Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease description:

Bumblefoot (with special reference to Waterfowl and Cranes)

Click image for full page view with caption Chronic bumblefoot in a crane. Click here forfull-page view with caption Pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption. Severe pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption.

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

Inflammation, degenerative changes and/or bacterial infection of the connective tissues of the foot of birds.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Pododermatitis
  • Chronic arthritis-synovitis
  • Purulent synovitis

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Disease Type

 Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

  • Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus fecalis, Escherichia coli, Proteus spp.; Vitamin A Deficiency (B14, B15, B16.19.w1, B36.12.w12, J2.6.w1)
  • Candida albicans (J8.26.w1).
  • Inappropriate and unhygienic substrates and perches, particularly rough, abrasive surfaces. (P24.327.w4)

In cranes:

  • Excessive pressure, e.g. due to injury of the contralateral leg. (B115.8.w4, J311.21.w1)
  • Rough/hard substrates. (J311.21.w1)
  • Commonly associated with Staphylococcus aureus. (B115.8.w4)
  • In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane, initially Enterocater agglomerans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and two Enterococci spp. grew on aerobic culture. Later Mycoplasma alkalescens was isolated from bumblefoot pus. (P9.1995.w13)

Further information on Disease Agents has only been incorporated for agents recorded in species for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Only those agents with further information available are linked below:

Infective "Taxa" in Waterfowl

Specifically recorded for waterfowl:

Non-infective agents in Waterfowl

Physical agents in Waterfowl

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
Click image for main Reference Section

Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

J8.26.w1
B11.33.w1, B11.36.w4, B13.46.w1, B14, B16.19.w1, B36.12.w12, B37.x.w1, B39.w1
P4.1992.w1, P24.335.w14

In cranes:
B115.8.w4
J6.12.w3, J213.7.w4, J311.21.w1
P9
.1995.w13

Other References

Code and Title List

B10.15.w15, B11.36.w4, B15, B35.13.w5
J8.17.w1
J36.41.w1
V.w6

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

Range from minor changes in the plantar scales to swelling, fibrous callus or "fibriscess" on the under (plantar) surface of a bird's foot, sometimes with infection extending up the leg to the hock.

Clinical Characteristics

  • Initially calluses and hyperplastic tissue on the ball of the foot and/or along the plantar surfaces of the digits, particularly at the joints.
    • Swelling, covered by a hyperkeratotic scab. (B14)
  • May become large.
  • May become ulcerated.
  • May extend into deeper tissue and joints, extending along tendon sheaths and even reaching the hock joint (B14)
  • Deep lesions may become infected.
    • Bacterial infection of lesions is particularly common in raptors and psittacines. 

(P24.327.w4, P24.335.w14)

In raptors:

  • Early changes include erythema and smoothing of the dermal papillae. (B367.w14)

Scoring systems have been proposed for bumblefoot lesions in raptors.

Cooper (B366.7.w7):

  • Type 1: Mild localised lesion, often affecting only one digit, either proliferative (a raised corn) or degenerative (epithelial flattening and thinning); in some cases ulceration. The lesion may progress to form a scab. There may be no infection. (B366.7.w7)
  • Type 2: More extensive, pathogenic bacteria are usually involved. An acute inflammatory lesions with abscessation, but also chronic reaction such as fibrous tissue and mononuclear cells if examined histologically. May arise from a type 1 infection, or develop spontaneously, for example due to the bird piercing its own foot with a talon, sharp edges of a perch, or infection following entry of a foreign body such as a thorn. Clinically, the sole (or occasionally a digit) is swollen, hot and painful, generally with a scab over the swollen area. Within the swelling may be a clear serous exudate or caseous pus. Various bacteria may be cultured, often Staphylococcus aureus; other organisms such as Escherichia coli may be found as secondary invaders due to faecal contamination. (B366.7.w7)
  • Type 3: Chronic condition following from type 2. Infection is walled off by fibrous tissue, forming one or more pus-filled sacs. Long-standing cases can result in damage to tendons and infection of joints, with destructive arthritic changes extending into the shafts of long bones. (B366.7.w7)

Halliwell (J2.6.w1): 

  • Type 1: "Enlarged metatarsal pad with infection and cellulitis of the entire metatarsal pad." (J2.6.w1)
    • Trap-induced injuries are in this category. (P7.1.w7)
    • The prognosis for these lesions is guarded. (P7.1.w7)
  • Type 2: "Enlarged metatarsal pad with a localized encapsulated lesion." (J2.6.w1)
    • The prognosis is fair with surgical treatment (drainage, irrigation, wound closure once infection is no longer apparent. (P7.1.w7)
  • Type 3: "Enlargement of one discrete area of the foot.
    • A. "Corns" or other callosites.
    • B. Foreign bodies, such as cactus thorn or splinters.
    • C. Improper molting of the foot epithelium." (J2.6.w1)
    • In the early stages, providing the correct perch, applying a DMSO preparation and a light bandage is effective for treatment. (P7.1.w7)
  • Type 4: "Enlargement of the distal extremities of the phalanx resulting from rupture of the flexor tendons at the ends of digits II, III or IV." (J2.6.w1)
    • Treatment as for Type 3. (P7.1.w7)
  • (J312.4.w1, P7.1.w7)
  • Halliwell further commented that the classification he proposed was arbitrary, and that many cases might present as combinations of these types. (J2.6.w1)
WATERFOWL
  • Swelling on plantar (under) surface of foot, usually covered with a scab and pus filled. 
  • Sometimes a large fibrous callus. 
  • Associated lameness. 
  • Warm to the touch in acute cases. 
  • Passive movement of the affected foot under anaesthesia may be jerky if there is associated tenosynovitis and inflammation of tendon sheaths 

(J8.26.w1, J36.41.w1, P4.1992.w1, B13.46.w1, B14, B16.19.w1).

  • Often not infected. (P24.327.w4)
CRANES

 Chronic bumblefoot in a crane. Click here forfull-page view with caption Pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption. Severe pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption.

  • Swelling of the toes/foot. (B115.8.w4)
  • In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane:
    • Inflammation of the right foot, central area of the foot markedly swollen. On the ventral weight bearing surface, centrally, a 2 cm pigmented scab. (P9.1995.w13)
      • Clinical pathology: Leucocytosis and heterophilia were noted. (P9.1995.w13)
      • Radiography: soft tissue swelling, no bone lesions. (P9.1995.w13)
      • Necrotic tissue was present under the ventral scab at surgery. (P9.1995.w13)
    • Apparently healed after two months, with no lameness, although the foot was still larger than the contralateral foot. (P9.1995.w13)
    • Recurrent lameness (reluctance to weight bear) three months after initial presentation), with heat and swelling and leucocytosis. Radiogaphy showed soft tissue swelling. Two mL of tan fluid were aspirated from the swelling; this contained "pus": sheets of degenerating heterophils, with no visible bacteria. Culture revealed neither significant aerobic nor anaerobic bacteria, but Mycoplasma alkalescens was isolated. (P9.1995.w13)
  • Clinical pathology: in an adult male demoiselle with bumblefoot and loss of digits,  and an adult male stanley crane with bumblefoot, leucocytosis, heterophilia and raised fibrinogen were present. In an adult female crowned crane with mild bumblefoot, there were no significant changes in haematology. (J6.12.w3)

Incubation

Early lesions may be seen in birds such as seabirds after a few weeks in captivity. (P24.327.w4, P24.335.w14)

Mortality / Morbidity

BIRDS --

Pathology

BIRDS
  • It has been suggested that the localised inflammatory response to infection in birds should properly be considered as a fibriscess, not an abscess, since rather than tissue necrosis pus formation or encapsulation, the masses of necrotic tissue are formed of fibrinous exudate containing the debris of inflammatory cells, surrounded by a granulomatous cellular reaction. (J3.147.w3)
WATERFOWL
  • Lesions may be eroded, scabbed or lumpy protuberances.
  • Abscesses may extend up to the hock. Infection may progress to give osteomyelitis and bones of the foot may be eroded. Ankylosis (fusion of the joint) may result.

(B13.46.w1, B14).

  • Tenosynovitis may result from chronic ulceration and secondary bacterial infection.(P24.335.w14)
  • In the lesion associated with fungal infection: granulomatous mass, mainly granulation tissue, with necrotic fibrous tissue, heterophils and scattered granulomas in the dermis, totally destroyed epidermis. Fungal elements (hype and yeast's) detected in necrotic outer dermis, blastosporulated yeasts in granulomas. (J8.26.w1)
  • Amyloidosis may also be seen secondary to chronic infection (B39.w1).
CRANES
  • In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane: (P9.1995.w13)
    • Foot: cellulitis, tendonitis, and in one interphalangeal joint septic arthritis. (P9.1995.w13)
    • Also severe renal and visceral gout (probable flunixin toxicity). (P9.1995.w13)

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Human Health Considerations

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

  • Bumblefoot has the potential to affect any bird species, including cranes, waterfowl, penguins, domestic fowl, psittacines and raptors. (B11.36.w4, B11.16.w13, B11.27.w27, B14)
  • General predisposing factors include:
    • Impaired integrity of the integument (B14)
    • Unsuitable perches; (B364.10.w10)
    • Inappropriate substrates. (B363.9.w9)
    • Hard and abrasive substrates such as concrete;
    • Permanently damp surfaces so that the skin of the sole is permanently softened and macerated.
    • Excess body weight (obesity) leading to excess pressure on the feet; (B364.10.w10)
    • Arthritis; (B364.10.w10)
    • Puncture of the sole (plantar surface) of the foot. (B364.10.w10)
    • Dirty unhygienic conditions ensuring that bacteria are present. (B14)
    • Excessive drying of the feet in water birds. (B14)
    • Excessive abrasion of the plantar surface of the foot. (B14)
  • Several vitamin deficiencies may predispose to the development of bumblefoot:
    • Vitamin A deficiency; (B364.10.w10)
    • Vitamin E deficiency;
    • Biotin deficiency. 
  • It is most likely to occur in birds maintained on inappropriate (rough and abrasive) substrates or with inappropriate perches. (P24.327.w4)
  • Seabirds are susceptible when maintained in captivity for any length of time as pelagic seabirds are not adapted for constant weight bearing on their feet.
  • Note: bumblefoot may develop in seabirds kept on unsuitable substrates for as little as 24 hours. (P24.335.w21)

(P24.335.w14, P24.327.w4)

In raptors:

Factors recognised as being associated with the development of bumblefoot in raptors include;

  • Lack of exercise; (B11.16.w13)

  • Inappropriate perching surfaces; (B11.16.w13, J2.6.w1, J312.4.w1, P7.1.w7); either too rough or too smooth (J2.6.w1).

  • Housing in a small area such that the bird jumps between perches rather than flying, therefore landing hard. (J2.6.w1, P7.1.w7)

  • Persistent bating (jumping off the perch) onto a hard substrate, causing bruising of the foot. (P7.1.w7)

  • Excessive bodyweight for the species; (B11.16.w13)

  • Nutritional deficiencies affecting the integrity of the integument. (J2.6.w1)

  • Prolonged perching on one leg due to injury/disease in the other leg; (B11.16.w13, P7.1.w7)

    • It has been suggested that bumblefoot is an inevitable consequence following unilateral limb amputation in falcons. (B11.16.w13)
  • Tethering of birds of prey, which may increase landing impact when the birds land on perches;

  • Other diseases, particularly diseases of the kidneys and/or liver may, by decreasing exercise and decreasing foot perfusion, increase the risk 

  • Bumblefoot can also develop following puncture wounds to the sole of the foot, including self-inflicted talon wounds, and thorns or splinters. (B14, B366.7.w7, B367.w14, J2.6.w1, P7.1.w7, V.w6)

    • Self-inflicted talon injuries are most likely to occur if the raptor struggles during capture and
    • Self-inflicted talon injuries are most likely to occur if the talons are too long. (P7.1.w7)
  • Trap injuries in wild raptors. (P7.1.w7)
  • Dirty conditions such that the bird is perching in faeces provides conditions where exposure of the plantar surface of the foot to pathogens is increased. (J2.6.w1)
  • Talons overgrown so the ends of the toes are elevated and the bird's body weight is disproportionately placed onto the metatarsal pad. (P7.1.w7)
WATERFOWL
  • Associated with impaired integrity of the integument of the foot.
  • Susceptibility higher in heavier species.
  • Predominantly a disease of captive birds.
  • May also be seen after 'crash landing' on tarmac mistaken for water.

(P4.1992.w1, B11.36.w4, B14).

CRANES
  • Leg injury forcing a crane to stand for a prolonged period on the other foot; that previously-healthy foot is then prone to develop pressure necrosis, open sores and bumblefoot. (B115.8.w4)
  •  Note: osteomyelitis (Osteomyelitis in Lagomorphs and Cranes) may develop. (B115.8.w4)
  • In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane, the crane had been lame on the other leg due to chronic non-infectious tendonitis for two months when he presented with bumblefoot of the (previously normal) leg. (P9.1995.w13)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]

Waterfowl

  • Black swans Cygnus atratus (B11.33.w1).
  • Wild mute swan Cygnus olor in Scotland, UK; Staphylococcus infection (J36.41.w1).
  • Mute swan Cygnus olor, associated with Candida albicans infection (J8.26.w1)
  • Wandering whistling-duck (Water whistling duck) in Australia (B139)

Cranes

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]

Waterfowl

  • Wild mute swan Cygnus olor in Scotland, UK; Staphylococcus infection (J36.41.w1).

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Waterfowl Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • Hard, rough and abrasive substrates (e.g. concrete).
  • Lack of water for swimming.
  • Dirty unhygienic conditions.
  • Inappropriate perches. (P24.327.w4)

(P4.1992.w1, B11.33.w1, B13.46.w1, B14, B36.12.w12, B37.x.w1, P24.327.w4).

(See: Accommodation Design for Birds - Substrate, Accommodation Design for Birds - Hospital Accommodation, and Treatment and Care - Supportive Care & Nursing)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

UK (J36.41.w1). (Worldwide distribution to be expected. V.w6)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

UK (J36.41.w1).

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis on basis of clinical signs. Radiography to determine bone involvement. Bacterial culture and sensitivity testing (B14).
WATERFOWL
  • Presence of Candida albicans in a granulomatous and necrotic plantar foot lesion of a mute swan Cygnus or was confirmed by growth on Sabouraud agar and its pathogenicity was proven by guinea-pig inoculation (J8.26.w1).
CRANES

Chronic bumblefoot in a crane. Click here forfull-page view with caption Pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption. Severe pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Click here for full-page view with caption.

  • In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane: (P9.1995.w13)
    • Bumblefoot was diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs and examination findings. Mycoplasma infection was diagnosed on the basis of culture; the probable causal relationship with the pododermatitis was suggested by the similarity of the pathology to that seen in the joints of cattle with Mycoplasma arthritis, absence of other disease-producing organisms on culture, and apparent response to treatment with tylosin. (P9.1995.w13)
Related Techniques
WaterfowlINDEXDisInvTrCntr.gif (2325 bytes)

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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

Tophi of gout may be confused with abscesses of bumblefoot on the feet. (B14, P4.1989.w1)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

The appropriate treatment depends on the cause of the bumblefoot, the species of bird and the stage of the condition.

1) Conservative treatment (see below: General Nursing and Surgical techniques)

2) Local and systemic medical treatment

  • This is appropriate only for relatively superficial infected areas, not for infection extending into deep structures. (B14)
  • A local antibiotic preparation is applied; this may be mixed with dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) to improve penetration into the tissue. (B14)
    •  4.0 mg dexamethasone, mixed with 8 oz of DMSO, plus antibiotic of choice, applied for two to three weeks. (J2.6.w1)
  • Systemic antibiotics should be given also. (B14)
  • Antibiotic choice should be made based on culture and sensitivity. (J2.6.w1)
  • Correction of predisposing factors, such as improvement of substrate or perches, must be carried out in conjunction with the treatment. (J2.6.w1)
  • Antibiotics (topical or systemic) may be used together with appropriate dressings and bandaging in casualty seabirds. (P24.335.w14, B188)
  • Cortisone, injected into the lesion, may slow its development; this should only be used for lesions which are NOT infected. (P24.335.w14)
  • Long-acting tetracycline injected into an infected lesion may slow its development. (P24.335.w14)
  • Halliwell (J2.6.w1) Type 3 and 4 lesions: 
    • Providing the correct perch, applying a DMSO preparation and a light bandage is effective for treatment. (P7.1.w7)

3) Surgical debridement, long term antimicrobials (choice based on culture and sensitivity) (B364.10.w10) - (see below: General Nursing and Surgical Techniques)

It is recommended that, alongside other (medical or surgical) treatment, Vitamin A should be given to improve integument health. (B14)

WATERFOWL

 

 

 

 

 

  • Small localised infection may respond to local antibiotic preparations (possibly mixed with dimethyl sulphoxide to improve penetration into tissue), possibly combined with systemic antibiotics.
  • N.B. Antibiotics should be chosen on basis of bacterial culture and sensitivity testing.
  • Suggested local preparations include Preparation H and a mixture of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) 30ml, dexamethasone (2mg) and chloromycetin succinate (200mg).

(B11.36.w4, B13.46.w1, B14, B16.19.w1).

  • Systemic antibiotics (Ampicillin, intramuscularly, as a first choice) may be useful in conjunction with surgery (see below) in more severe cases.

(J8.17.w1).

  • In the lesion associated with fungal infection, oral ketoconazole: 50mg first day, 75mg second day, 100mg (12.5mg/kg) third and subsequent days (in association with removal of main mass of lesion). Total 32 days of drug treatment (J8.26.w1).
CRANES In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane:
  • Three weeks of Gentamicin 6 mg/kg subcutaneously twice daily, Ampicillin 150 mg/kg subcutaneously twice daily, plus analgesia: flunixin meglumine 3.5 mg/kg subcutaneously once daily as required to control lameness. (P9.1995.w13)
  • On recurrence of lameness, Tylosin 25 mg/kg intramuscularly twice daily, plus flunixin meglumine 7.5 mg/kg subcutaneously twice daily as required to allow weight-bearing. The foot inflammation decreased "dramatically" over seven days but the crane was found dead eight days post-surgery. The cause of death was severe visceral and renal gout, probably from Flunixin Toxicity. (P9.1995.w13)
Related Techniques
WaterfowlINDEXDisInvTrCntr.gif (2325 bytes)

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

  • Providing the appropriate substrate/perches can, without any other treatment, lead to resolution of lesions in some cases.
    • Resolution following correction of substrate (e.g. a non-abrasive dry substrate) has been recorded, within a month without other treatment in some species such as penguins, alcids and shorebirds (waders) (B10.23.w27, P1.1980.w1), and in flamingoes in less than a year. (V.w65)
  • Protection of the foot by appropriate bandaging sometimes allows healing of early lesions in raptors. (B367.w14)
  • Flushing of the foot with 1% iodine, a suitable semiocclusive dressing and bandaging may encourage faster healing. (P24.335.w14)

Surgical treatment:

  • This is required for lesions which will not heal with only medical treatment. (J2.6.w1, B188)
  • For casualty seabirds it is suggested that surgical intervention should be used "only as a last resort." (P24.335.w14)
  • Under anaesthesia, the foot is prepared for aseptic surgery. (B367.w14)
  • The scab is removed from the surface of the lesion using toothed forceps. (B367.w14)
  • The surface of the lesion is swabbed to allow bacterial culture and sensitivity testing. (B367.w14)
  • Skin margins around the lesion are examined for vascularity and integrity. (B367.w14)
  • A tourniquet is placed above the tibiotarsal joint to reduce bleeding; this is released every 15 minutes during the operation. (B14, B367.w14)
  • A number 15 scalpel blade is used to make an elliptical skin incision around the lesion, taking care that the incision is symmetrical and is perpendicular to the skin surface, and that it does not extend too deep to involve nerves, large blood vessels or tendons. (B367.w14)
    • If the lesion involves the metatarsal pad, the incision is made parallel to the flexure lines on the foot. (B367.w14)
    • The tourniquet is released for a moment to ensure that the new skin margins are properly perfused. (B367.w14)
  • Infected and devitalised skin, exudate and necrotic tissue are removed. (B367.w14)
    • Caseous and/or serosanguinous exudate is removed, subcutaneous tissues are curetted until all exudate and necrotic tissue has been removed. (B367.w14)
    • A blunt probe is used to explore extensions of infection into tissue if required. (B367.w14, B14)
    • A simple skin incision is made if required to reach pockets of infection which cannot be reached with the curette from the main site. (B367.w14)
    • Following curettage, the area is irrigated thoroughly using chloramphenicol sodium succinate or potassium penicillin, in 50-100 mL sterile physiological saline. (B367.w14)
      • Irrigation with trypsin has also been suggested, to ensure that all necrotic material is removed. (B366.7.w7)
    • Note: Meticulous surgical technique is essential. (B367.w14) Great care must be taken to avoid nerves, blood vessels and tendons (B14, B366.7.w7) while removing all necrotic material (B366.7.w7).
  • The lesion is then sutured closed. (B367.w14)
    • 5-0 monofilament nylon or 6-0 multifilament wire, with an atraumatic cutting needle is used to suture the skin. (B367.w14)
    • In lesions with large skin defects, absorbable subcutaneous sutures are placed in the subcutaneous fascia in a simple interrupted fashion. (B367.w14)
    • To close the skin, horizontal mattress sutures are placed in the skin at midthickness to ensure precise apposition of skin edges; simple interrupted sutures may be placed between the mattress sutures to give linear apposition of the skin edges. Sutures should be about 2 mm apart and 2 mm from the edge of the wound. (B367.w14)
  • The feet are bandaged to protect the affected area during healing. (B14, B367.w14)
    • A nonadherent dressing is placed next to the skin. (B14)
  • A padded perch is provided during healing. (B14)
  • Systemic antibiotic therapy is given for 7-10 days, preferably parenteral (intramuscularly), otherwise orally. (B367.w14)
    • Antibiotic choice should be made based on culture and sensitivity. (B367.w14)
  • Sutures may be removed after 10-21 days, depending on healing. This may be carried out under manual restraint or light anaesthesia, depending on the bird. (B367.w14)

In raptors:

  • Halliwell (J2.6.w1) Type 1 lesions require rigorous surgical treatment and the prognosis for these lesions is guarded. (P7.1.w7)
  • Halliwell (J2.6.w1) Type 2 lesions have a fair prognosis following surgical treatment (drainage, irrigation, wound closure once infection is no longer apparent). (P7.1.w7)
WATERFOWL Conservative treatment:
  • Encourage to spend more time on water, ensure adequate pool space and that water is easy to enter and exit, and provide soft surfaces to walk on - natural grass or butyl rubber matting (B11.36.w4, B13.46.w1).
  • Daily cleaning with iodine scrub followed by camphor spirits as a drying agent and benzoin to toughen tissues (B13.46.w1).

Surgical treatment:

  • Anaesthetise (General Anaesthetic).
  • Place tourniquet around lower tibiotarsus to reduce bleeding from granulation tissue (N.B. release periodically).
  • Thorough curettage to remove all caseous and necrotic material.
  • Vigorous irrigation of the area, preferably using chymotrypsin solution.
  • Suture skin with non-absorbable sutures, mattress sutures.
  • Packing of wound with gelfoam and sulfanilamide powder sometimes recommended before suturing.
  • Post-operative bandage for up to three weeks: bandage foot with non-adhesive dressing against operation site plus soft dressings.
  • Further protection may be provided by attaching foot to foot-shaped piece of stiff card or plastic using zinc oxide tape, followed by a water-repellent dressing over the whole foot.
  • A foot cast may improve healing:
  • Cover foot with thin sheet of polyurethane foam (from DIY "Do It Yourself" upholsterers)
  • Make cast of foot using Hexcelite, dental acrylic, Technovite or plastic padding. Mould to plantar under) surface of foot while still soft.
  • Hold in position with self-adhesive elastic bandage (e.g. Vetwrap).
  • Once fully set, remove cast, cut hole in centre and smooth off edges.
  • Replace cast: central metatarsal pad and surgical incision are now free from pressure.
  • N.B. regularly inspect foot for swelling and check wound every 2-3 days.

(J8.17.w1, P4.1992.w1, B14, B16.19.w1, B37.x.w1).

  • Improve nutrition and supplement Vitamin A to improve integument health (B11.36.w4, B13.46.w1, B14).
  • N.B. treatment often unrewarding (B13.46.w1).
CRANES
  • Treatment follows the principles developed for other species such as raptors, adapted for the flat, non-perching, feet of cranes. (J311.21.w1)

In a Grus leucogeranus - Siberian crane:

  • Surgical removal of the ventral scab, debridement of the necrotic tissue (after a swab was taken for culture), packing of the foot with gauze soaked in povidone-iodine (betadine) and wrapping of the foot with a ball bandage. (P9.1995.w13)
  • The foot was debrided, soaked and bandaged daily for three weeks, with continued topical treatment and bandaging on a schedule of decreasing frequency for a further month. (P9.1995.w13)
  • On recurrence of lameness, heat and swelling, surgical draining and flushing with 2% chlorhexidine through four small incisions which were then partially closed around three Penrose drains before the foot was bandaged. (P9.1995.w13)
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
CRANES  
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

  • Ensure adequate general nutrition and Vitamin A intake. Vitamin A or carotenoids (precursors to vitamin A) are found in dark green leafy vegetables and yellow and orange fruit and vegetables (B10.15.w15, B13.46.w1, B14).
CRANES   --
Related Techniques
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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

BIRDS

Ensure appropriate substrates are provided at all times (P24.335.w21)

Seabirds:

  • House on appropriate substrate or maintain on water. (P24.335.w20)
    • Avoid rough and abrasive surfaces such as concrete or artificial turf. (P24.335.w14)
    • Soft substrates should be provided. (B188)
    • Smooth (but non-slip), easily cleaned rubber matting is appropriate. (B363.9.w9, P24.335.w14)
    • Clean dry sand may be used. (P24.335.w21)
    • Lawn may be used. (P24.335.w21)
    • Net-bottom cages may be used. (B363.9.w9, P24.335.w14)

Birds of Prey:

  • Provide an appropriate environment in which the birds feels secure, with minimal stress. B367.w14
  • Ensure perches are of appropriate design and construction for the species. (B367.w14)
  • Ensure landing surfaces for both tethered and free-flying birds are soft and padded. (B367.w14)
  • Regularly examine the feet for early changes such as erythema and smoothing of the dermal papillae. (B14, B367.w14)
WATERFOWL Avoid rough concrete in enclosures. Cover concrete e.g. with Astroturf where practical (B14).

See: Accommodation Design for Birds - Substrate, Accommodation Design for Birds - Hospital Accommodation, and Treatment and Care - Supportive Care & Nursing

CRANES --
Population Control Measures WATERFOWL --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques
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