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Treating Bumblefoot

If you follow us on social media, you know we recently acquired a rooster whom we named Frankincense, or Frank for short (Also known as Frankie goes to Hollywood). You may also know that we discovered he had a pretty bad case of bumblefoot.

What is bumblefoot?

It’s a fancy term for a cyst or infection that happens, typically, on the bottom of a birds foot.

What causes bumblefoot?

Usually, by a cut on the bottom of the foot that gets dirt and bacteria in it. The wound opening heals, and the inside festers and creates a cyst. It’s not a condition that’s contagious to other birds or people.

So how did we treat it?

There are many methods for treating bumblefoot out there. Since most of my animal

medicine chest is filled with essential oils and other natural ingredients, I used those to treat Frankie. But first, I had to clean the wound.

Frank’s cysts had burst at some point before we got him so when I started treating him he had big ugly scabs on the bottom of his feet. I had to remove the scabs to make sure there was no lingering infection inside his foot. Which meant Frankie got a spa day.

I filled a small container with warm water and about ¼ cup Epsom salt. Then I had him stand in it for about 10 minutes, which he was not very fond of. After the 10 minutes was up, I flipped him on his back on my lap and used tweezers I’d sterilized with rubbing alcohol and gently worked at pulling the scabs off. One came off really easily and it left a small hole in his foot that looked clean and free of infection.

In a small bowl I mixed a couple drops of oregano and thyme essential oils in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. One day I forgot to bring the olive oil out with me so I used VetRx which is a combination of prediluted essential oils for animal use. I put this mixture on a small gauze pad, made sure the oils got into the hole to kill any bacteria, then wrapped the gauze with 3 small strips of vet wrap.

The other foot had 3 or 4 scabs on it. I had to soak his foot again and he got pretty upset

with me by the time that was done, so instead of removing the scabs, I wiped the bottom of his foot with the oil mixture and wrapped it hoping the oils would help heal, but also keep the scabs soft so I could work on it again the following day.

The next day, the first foot had a new scab, but I knew it was clean behind the scab so I applied another gauze pad and wrapped it. The other foot I had to soak again and managed to get a little bit of the biggest scab off, but not all of it. There was pus that came out, so I put the oil mixture in where I could get it, then wrapped it again.

It was about this point when Frankie decided he didn’t like being held and it became a lot harder to catch him. So I left him be a few days. When he worked the bandages off his feet himself, then I grabbed him and checked his feet. They were much better. I put more oil and bandages on and again I let him go a few days. When I checked his feet again, they were almost totally healed, so I decided not to replace the bandages and just let him heal.

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