Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ask Bee - Help! My Chicken Has Bumblefoot!

Dear Bee –
I have a wonderful hen that I’ve had for some time, and it looks as though she has developed bumblefoot. The bottom of her foot looks like a large pimple and she is not walking well on it.
What do I do?

Bee’s Answer -

First, try soaking her feet in warm water with Epsom salt, and then coating the foot with a good smathering of Nu-Stock. If she is not showing at least some improvement in a day or so, it’s time to get out the box cutter for some surgery.  If her foot is so inflamed that they look like pimples, the core may have to come out. The macrophages can actually eat that core of infection with time, so it isn't imperative that you remove it, but if it's that tender and you want to make it happen faster you can do perform a simple surgery to relieve her discomfort. 

If you want to try coring the infection out, find the darkest part of the "pimple" under which you will find the core or cone of white material at the center of this infection.  I'd wash the feet with betadine, if you have it, a 10% bleach solution if you don't.  A fresh box cutter blade is just the right size and shape for the job if you do not have a scalpel blade. 

Wrap the bird in a towel, covering her head but not occluding her air flow.  If you have any muscle rub that isn't greasy in nature, it will go a long way to desensitizing the area so that the pain is not felt quite so acutely.  Something like Biofreeze or the generic thereof will work... Dollar General sells a cheap version that is around $2 ~ blue, gel-like in consistency. You can also try something like Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray or some of the stuff they sell to numb toothaches.

Core the middle out of that infection much like you would cut a worm hole out of an apple.  Once you get that white cone-like center out of the wound, cleanse it well and apply a simple antibiotic ointment.  At this point you may want to wrap those feet to keep out any debris or manure for a couple of days until the wound bed seals itself a little.  VetWrap is stretchy and clings to itself that is sold at most any drug store or feed store... this is handy for these types of dressings. 

Bee -


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