Bumblefoot ??

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Bumblefoot ??

Postby Gizmo on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:51 pm

After some research today I think my pet duck has "bumblefoot"....and it's not looking so good. I have an indoor pet duck, Gizmo - and yes, she is a member of the diaper-wearing club. :) She is about 1 yr 4 mos old and is a Cayuga. She has a huge sore on the bottom of her foot (at the base) and from the pictures i've found, it looks like it's bumble foot. I have no idea what to do to care for her. I live in WY and have no access to an avian vet. She seems to be remaining in good spirits, but she cannot put any pressure on her foot and limps around. I think she had this problem previously (last April) and it seemed to have gotten better for the summer, but now it is back with a vengeance. Last April I tried to take her to my local vet and they tried to give her shots (i'm assuming antibiotics of sorts) for a week, but that didn't seem to do anything. Around the same time I had to leave for a funeral and ended up boarding her with the vet for a week. When I got back, her foot seemed better and I just went with it. Any suggestions of what I can do?

When I'm at school during the day and at night I keep her in a pet-carrier with a towel and liner on top of the towel (the non-slip stuff you line cupboards with). When I'm home I put her in a diaper and she is on a mix of carpet and tile. I've also laid a few squishy kitchen mats out that she sometimes stands on. When I first took her to the vet last spring I was told that the sores on her feet looked like carpet burn and that I should try to keep her off carpet. The vet thought maybe she was too heavy and her weight pressed her into the carpet. She's only about 4-5 pounds and I'd had her for just under a year before she had any issues. So far it seems that the vet doesn't know what bumblefoot is, but she seems willing to try and help treat her. Is my best bet to just see what the vet can do (even though she doesn't really know how to treat birds) or does anyone else know of any other treatment options?
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Re: Bumblefoot ??

Postby ChickMom on Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:25 am

Aw, poor Gizmo and poor you. It does not sound like the duck is too heavy for her breed and certainly carpet is very nice and soft on her feet. Having her on towels in the crate is also good and mats and so on. Bumblefoot is an infection when it gets big and sore like that. Do you know what antibiotic the vet gave in the shots? It's great that the vet is willing to try to help.

Here's what my vet does for bumblefoot. She gives me antibiotics and pill form to give the duck for a week. The antibiotics she uses are clavamox and baytril. I can look up dosages when I'm home if you want that info. Then after the first week, I take the duck back and it seems that the antibiotics somehow pull the infection towards the surface (at least it worked both times she did it for my guys) and she lanced it and got the pus ball out (pus in a duck is a solid rather than a liquid, FYI). Then she squirted gentimycin in the hold and had me do the same a couple of more times if the wound was open at all. I also used triple antibiotic ointment (neosporin or I use the WalMart equivalent) rubbed on the spot a couple of times a day throughout the while time. In fact, I'd suggest you start doing that right away. After she cleaned out the area, I continued with the antibiotic for another week or two, depending how the foot looked after the first week of that.

I talked recently with a vet student who said they had successfully treated a campus duck who had bumblefoot. I asked how and she said they did epsom salts soaks of the foot each day (you don't want the duck to drink it, of course, so put the water in a smallish bucket or something like a cookie jar so the duck's foot can be in but the duck is not in the water and able to drink it) and used doxycylene oral antibiotics.

If the infection has gotten into the bone so that treating the soft tissue is not working, you may need an antibiotic that fights infection of the bone better. I've had some success with eurthromycin. You can tell I don't know how to spell any of these meds!

Another thing you might want to take along with you when you go to the vet is the phone number of the Cornell avian vets. They will consult over the phone for free and are experts. 607.253.3060 I've even called them myself to ask questions for the vet I had who was about to do surgery on my duck. They returned my call and were very helpful.

I hope your little girl is okay. Please do try to treat this aggressively because if the infection goes into the bone, it will cause her so much trouble. I have a duck who can no longer walk because the infection ate away so much bone. But that's a worst case - many recover very well although they can have recurrences that you need to treat each time. Best of luck.
-Chick Mom/Marlys in Oklahoma
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