do. Ours were roosting in the rafters too and we had to put plastic netting on them to stop them from flying up there. They were upset for a week or so, but got over it.

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  106. Hey Kathy,
    I have a 5yr old rooster who I think has bumblefoot. He has had it for awhile. It has gone up his leg. Can we still "operate " on it or is it too late.

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  107. TheChickenChick11/24/13, 11:46 PM

    It's impossible for me to know, Karen. I would consult a vet. It doesn't sound promising.

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  108. Oh boy! Noticed one of my girls, Charlotte (barred rock) has a small hard nodule inbetween one of her toes. Could this possibly be bumblefoot? When the hubby gets home from work tonight, it looks like we'll be turning the kitchen into a poultry vet clinic, checking all the girls' feet for issues.

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  109. TheChickenChick11/25/13, 7:46 PM

    I can't say for sure. I don't recommend digging in unless you're sure though.

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  110. Well after close examination our little girl has 2. One of them was not scabbed over and I was able to soak her foot and got the infection out, no tweezers or knife were used, just Epsom salt water, syringe (for irrigating), sterile gauze and qtips and betadine and cleaned the infection pocket out and wrapped her foot. Wow! The smell from the infection was overload! the other one is scabbed over and pretty callused over. Im extremely nervous about digging into her other one. This may be a job for a vet.

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  111. TheChickenChick11/26/13, 10:19 PM

    I would consult a vet about the first foot too. Bumblefoot infections do not ordinarily have any odor. Sounds like antibiotics may be in order.

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  112. Mary Lynn Durfee12/2/13, 3:43 PM

    How do you make sure it's bumblefoot and not a scab from a cut or something?

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  113. TheChickenChick12/3/13, 12:43 AM

    Bumblefoot IS caused from a cut or some other insult to the foot pad, Mary Lynn.

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  114. On Day 1 of dealing with our first case of bumblefoot. Thank you so much for this helpful information - getting my nerve up in case surgery required! Wondered, do you have any experience with Tricide-Neo? A product for Koi that apparently some use on chicken bumblefoot.

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  115. TheChickenChick12/5/13, 11:13 PM

    You're welcome. Good luck!

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  116. Jenn Werner-Williams12/17/13, 5:20 PM

    Such great info to have on hand. We havent had to do this yet. Hoping we never have to!

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  117. I do not like bumblefoot. I do not like it here or there or anywhere :)

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  118. Christa Goss12/17/13, 5:46 PM

    Preparing to do my first bumblefoot surgery today. Glad you reposted this!

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  119. TheChickenChick12/17/13, 5:58 PM

    Good luck with it!

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  120. Cathy Leo Sims12/17/13, 5:58 PM

    I am new to raising chickens and will look for this.

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  121. I would love to win Chicken Health for Dummies!

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  122. Tierney Sheets Clark12/17/13, 6:08 PM

    How interesting! It's amazing how big and hard the kernel was. I'm doing a search on mine soon for that. I've read about it but never actually saw the infection. I'd love the book!

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  123. Donna M Sarvay-Stone12/17/13, 6:25 PM

    Wonderful info. Thanks

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  124. I have a hard time envisioning one keeping a chicken foot in a soak but there was nothing any grosser than I have seen in a human boil (same cause and effect).

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  125. Andrea Manfredo12/17/13, 7:51 PM

    Great information to keep for reference. Thanks so much.

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  126. TheChickenChick12/17/13, 8:39 PM

    My chickens love being in a warm bath!

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  127. Oh my goodness! I was squeamish and squirming the whole way through the video but I could do it if I had to (I think! ). You are so thorough with your chicken care I am in awe. I Aspire to be like you!

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  128. TheChickenChick12/17/13, 9:12 PM

    I squirm every time I see it too, Jen! lol

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  129. Teri Robinson12/17/13, 9:41 PM

    Thank you for this post. It is nice to see someone who isn't afraid to show the nitty gritty. I would love to win this book.

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  130. Michelle Chun12/17/13, 9:49 PM

    Does the Metacam require a prescription from the vet? Is this something that should be kept in the emergency kit?

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  131. Rachel Dennis12/17/13, 9:53 PM

    I check my birds from time to time especially my ducks, good givaway

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  132. TheChickenChick12/17/13, 11:20 PM

    It does require a prescription from a vet, Michelle. I keep it on-hand.

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  133. Elaine Schaefer Hudson12/18/13, 12:31 AM

    wow, hard to watch all the way through, but good to know this is here if I need it.

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  134. Ferne McAllister12/18/13, 6:56 AM

    You have nerves of steel and compassion to boot. I'm amazed at how still the chicken was during the procedure.

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  135. Can never read enough about chickens !

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  136. I once did surgery single handedly on a hen that had a leg band that had somehow worked its way up over her hock and grown into her leg. When discovered I thought I was doing a simple removal of the band...boy was I wrong. I had no idea what I was in for and the amount of cheesy stuff coming out was horrendous. I really had no idea what this gunk was.
    I've seen plenty of pus and blood from infections before but this stuff threw me for a loop. Looked a lot like scrambled eggs and believe me it was a while before I could eat those again !

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  137. I really hope that I'm able to treat my hens if this pops up in the flock!

    What's the dosage on Metacam? That's the liquid, isn't it?

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  138. Shelia Dawn Carter12/18/13, 12:38 PM

    Thanks so much for this info. I haven't had to do this yet, but I'm glad to have the knowledge before I run into it. <3

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  139. I think I would be afraid to try this on my rooster, but thank you for sharing!

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  140. This Dummie wants the book! I'm in to win! :)

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  141. Great information. Glad to know the way to do this just in case.

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  142. Would love to win!

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  143. Kerri Dobbins12/20/13, 12:24 AM

    Would love to win the book, so many things to learn about chickens' health.

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  144. I'm feeling lightheaded already! I am so not good with procedures!

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  145. I need that!!!!

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  146. Lisa Kingsley12/20/13, 7:01 PM

    I would love to win!!

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  147. I've never had to do bumblefoot surgery, but I did have to open and drain an abscess on a chicken's face. Nasty, huge chunks of gunk.

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  148. Cheryl Postma12/20/13, 10:10 PM

    I followed your wonderful advice in October on my SLW rooster when I discovered his bumble foot. We found it early and were so happy with his speedy recovery. Thanks!

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  149. TheChickenChick12/21/13, 12:26 AM

    I'm happy to hear it, Cheryl!

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  150. TheChickenChick12/21/13, 12:29 AM

    OMG, ewww, NO! That's my HUSBAND!! ROFL!

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  151. Tessica Reynolds12/21/13, 12:17 PM

    LOL! I can't help it, the first thing I thought when I saw that picture was "WOW! Those are some nice veins!" and hey, since you're always doing handy-woman work, I figured it's totally possible for them to be yours! aaand maybe the fuscia sweatshirt threw me off too... although, only a real man can wear that color ;-)
    Sorry I grossed you out! ahahahahaha =-)

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  152. Charleston, SC12/21/13, 2:19 PM

    Hello,

    I followed the instructions completely and removed the small, hard, dark kernel attached to the scab. I then resoaked for 10 minutes and was able to pull out a white, sinewy circular thing that looked like it could have been a coating around the kernel. However, after more soaking, kneading, etc. I was unable to remove anything else. We worked on her for more than an hour. The foot is still swollen. What I thought might be more infection bled when I gently nicked it with the scalpel, so I left it alone. Does it take a while for the swelling to subside? I am concerned I didn't get everything, but didn't want to cut out anything that shouldn't be removed. She seems to be walking fine, but was also walking OK prior to the surgery.
    Thanks for any advice!

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  153. TheChickenChick12/22/13, 7:03 PM

    It sounds like you got the core. Just keep it clean and watch for infection now.

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  154. TheChickenChick12/24/13, 12:32 PM

    LOL! It's MAROON, not fuscia! ROFL!!!!!

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  155. Ferne McAllister12/29/13, 11:41 AM

    A veterinarian surgeon could not have done a better job. Beautiful results. I wish Metacam® was available otc since we have no vet (no other pets) and therefore no relationship with a vet to beg from. Hope my chickens never get bumblefoot as I would never attempt surgery without anesthesia. (And even with anesthesia, I cringe!)

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  156. I'm not sure why I watched this for "fun". ::barf:: lol. I hope I never have to perform this, but I know where to look IF I ever need to. Thank you.

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  157. TheChickenChick12/29/13, 2:19 PM

    Think of it as education. ;)

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  158. Tracey Pounds12/29/13, 4:39 PM

    What size biopsy punch do you suggest having on hand? Thanks for the informative blog. Great info!

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  159. Tracey Pounds12/31/13, 5:58 PM

    I thought I had posted on this yesterday but can't find it. What size biopsy punch would you suggest having on hand in case it's needed. There were various sizes available on amazon. Thanks.

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  160. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 9:21 PM

    It depends on the size of the bird and infection, but keeping a 6mm on hand is a good place to start.

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  161. Tracey Pounds1/1/14, 9:48 PM

    Thank you so much. :)

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  162. Linda Krendl1/2/14, 6:39 PM

    What awesome information. I hope I never need to do this!

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  163. Casa Rosa Farm1/3/14, 4:59 PM

    HI, we thought our rooster had bumblefoot until I laid everything out, commenced surgery, and there was no pus. He has a large 1/2" thick callus on his foot, with a dark area in the middle. When I penetrated below the callus, only blood came out. I am familiar with treating abcesses in sheep and cows so I know what an abcess looks like, and this is not it. He does not have bumblefoot. Both of his feet have these large calluses. I washed the wound I made thoroughly, put some antibiotic ointment on it and wrapped it up. Now I am back online trying to find out why he is limping. He does not have scaly mites, or a vitamin deficiency. I checked his leg joints and it's possible the leg he is limping on is slightly swollen at the joint, but it is almost imperceptible if it is. Is the callus causing the limping? He is a very big boy, probably 10-15 lbs and is almost a year old. He is a particularly good looking Freedom Ranger that we are trying to get some chicks from. I would hate to lose him before we get some chicks, and right now he is not mating as he seems to be in pain, and cannot put weight on his right leg.

    Great how-to, by the way. I was very disappointed it was not bumblefoot, as I was completely prepared by your video!

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  164. TheChickenChick1/3/14, 9:05 PM

    I don't know what is making him limp. If you have a vet that will see him, I'd have him seen though.

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  165. Mary Lynn Durfee1/10/14, 4:12 PM

    Well, I tried it and failed. All I did was get the scab off and open it up! I tried to cut it and the hen went nuts and definitely felt it and I didn't have the heart/guts to cut out around it, especially since she has two small ones on one foot and one huge one on the other foot. The other was almost completely healed and when I pulled the scab off seems to have gotten worse. I've been cleaning the wounds and changing the bandages every day and the two chickens are losing all of their feathers from their bellies. I guess from the stress? Perhaps from the epson salt soak the first day about 5 days ago???? It's cold and a bad time to lose feathers. I did a 7 day antibiotic since I failed on the surgery and I see no difference whatsoever. Seems I have only made things worse. I watched the video back again and the doctor says "that's why you have to let it run its full course" and that is obviously something important otherwise it's just a sore and no kernel to pull/cut out? Any suggestion at this point? Thank you!

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  166. TheChickenChick1/10/14, 8:58 PM

    If you have a vet, you're in better shape than most and you should rely on him for handling medical/surgical procedures.

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  167. Mary Lynn Durfee1/11/14, 1:00 AM

    No vet here, that knows anything about chickens, I've already wasted $100's. And did not seek a non-chicken vet again for the bumblefoot. I meant on the video posted on here, the vet says something about it running "its full course" so it's that huge kernel. Anyway, why would this make them lose their belly feathers, any idea?

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  168. TheChickenChick1/11/14, 10:58 PM

    Oh! That's not a vet on the video, that's my husband! LOL! Don't listen to him.
    As far as the feathers go, stress can cause feather loss, but lots of other things can cause it too.

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  169. Mary Lynn Durfee1/12/14, 12:34 AM

    Perhaps it's the stress of being upside down changing the bandage every other day. It's just so cold, I ordered some sweaters for them! LOL! Well, your husband said something about it having to go the full course to be that kernel, is there any way to tell what is the right point where it will come out the easiest?

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  170. TheChickenChick1/16/14, 3:42 PM

    It could be stress-related, but I can't say for certain.

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  171. Peter Truscott1/19/14, 4:52 AM

    Hi Kathy,
    Thank you for your most excellent surgery instructions and video. We just operated on one of our Isa Brown hens with a big Bumblefoot swelling and scab. Followed your instructions and it all went exactly like your video.
    We are in Australia and it has been a very hot day here today - 41 degrees Celcius so we are now enjoying a nice cold glass or wine to celebrate our first such treatment.
    "Ivy", our hen went straight back to her roost and is walking around on her bandaged foot.
    Thanks again for your excellent help!


    Ruth and Peter
    Hunter Valley
    Australia

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  172. Mary Lynn Durfee1/20/14, 8:37 AM

    Well, it is just the two I tried to "work" on and the poor things are losing their feathers in this cold weather in North Georgia. They have gone into molting, it appears. Not eating much either, but everything else seems fine. Let it be a lesson to anyone else, if you can't do what's on the video, don't even try, find a vet!!! Thanks for everything!! :)

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  173. TheChickenChick1/21/14, 9:01 PM

    That's wonderful, Peter. Well done! I'm glad it went smoothly for you both.

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  174. Andrea Dutchover-Reynolds1/22/14, 12:34 AM

    Thank you! That is just wonderful that you would do that for all of us out here.

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  175. Hi there! My husband and I did our first (and hopefully last) bumblefoot surgery 20 days ago, there wasn't a scab, but our hen was limping and the foot looked very swollen. After the incision, a huge white blob with a stem popped out, and shot across the kitchen!! We squeezed some pus out after that, all looked as good as could be expected, and we cleaned and wrapped her up! We followed your after care regimen and it seems to have healed very nicely, however she's still limping and the foot is still somewhat swollen ( although not a hard swollen like before) My husband thinks it fine, and prob just scar tissue... My question for you is, is the swelling and limping 3 weeks later normal? Or could we have missed something? Thanks for the amazing tutorial, and any help you can off now!!

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  176. Julie Moore2/7/14, 6:24 AM

    Hi Kathy

    Please can you advise me. My rooster slowly recovered from his op (his left foot) some 10 months ago. The swelling reduced but a small scab still remained. Local vet (no chicken experience) said the infection could be in his bones as he's had it too long and that its a mechanical problem with excess pressure on foot. We had anti biotics (Baytril) plus Betadine 4%/10% for bathing/cleaning. We used compression pads and wrapped his foot every 2 days to keep clean and alleviate pressure. We had lots of rain then his right foot (once good) developed bumble foot, perhaps with excess pressure. It was treated with an op and the scab healed but the swelling increased. He has lived in a special cage with a plastic mesh floor to alleviate pressure but the swelling is just getting out of hand. I think he is in pain walking but happy sitting or standing, he still crows and eats well, is a healthy weight but. It costs 135USD equivalent to put him down here (we unfortunately experienced this action this year with a sick elderly hen) and we love him as he has given us so much not to mention his hens.

    Can anyone give me some advice as to what I should do. I have posted a photo of both feet here: http://www.velopyrenees.com/Tigers%20bumble%20foot.JPG

    Thank you for all your time.

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  177. TheChickenChick2/7/14, 8:42 AM

    I would have to refer you to your veterinarian, Julie. That is a very grave-looking situation with his foot. So sorry. He must be in a great deal of pain. :(

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  178. Julie Moore2/7/14, 12:48 PM

    Hi Kathy


    Thank you ever so much for your quick response and advice. I'm going to see if I can find another veterinarian who has experience with poultry.

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  179. Thank you so, so much for making this information available and including the video. I had bookmarked it and read it over so if any of my chickens got bumblefoot I would be prepared. One of my girls had a minor case recently, but still had to operate on it. Your post was invaluable and I appreciate the time and effort you put into it more than I can say.

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  180. TheChickenChick2/10/14, 10:59 PM

    I hope it helped and she is on the road to recovery, Helena. Happy to help. :)

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  181. Fingers crossed that this procedure will also work on a duck. We have Pekins and one has what appears to be a moderate case of bumblefoot. Scab, hot flesh, and all. Our ducks live right with our chickens, and somehow, we've lucked out and never had bumblefoot before. It WOULD be a duck that got it. We checked the feet of the other birds, and they don't show any signs, although I'm tempted to get out there with a bowl of warm water and some DIal soap and a toothbrush to wash their feet and check thoroughly. I'm not sure how they'd all take to that though...they love us any other time, but those claws can be like little daggers!
    Do you have any input? Do you think the procedure you've demonstrated will work on a duck? I expect a bit more blood loss, mainly because I can see all those tiny veins in their feet. The scab is on the outside edge of her toe though, so I won't have to cut into the webbing at all. And there is no local vet who will take care of ducks or chickens. How is it that I live in a rural area and no one seems to treat small farm animals?

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  182. TheChickenChick2/21/14, 2:41 PM

    Yes, the procedure is the same for a duck.

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  183. Patty Simmons3/13/14, 10:53 PM

    thanks for the info!

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