Bumblefoot treatment with TricideNeo

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My chickens like to perch on the rims of the composters, which is fine until the wood begins to decompose and becomes a bumblefoot risk.

My chickens like to perch on the rims of the composters, which is fine until the wood begins to decompose, exposing screws and splintered wood. Then it becomes a bumblefoot risk (see photo at end of post).

Bumblefoot, (pododermatitis) is a common, painful, and hard to treat problem in poultry. It usually appears as a swelling with a central dark scab on the pad of the foot, but it can spread throughout the foot and toes. It’s sort of an abscess – sometimes filled with yellowish pus, sometimes with cottage cheesy looking material, and in severe cases, with one or more lumps of hardened material. Affected birds usually limp in pain. Left untreated, the bacteria (usually Staphylococcus) can invade the blood stream, causing death overnight. As for most abscesses, surgical drainage and antibiotic treatment are the gold standard of treatment. But a few years ago, I read an interesting BYC thread on a non-invasive approach: bumblefoot treatment with TricideNeo antibiotic solution.

(Add. 12/1/2014 see this post for “before” and “after” photos of bumblefoot cases treated with TricideNeo)

The treatment involves daily soaking in the antibiotic solution. I tried it on all 3 of my bumblefoot cases, and guess what – It worked! All healed completely with nothing more than daily TricideNeo soaks, for several days to a few weeks. I added my success story to bumblefoot threads on poultry forums, and continue to receive many questions about its use and effectiveness. So, I thought it might be helpful to write up my answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, or just want to share your experience with bumblefoot, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

This hen's bumblefoot was successfully treated with TricideNeo last year.

This hen’s bumblefoot was successfully treated with TricideNeo last year.

Please note that I am neither a veterinarian nor a bumblefoot expert. I am writing this as a fellow chicken keeper whose birds recovered from bumblefoot with TricideNeo soaks. And, no, I cannot prove that the antibiotic soaks are what did the trick. Maybe my birds would have healed naturally without any treatment at all – Mild bumblefoot occasionally does heal spontaneously. However, I am encouraged by a success rate of 3 out of 3, for a problem which is notoriously difficult to treat and which frequently recurs.

So let’s get to the FAQ’s:

What is TricideNeo and where can I get it?

TricideNeo is an antibiotic preparation that is used to treat skin ulcers on koi fish, and is sold where koi pond supplies are sold. It contains an antibiotic called Neomycin and an antibiotic potentiator. The latter pokes holes in bacterial cell walls, damaging the bacteria. If that’s not enough to kill the bacteria, the holes allow neomycin to easily enter and deliver the final blow. For more detailed information, click here.

How do I mix up the TricideNeo solution?

I used the same concentration used for treating koi fish, mixing it exactly as indicated on the instructions that come with the packet. Use distilled water (can be purchased at most supermarkets) as indicated on the packet. Distilled water is necessary because chemicals in tap water can deactivate TricideNeo. A 22 gram packet makes 1 gallon of solution, and a 110 gram packet makes 5 gallons. Be sure to store the solution in a cool, dark place. It is good for 1 week.

TricideNeo is expensive – how can I stretch it?

The solution has a shelf life of 1 week, so you should mix only enough to last for a week. For a chicken, a quart is enough for about 1 week of soaks. An entire 22 gram packet makes a gallon of solution, so use 1/4 of that to make a quart. You can measure either by weight (5.5 grams per quart of distilled water) or by volume (determine the number of teaspoons in a 22 gram packet, and use 1/4 of that per quart of distilled water).

How do I soak the foot?

Using a shallow container just large enough to comfortably accommodate the bird’s foot, add enough antibiotic solution to just cover the foot. If the upper part of the foot is not affected, you don’t really need to cover it, but cover the entire lesion, wherever it is. Hold the bird with her foot in the solution for 5 minutes. Then giver her a pat on the head and send her back to the flock. One 5 minute soak a day, that’s it.

Is it okay to soak in cold weather? Should I use hot water?

Yes, you can soak in cold weather, but be sure to dry off the foot when you are done soaking! Imagine how it would feel if you went out into the cold with wet hands. That’s how the chicken would feel out in the cold with wet feet. I do not know if it’s okay to mix TricideNeo in hot water, but since it is no meant to be used in hot water, I would not do it. In cold weather, I’d use room temperature to lukewarm water.

Should I pre-soak the foot in epsom salts?

A lot of people like to soak bumblefoot in epsom salts, and some people say this occasionally leads to complete healing. I don’t know. I wouldn’t pre-soak, because some of the salts (and tap water, if that’s what you use with the epsom salts) might remain on the foot when you soak in TricideNeo. Given that chemicals in tap water can deactivate TricideNeo, I wouldn’t throw epsom salts into the soup.

Can I re-use the TricideNeo that I just used for a soak?

I think it’s better not to, and I do not re-use it. A fresh soak is probably more effective than a stale, sullied one. I certainly would not re-use it on a different chicken from a different coop, because that would risk transmitting bacteria from one set-up to another.

How do I dispose of used TricideNeo solution?

According to FDA Guidelines, you should mix something into liquid antibiotics, (such as dirt, cat litter, chicken coop litter), to absorb some of the liquid and to make it unappetizing for a critter to drink. Then close it up and put it in the trash. Do not flush it or pour it down the drain. Antibiotics in our water supply can encourage emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, a serious public health problem.

Should I wrap the foot after TricideNeo soaks?

I never do, and I don’t think there is any reason to do so, if you have not performed surgery.

Should I isolate the bird?

There is no reason to isolate her unless flock mates notice her ailment and begin to bully her.

How will I know when bumblefoot is better? When do I stop the soaks?

I soaked until the dark spot and swelling had completely disappeared, then for an extra couple of days for good measure. This condition is difficult to treat and recurrence is common, so I did not skimp on soaks.

How long does TricideNeo take to work?

My most difficult case – the one with the most swelling – took about 3 weeks of daily soaking. My mildest case took 4-5 days, but I continued soaking for 7 days just to be sure.

Does TricideNeo work for all bumblefoot cases?

No. Some people have posted that even after daily soaks for weeks or even months, the bumblefoot did not improve. It’s possible that they did not mix the solution properly, or that their case was too severe for this treatment.

What kind of bumblefoot will do well with TricideNeo treatment?

Here’s my opinion, for whatever it’s worth:

  • No fever (does not look ill, other than limping from foot pain, and is eating and drinking normally)
  • Has the typical uncomplicated swelling and dark spot.

A bird who appears acutely ill might have a fever, and probably needs treatment that will bring immediate results: a shot of antibiotics and bumblefoot surgery. If the swelling is extremely large, multilobed and/or disfigured, like this, surgical treatment is probably necessary.

Isn’t it cruel to hold a bird steady and soak its foot? Wouldn’t surgery be more humane?

Yeah, I thought that was an odd question, too. But people can be passionate  about their chosen methods of animal care, and there are those who passionately advocate for surgical treatment over TricideNeo soaks. The most absurd argument for surgery that I have seen is that soaking a bird’s foot for 5 minutes a day is inhumane because it is stressful for the bird to be held still for that long.

Right. So an untrained person cutting into an un-anesthetized bird is somehow more humane? I don’t think so. If you can handle the graphic photos, read this brief thread and study that bird’s foot. Tell me if you think that three-time surgical ordeal of cutting and digging was more humane than either euthanasia or soaking would have been.

Surgery is a fine option if the bird needs it, and if whoever does the procedure knows what they’re doing.

If my bird needs surgery, should I do it myself?

It’s your decision. As far as I know, chickens are not protected by animal welfare laws to the same level as pets, because they are considered livestock. This is unfortunate, since livestock feel pain just like pets. If you’re dealing with an advanced case of bumblefoot that looks like it will require a lot of cutting and digging, and you do not have experience with this, please take the bird to a vet or give it a decent burial. Just because bird feet look nothing like human feet doesn’t mean they feel no pain.

If you would like to see an example of this surgery being done on a case of simple bumblefoot, watch the following video, and let me know if you think it was painful for the bird:

Am I cruel if I euthanize a bird for bumblefoot?

No, not in my book. If it does not respond to soaking, you cannot take the bird to a vet, and the lesion is more than you think you can manage quickly and skillfully with surgery, euthanasia may be a reasonable option. Only the mildest cases resolve spontaneously. More severe cases tend to deteriorate.

Would it be helpful to do daily TricideNeo soaks after surgery?

I’ve never done bumblefoot surgery, so I don’t know how well this works. People have mentioned doing this on poultry forums, but I’ve never seen any follow-up on how their birds did.

Why do all my chickens have bumblefoot? How can I prevent it?

It’s important to understand that bumblefoot is an infection, and the only way bacteria can enter the foot is through some sort of wound, such as an abrasion or puncture. So, to prevent bumblefoot, prevent your birds from cutting their feet. Be sure the grounds and floors of their living space are soft. Litter in the coop should be a soft, dry material, such as pine shavings. Keep it clean, and do not allow it to become compacted. It’s a good idea rake/turn it daily to keep it soft and fluffy.

If you have large, heavy breeds, roosts should be low so that the birds do not sustain abrasions when their feet hit the floor after dismounting. An oft quoted rule of thumb is that roosts should be about 18 inches off the floor.

This compost bin is a bumblefoot hazard, with splintering wood and exposed screws.

This compost bin is a bumblefoot hazard, with splintering wood and exposed screws.

Keep runs and yards free of gravel, low prickly vegetation, and other sharp objects that birds can step on. Keep an eye on structures in the chicken yard, and be sure there are no exposed nails, etc., wherever your birds perch or scratch. When I discovered bumblefoot in my birds last year, I found that some of the screws and staples had become exposed where the wooden frame of a compost bin was rotting away. I removed that old bin from the chicken yard, and have not had a case of bumblefoot since.

Have a question I didn’t address? Want to share your experience with bumblefoot? Leave me a comment!

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Bumblefoot treatment with TricideNeo — 86 Comments

  1. Awesome write up Janet. I am going to give this a try if I ever have a case of bumble foot again. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I never do. I gave the information to a friend who has a chicken with a bad case with swelling between the toes. She is going to try this as a last ditch effort. I’ll let you know how it comes out.



  2. Very interesting testimonial about an alternative treatment for bumblefoot- some make the same claims about Epsom salt or honey, but I’ve never seen studies about any of them. I would be curious to see before and after photos with specifics as to how long treatment was required. Intriguing indeed.

    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Janet!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    • True – no actual studies on any non-invasive treatment, but no actual studies on do it yourself surgery, either. People often mention attempting surgery, but most of the time they never return to the thread to provide follow-up. I have read quite a few threads where people describe repeated surgery on the same bird, though, so surgery clearly does not always work. Thanks for commenting!

      I did not take photos of my birds feet before treatment, so I cannot provide that, but their lesions healed completely.

      • I should have been clearer: I meant that I haven’t seen any studies on TricideNeo effectively treating plantar podermatitis in poultry. There may very well be some, but I have never read any. It seems likely that someone would have sent me one if it existed by now given the widespread distribution of my articles on bumblefoot treatment.

        On the contrary, surgical excision of the infection is self-proving. It’s either removed and heals or it isn’t and doesn’t. It sure would be nice if there were a reliable, non-invasive treatment for this infection. It breaks my heart to see photos such as the ones you link to in this article on BYC. That infected foot is not representative of the average backyard hen’s infected foot. She must have been in extraordinary pain.

        I did want to mention that while BYC threads may not have follow-ups, lots of folks have shared their follow-up stories and before-and-after surgery photos with me. It’s not accurate to say that surgery clearly does not work if an infection returns. Some birds are predisposed to contracting staph infections; they can be successfully treated surgically only to contract another, not necessarily the same one, requiring repeat treatment.
        The problem with bumblefoot is that chickens use their feet as tools and it’s extraordinarily difficult to avoid getting abrasions on them. They then step in excrement and who knows what other bacteria in the chicken yard.
        Regardless of the treatment option chosen, early detection from routine examinations is the key to a successful recovery. If you have a next time, and I hope you don’t, do take photos before and after. I’m intrigued!

        • I should have been clearer, too. Right – there are no studies on use of TricideNeo for bumblefoot, and it’s hard to imagine anyone funding such a study.

          Surgery is self proving when it works. The question is, what is the RATE of success with surgery? On that, I could find no studies. You cannot base success rate on a bunch of anecdotal reports. Further, the success rate among the average chicken keepers might not match the success rate of vets and others with surgical experience.

          I did not say that recurrence of infection ALWAYS means failure of surgery, but I suspect that it does if little time has passed since surgery. I was referring specifically to those cases where people report repeated surgery on the same bird where bird never recovers fully in between. Many people on BYC have described exactly that. I wasn’t talking about performing surgeries 2 years apart on the same bird. That would be re-infection.

          I agree that early detection is important, but some people need to be educated on preventive measures. All of the people who have pm’d me saying that most or all of their birds have bumblefoot, had made some very poor choices for litter, due to lack of knowledge (e.g., people using crushed patio stone for litter, or filling muddy spots on the run with gravel.) But I realize that even with proper management, you can see an occasional case.

          It would be nice to have a photo, but it would still be just another anecdote, not a study. I still have 2 of the birds, and their feet are normal. If you are thinking that I did not know what I was looking at and perhaps they did not have bumblefoot, all I can say is that I was confident of the diagnosis.

          Just to be clear: I am not the only one to report success with TricideNeo. See the 1st paragraph of post, where I link to a BYC thread indicating it was a vet recommended treatment.

          Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I was afraid this might be controversial. To do the larger topic justice, the post would have to be a lot longer, and I was trying to keep it focused on the one treatment option.

          • I think this was an awesome article and am fully confident that what you were looking at and treated was indeed bumblefoot. Don’t be discouraged by the controversial comments by some.. one in particular who is ALWAYS this way no matter WHAT you post!! I’ve had this same problem with said person questioning something I KNOW to have worked for me with another issue with one of my chickens. Unfortunately some think they are the only ones who know anything and are the only ones who know everything when it comes to chickens. NOT!!! So take it with a grain of salt. I did!!! Thank you so much for this information and I am going to immediately tuck this away safely into my chicken site where I keep every bit of info on anything that seems worth giving a try should I ever need to, though God forbid I ever do. A very will written article!!! Again, thank you very much for sharing with us!!! All the best to you.

            • Thanks so much for your comment, Darlene! Yes, I agree with you about her. This was one of my earliest posts, and I did not know who she was at the time, or what she was all about. Eventually I got the sense she was picking a fight for the sake of picking a fight. I deleted a bunch of her comments and banned her from this site. I don’t have time to deal with people looking for trouble. Over time I learned that a lot of other people have done the same. Anyway, I am so glad you found this post useful. Good luck with your birds!

        • Yes the mere fact of digging for bugs in a rock clay soil would likely cause some kind of abrasion or cut to allow bacteria to invade the foot area I agree that surgery might be only way to get rid of infection. However unless the area is completely numbed it would be nothing short of torture to perform surgery. I haven’t seen this issue addressed.

          • Sometimes bumblefoot is successfully treated without surgery. There are many reports online of successful treatment with TricideNeo. Here are 4 such cases in my follow up post to this one: http://ouroneacrefarm.com/non-invasive-bumblefoot-treatment-success-stories/

            My own opinion is that if noninvasive treatment does not work, the bird should be taken to a vet. There is some question as to whether local anesthetics are safe or effective for chickens. But most vets can do the surgery more quickly, skillfully, and effectively than most chicken keepers, many of whom report “digging around” in the foot. I agree that it must be torture for the bird.

            • I had already taken our hen to the vet. He thought picking and squeezing around absess was less invasive than surgery but takes longer. I continued this process at home disinfecting and wrapping feet in bandage before letting back outside. Her appetite is very good still but the feet have swelled and developed many large abscesses. The antibiotic the vet gave me and is finished and very expensive.
              If I need additional antibiotics would Durimycen work. I’ve been soaking her feet in Epsom salt but since she has a severe case I don’t want to waste my time and money with tricideneo

              • Duramycin probably will not help because it is not very effective against staphylococcus, the likely culprit in bumblefoot. See the link I shared above. A man whose hen was subject to multiple unsuccessful bumblefoot surgeries finally used TricideNeo and it worked. But I must add that a hen with “many large abscesses” on both feet is probably one I personally would put down.

          • Thank-you for mentioning the torture part! it is, our govt vet told us it is very painful to the bird to cut into it without anesthetics.
            We had followed a supposedly well recommended post and tried cutting into and digging out the stuff – we didn’t get too far before the bird died in my lap – she had been healthy, eating, running around, laying eggs etc till we tried that stupid recommendation! the vet said she probably died of heart failure due to pain. Never again! thank-you so much for your info Janet! will try it from now on.

            • I’m so sorry for your loss, Jess. I hope you leave a comment describing your experience on whatever site it was that recommended cutting into your bird’s foot. Other readers should understand that surgery without an anesthetic means extreme pain, which is bad enough itself, and in some cases can lethal. I’m glad you find my post useful, and wish you luck with your birds.

    • I don’t have before or after pics, but i did try it on 2 different birds…made up a quart and did a plain warm water soak before soaking in the medicine. 5 minutes/day for 1 bird, about 7 minutes the other. i take the scab off the first time before soaking in warm water and then medication …after the quart is used up (about 7 days) i let the bird go and so far, so good.

  3. I posted this comment in the wrong place, so I am posting it again because I believe that we will all learn from our own experiences that will help improve the quality of life of our beloved chickens.
    Great article about bumble foot! I lost my favorite hen 4 weeks ago. She had bumble foot and my vet performed surgery on it. She was taking antibiotics after the surgery, unfortunately the infection came back with a vengeance a month after surgery, the vet changed the antibiotics and it seemed like her foot was healing very well. Sadly due to the prolonged use of antibiotics,her liver was not working right and things got complicated.I had to make the hard decision to have her euthanized. Ever since then, I inspect my flock every month and now my other leghorn has a small spot (not swollen) in her foot pad and I am going to start treating her with tricide neo. I hope that this infection is so small and caught in the early stages that the soaks will take care of it. I want to avoid using oral antibiotics as much as I can. Wish me luck!
    > Also I want to thank you for sharing your experience with your chickens and bumble foot.
    > Aldara

    • Thanks so much for telling your story here, Aldara. It’s so important for people to understand the possibility of bumblefoot relapse after surgery, as well as the risk of long term use of systemic antibiotics. I hope you leghorn responds to TricideNeo. I’d love it if you keep us posted!

  4. I am on day 4 using tircide neo. So far the bumble foot is drying up and getting smaller. I too agree no bandage. Fresh air and clean bedding is a must. The bumble foot scab at start was smaller than a pencil eraser and is turning lighter and lighter everyday. The swelling and redness are gone. My hen is standing , eating, drinking and taking to me everyday. She has however stopped laying eggs as I am sure this is stressful for her sweet self. I am still feeding her the regular diet.

  5. Daily I am also adding flax to her food 1 teaspoon added to 3/4 cup of laying pellets, 1 teaspoon of scratch, a bit of meal worms and sunflower seeds. Daily I offer crushed oyster shells and plenty of fresh water and electrolytes. Her name is Lily and she is a huge Splash Orpington but she is of proper weight for her breed.

    • Hi Kay, thanks for your comments! I’m happy to hear your hen’s bumblefoot is improving! When/if it resolves completely, I would love to see before and after pics of the foot that I could post here. I never got before and after pics on any of my hens, so did not have any of my own to post. If you’d like to do this, send the photos to me at janet@ouroneacrefarm.com. Thanks, and good luck with your hen!

    • Good question, and I do not know the answer. I personally would discard them during the period of time I am doing the soaks. I am not sure it is necessary, but I have not had to worry about this, because all my cases occurred in late summer of fall, when the birds happened to be molting.

      • I think I will discard just to be on the safe side. Another question, I don’t really have the ability to keep their ‘floors’ clean. Should I wrap as to not promote more yuck getting in the wound as it opens?

        • The abscess will not open as a result of these soaks, so there is no open wound. If you squeeze it, dig at it, or cut into it, then it will be open and you should wrap after cleaning and treating with an antibiotic. But the whole point of TricideNeo soaking is to AVOID inflicting that sort of pain on the bird. So if you’re just doing soaks as described in this post, there is no open wound and therefore no need to wrap.

  6. A comment on the surgical approach – I had a bird with a severe case & took her to a vet who did the surgery and she recovered & is laying every other day BUT – the vet had to dig so deep to remove the infection that a tendon was damaged & the bird has a severe limp. She lives with it & I carry her if she has a long distance to walk from her daily free-ranging.The after-surgery care of wound cleaning & bandaging & foot soaking for a month is very time consuming & requires two people – one to do the cleaning/bandaging (me) and one to hold the bird (my not real happy wife). I highly recommend anything non-surgical if it will work, to avoid the discomfort to the bird, the vet surgical cost (not cheap), and to make for a happier spouse.

    • Thanks for your comment, Charles. It’s important for people to be aware of the downside of surgery, because it it so often promoted on online forums. Yet at the same time, I read so many accounts of failed, repeated surgery on the same foot. We’ll never know for sure, but I suspect repeated surgery on an extremely inflamed foot is horrifically painful for the bird. I have a bird right now I am treated with TricideNeo, a somewhat more severe case than I’ve treated before, so it will be interesting to see if it works.

  7. My Favorite Hen has Bumblefoot on one toe for 4 months. Numerous surgeries have not resolved the problem. The infection went away after a 10 day round of penicillin but returned a few weeks later with a vengeance. At the advice if a Vet I tried a week of Clindamyacin , and again the infection went away and now has returned. I’m starting Tricide Neo soaks in the morning in the hopes she will finally be infection free.

    • Hi. We used tricide neo 2 x a day for 10 days. We did it early morning and evening. It totally healed one bumblefoot but I had to do surgery on the other foot. She is healing and the puffiness and swelling is gone a small scab remains. I also gave her injections of la200 antibiotic first day then skipped a day and did it 3 days in a row injected into the thickest meat part of her breast going 1/4 inch deep with a 22ga needle. She is back to laying eggs and doing fine. I am not recommending anyone do this. This is what I did and it worked for me. Good luck.

      • Hi Kay, I am glad you got both feet to heal. That’s great if you’re happy with the surgery, but I can tell you anecdotally that failure to work within 10 days does not necessarily indicate a TricideNeo failure. Sometimes the foot heals only after weeks of soaking. Not criticizing what you did, just want to be sure people don’t get the impression that TricideNeo won’t work if it doesn’t work within 10 days.

        • Hi. I went by my vets recommendations. It is trial and error as most vets do not take chickens as patients. Hope everyone’s chickens heal one way or the other.

        • I also should tell you that treating with tricide neo for too long a period will cause damage to the foot/feet and leg/shank scales on the chicken. This is why my vet recommended 2x a day for 10 day treatment.

          • Yes, I suspect it would damage the skin if the soaking is done 2x/day for 10 minutes each time. But that’s a lot more exposure than what I have done, which is 5-10 minutes once a day. I soaked one hens foot 5-10 minutes once a day for several weeks, the bumblefoot disappeared, and there was no damage to the skin/scales.

            I have never immersed the shank/leg. I used to use enough solution to barely cover the foot. Now I don’t even do that. I am treating one now by soaking in about a 1/4 inch depth of solution. The lesion on the bottom of the foot is immersed, but not the entire foot.

            But remember that what vets and others and I say, is all anecdotal, and use of TricideNeo for bumblefoot is off label. There have been no large scale controlled studies on the impact of this medication on bumblefoot or on the skin/scales of chicken feet. So no one really knows the ideal frequency and duration of treatment. Just a cautionary word….

            • I wonder how it came to be that soaking the foot/feet for a long period of time can damage the foot and shank? I believe this is just an assumption from the vet’s part because there is no study to prove it. This is exactly the problem that we chicken owners have, nobody wants to spend the money to study this issue from a scientific point so we can get real data based on real studies. Unfortunately all we can do is assume and hope for the best. I agree with Janet, soaking the feet/foot with the minimum amount of solution just to cover the bottom of the foot where the scab is should not cause any damage.

              • Aldara, I think the assumption that tricideneo could damage the foot/shank with prolonged soaking came from experience with koi fish, for which this treatment has actually been studied. Their skin begins to breakdown with prolonged exposure. So the assumption that it might cause skin break down on chicken feet is just an assumption, but at least it’s one that errs on the side of caution.

  8. My name is Christy and I have a little backyard farm. I have 18 chickens (17 hens and a rooster). I currently have a little Salmon Faverolles hen, Pearl, who has had recurring bumblefoot for about a year now, maybe longer. I’ve done the surgery on her several times. Each time, it seems to get a bit better but the swelling between the toes always reappears after a few months. I am certain it’s because I’m not getting it all out each time. But I don’t want to damage her tendons and nerves and am not comfortable digging too deeply. I also know it’s painful for them to have their feet carved on. I hate the surgery and I know they do too.

    The last time I worked on her, I did a lot of soaking in Epsom salts water. I would soak her feet each night for about 10 minutes trying to draw out the infection and making the scab easier to peel off. The last time I did this, I was able to peel the scab off and pull out a large plug. The foot looked better than it had in a long time. But unfortunately, she has swelling again that’s showing between her toes.

    I have ordered some tricide neo and would like to give this a shot. I was doing some searching on the internet and stumbled on your blog and subsequently, your Facebook page. I know it doesn’t always work on some cases, but I’m willing to give it a shot since it would only involve nightly soaks and no surgery or bandaging. It can’t hurt at least.

    I noticed on one of the comments on your blog post about bumblefoot (specifically, the one date August of this year) that you are currently treating (or were treating) a more severe case than you ever had before with tricide neo. I’m very curious as to how that’s going and if you are having luck with the treatment of the more severe case. My hen is walking okay and does not act sick at all, but I know it will only get bigger and worse. I let my birds range around in an enclosed pen under some pine trees and just know that there is no way to completely prevent them from possibly injuring a foot and getting bumblefoot.

    • Christy,
      Ieleive I am the late August poster you are referring to. Wish I had better news, but it’s been almost a month of twice daily 10 min soaks and I have seen no improvement using Tricide Neo. I removed the scab and yet another kernel last week and a good amount of pus. This case is isolated to one toe. This bird has been an absolute trooper for the last 6 months, and has actually become very attached to me due to all the “bonding time” we’ve had. My plan is to do absolutely nothing for two weeks. Let her be a Chicken! If the toe is still infected I will amputate it.

    • Christy, yes I do have a hen with a more severe case of bumblefoot than I have had to treat ever before. I have been soaking for 5-10 minutes a day, but have not been able to soak more than 4-5 days each week (due to my traveling, to extreme heat/humidity, etc). There has been some improvement, but it will probably be a long hall, if complete recovery is going to occur. I have read of cases that resolved only after months of daily soaking, so I think a month is too short a time to give up.

      On a positive note, I have accumulated 3 reports of cases from readers, one of which was on the more severe side (similar to my current hen), where complete recovery took place. That person soaked off and on for months. I will eventually write a follow up post on this treatment, with before and after photos of these cases.

      Anyway, I would definitely give it a try on your hen. At this point there is nothing to lose.

  9. I have been dealing with bumble foot for over a year now with different results. 2 of my hens recovered from it after treating them with tricide neo. One had to be euthanized after treating her for 7 weeks and then having surgery at the vet’s.
    The surgery went well, but there was a lot of stress for her adding to the fact that it was summer and the heat was tough on her. I kept her on a cage inside the run which is covered with a roof and she had a fan blowing all the time. I wanted to keep her with the flock thinking that it would be better when she was recovered from the surgery in both feet. On second thoughts, I hit myself on the head because I should have kept her in my “chicken room” where I have an AC running.She might have made it. She got egg peritonitis and I had the vet put her down.
    On the other hand, I am treating another hen with a mild case of bumblefoot. She is on her 4th week of tricide neo soaks. After my 2 experiences with bumblefoot surgery, I am very reluctant to do surgery and I am hoping for the best on her recovery. I have been all over the web looking for all kind of info I can get for tricide neo treatment, I know all of this is completely anecdotal based on everyone’s experience but it is all we have right now. I am anxiously awaiting for Janet’s response. I love my girls and I want the best for them, I also have to think about their quality of life. Keeping them safe, providing a comfortable place to live, clean water and feed and a roaming area. So when it comes to caging them and making them go thru the trauma of surgery and the subsequent handling and bandaging and after all this, the infection might come back, it is just a tough decision to make.
    Reply ↓

    • Aldara, I am sorry to hear about the one that had to be euthanized, but so happy to hear that 2 other hens recovered with TricideNeo. If you have before and after photos of their feet, I would love to see them. Please send them to me at the email address in the “Contact” section of this blog.

      I would definitely continue the soaks on your current hen, even though it has already been a month. Be sure you are using distilled water, the right concentration of tricideNeo, and soaking 5-10 minutes a day. Some people have said twice daily 10-minute soaks are better. But if you do that, keep and eye out for skin breakdown on her feet. Please keep me posted.

      • Thanks for your response. I am going to continue to do the soaks on my hen for however long it takes. I am doing a “ritual” now, every 6 days I make a new solution with tricide neo (I use a small scale to get the right amount) and of course distilled water. I make the solution early in the day to give time for the crystals to dissolve (this is a tip I learned from you). I take my girl one hour after roosting time to the room where I treat her, she is not easy to catch so I have to wait until sleeping time sets in. I also discovered that if I turn the light off in the room and just leave a night light which gives me enough time to see what I am doing, she is calmer and sleeps most of the 10 minutes of the treatment. So far I have been able to do the soaks religiously every day for a little over 4 weeks. Unfortunately it is just me and my girls so i don’t have anybody to help me take pics, I will try to get somebody to do it because I see the importance of documenting all our experiences for the rest of us to learn. I will keep you posted.

  10. I am fairly new to chicken keeping and am about to try the tricicide neo soaks for my chicken. What I can’t figure out though is how to just soak her foot and not her entire leg? I will have to hold her wings and sort of push her down into the casserole dish with the solution. If I just soak only her foot, she is going to fight and kick with her feet? Any suggestions?

    • Hi. We used a 3 gallon bucket. We mixed up 1 quart of tricide neo at a time, you must use distilled water. She will stand in the bucket and she cant flap around. They like it. Just talk to her and pet her. Good luck. It worked for one of mine.

      • I am treating one right now (for 4 weeks) so what I have been doing is waiting an hour after they go to roost and then get her. I sit on a chair and put her on my lap, the trick is to hold the wings so she won’t flap them, once they start flapping their wings, it gets pretty hard to control them. When I sit her on my lap (parallel to my chest), I get one wing against my chest and hold the other one with my hand. The other hand holds the foot in the container because at the beginning she doesn’t like the feeling of wetness. Another trick I have learned is to turn the light off in the room I am treating her. I only have a night light which is enough to be able to see what I am doing. This calms her since she cannot see very much around her. Most of the time she falls asleep. It might be difficult the first few days, but it gets easier as they get used to it.
        I also use a shallow plastic container and a very small amount of tricide neo, just enough to cover the bottom of her foot which is where the scab is (foot pad).
        I hope this helps you and good luck with your girl!

  11. For all of us that have been treating birds with tricide-neo, I just found out, by reading the website where I buy it, that once you mix the crystals with distilled water, the container has to be kept in a cool and dark place for the seven days it lasts. I did not know this so now I am placing the solution inside a cabinet.

  12. I am still searching for all info I can find regarding treatment with tricide neo. I recently found this article that I want to share with you all, just as part of our continued search for some scientific literature that will help us understand more of what we already have out there.
    An update on my girl, the scab is looking smaller. It used to cover a big part of her pad, it was so superficial that I almost felt like pulling it out but thought better of it. She is on her 7th week of treatment, it has hardened a bit but it has become small now. I am being positive about her response because there is no redness neither is swollen.
    I do have another hen that is being treated now (third day) she has been treated before with success so I am hoping it will clear soon. Wish me luck on both of my girls!

    • Thanks for sharing the paper, Aldara, and also for the update on your hen. I have one that’s going on about the same schedule as yours, and she too, is getting better. The scab is smaller, the swelling is down, and it looks like the scab is sort of loosened and about to fall off. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  13. My poor Molly has had bumble foot at least since June. It’s taken me this long to even find out what the heck it is. Now we have more than one treatment for it to choose from. So we find a “new” cure for a medicine meant for something else. I believe that is exactly how the microwave came into our daily lives. Speaking of which, there is a heartworm and an antiparasiticide medicine first introduced for use in horses, cattle, swine, reindeer and other such types…who knew about how it worked to get rid of a long standing problem for pet birds, I mean on the order of a magical success rate in ridding indoor pet birds of the insidious infestations of lice and other pests that the poor birds, previous to this cure, would simply have to deal with mild to moderate infestations throughout their entire life? The name of this medicine is Ivermectin. I hope beyond hope this Tricide Neo will be the wonder drug that, in addition to it’s use and success with treating ulcers and lesions of Koi fish will also help our backyard and industry chickens to overcome bumblefoot. What a horrible disease this is; ii is crippling, painful and unfortunately common, a bacterial infection , eventually, if not treated, is fatal. I placed my order for the Tricide Neo yesterday with KoiAcres.com, as this site offers free shipping. Other sites – if you could even find one that sells this stuff – others sold the same thing but with shipping costs running from $10 or $12 tracked I paid $29 for the smaller of the two packets of crystal;s. (22 grams/ There is also a homeopathic trial that is showing favorable results using a simple combination of herbal preparations. You can read about that here http://walkaheadfarms.weebly.com/farm-blog/herbal-treatment-for-bumblefoot-in-chickens-what-we-do-and-why-part-4 … Slippery Elm, Epsom Salts and other natural herbal treatments. It’s all good, and I’m grateful for a forum such as this where all this information can be shared. Best of luck to all of us.

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  15. Has anyone used this treatment on a foot pad that is swollen, but there is no “spot” yet? The pad is puffy and possibly has fluid in it. There is also some slight swelling between 2 toes. Nothing is red or hot yet. Maybe I just caught it early before most of the typical characteristics show? If it’s not Bumblefoot would this soaking with tricide neo be harmful? Also, a couple of earlier posts indicated folks were discarding eggs laid during treatment time. Is everyone doing that? Is it recommended?

  16. I have not used this on a swollen foot pad that has no dark spot or scab. I do know that there are other problems which cause swollen feet in birds, so I would research it first and try to make a diagnosis before treating. I don’t know if TricideNeo would be harmful if your hen has some condition other than bumblefoot. There are no recommendations about eating or discarding the eggs while a hen is being treated with tricideNeo, because this treatment has not yet been systematically studied as a bumblefoot treatment. All we have are anecdotal reports that it sometimes works, and some of us are choosing not to eat the eggs during treatment, just to be on the safe side. That is what I do. Good luck – I hope your hen gets better!

  17. I’ve been checking my hen’s foot every day and a couple of days ago saw the tell-tale hard spot in the center of the swollen area. I must have caught this early before the “spot” showed up. So I ordered the TricideNeo and it came today. Treatment will start tonight. Thanks for all the help!

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  19. I apologize if this question has been asked/answered. I tried to read through most of the comments, but there are so many!

    Is it safe to eat the eggs of the chicken while using the antibiotic?

    My poor Pocahontas has been put through the surgery once, but I fear it’s coming back on both feet and DO NOT want to do the surgery again!

    Thank you,
    Laura Renner

    • Hi Laura,
      I don’t know the answer for sure. If this medication does in fact treat the abscess, it must be passing through the footpad lesion, which means it could enter the blood stream. The question is, how much gets in the blood stream, and is it enough to make eating the eggs unsafe. I don’t know. It’s probably wise to err on the side of safety and not eat the eggs during treatment.

  20. Hello! I just noticed yesterday that one of my ladies has an ugly bumble forming. I’ve never treated this before, but would prefer to avoid the procedure if necessary. I live in small-town Montana, so TricideNeo isn’t available unless I order it. I’m concerned waiting a week for it to come in will not be beneficial for my little lady. The aquarium store has Mericin, which they said also treats fish skin infections, and the feed store has Veterycin spray, or I can get neomycin OTC from the drug store. Any recommendations on which antibiotic treatment I should go with? Should I soak in antibiotic and bandage the foot covered with neomycin? Thanks!

    • Hi Rebecca, I don’t have any recommendation on those other treatments, because I haven’t ever used them. I’ve not heard of Mericin. Is that the same as Maracyn? If so, it might be an effective treatment for bumblefoot, because Maracyn contains minocycline, which can treat mrsa (meth. resistant Staph. aureus). I do think waiting a few days to receive TridicideNeo would be fine, if you choose to go that route. Good luck, and I’d love to hear what you try and how well it works.

  21. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest yet your
    blogs are really nice, continue the good work! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your
    site to come back in the future. Good luck

  22. I used TricideNeo on 4 of my hens that had varying degrees of Bumblefoot after I did the surgery on the worst one two times with no improvement. I love the TricideNeo! Because of my work/school schedule I was not able to soak every day but I did soak at least every 3 days. I also just mixed it as package directed, and soaked it as directed in this article. It took a about a month for the worst foot to see marked improvement. Each time I soaked a foot I cleaned it thoroughly first and peeled off any dry lifted removeable scab as carefully as possible to not leave an open wound. You will find that as you soak the feet a few times the scab will shrink and leave a border of a ring like scab on the outside of the entire scab. If you remove this dry easily removed scab many times the interior portion of the scab will easily lift off using a pair of tweezers leaving a slight indentation in the food that is discolored but intact tissue. I would then soak the foot. I personally think that there is better absortion of the solution if you remove the loose scabs. With this method, I do occasionally break the skin in which case I do wrap with vet wrap and a piece of guaze covered in original Neosporin (mostly to avoid the guaze sticking later). I saw the same rate of healing in the 6 feet (2 hens had both feet affected) no matter if they ended up with the wrap or were able to just be released after soak with no bandage. I would post before pics but am not sure how to do that easily here. I was very happy with the results, with very little effort on my part and very little trauma to my hens I got great results. I did just do a check and one of my heaviest hens does have a new little scab but they have all been clear for 3 mos till I found this one. I will most certainly start the soak today and soak her a few times in the next 5 days and I would bet my last dollar it will be clear in no time.

  23. Thanks so much for this report, Sherri! You are probably right that there is better absorption if you pick off the scab. I’ve not done that for the exact reason you mention — that the skin might be broken while picking the scab, but it seems that you got fairly rapid results even when skin did break, correct?

    I’d love to see your before and after pics. If you see this reply, please send them to me at Janet (at) OurOneAcreFarm (dot) com. Thanks, and I’m so glad you saw good results!

  24. Ugh, I need to try this! My RIR hen has had recurring bumblefoot. I did the epsom salt plug removal and antibiotic cream with a wrap for over a week and it seemed to get better, but now it looks like it’s back. Once again I did the soak and wrap, but I think I’m going to try this next. Sounds a lot easier than wrapping a chicken foot, although she has been very patient with me. Do you recommend removing the ‘plug’ and opening the wound, or just doing the soak?

    • That depends on how bad it is. If it’s large and hard, there is probably a “plug” that will need to come out. If it’s just swollen with a dark scab, it might heal with no care other than TricideNeo soaks. All of my bumblefoot cases have.

  25. I’ve ordered the tricideneo for a friend who has 2 girls w/BF. He had crushed stone around his coop which he has covered at my suggestion. He knows little about chickens so my DH & I are helping him. We’ve done the surgery on both girls. One was very small on the side of a toe–soaked in Oxine AH mixed w/water, cut the toe, got the infection out & wrapped. The other one has in both feet–very swollen. We’ve soaked for 3 days now & cut 2x. I’m going to give this one a round of Tylan50. Her leg is hot to the touch. Hoping this helps her. She’s a very sweet girl.

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  28. my duck’s leg isnt limping but he has black scab in the foot pad. the foot pad has fluid-filled like it’s eroding but he is healthily walking and no limping. i think it’s foot pad dermatitis because of the wet bedding or is it bumblefoot? im not sure if its footpad dermatitis. he lives in a cage used for dog with a plastic mesh cubes for his platform inside the cage. i tried soaking his feet with salt and scraped the scab but there is no hole or anything. scab just scraped and the next a new scab formed in the part where the scab was removed yesterday. pls help me there is no avain vet here!!!!!

    • I’m not sure what it is, but I would not scrape the scab, as it won’t likely do any good and will just cause pain for the duck. If you can’t find a vet that will see the duck, then you are left to treat by trial and error. If he is not limping, then it is probably not urgent, and you could try TricideNeo soaks. I would not dig into it without knowing what it is and without knowing what you’re doing. I certainly would not scrape or dig without using sterile technique and without using some kind of antimicrobial, because when you break the scab, you are introducing more bacteria.

  29. Janet, I’m so happy about this treatment…I just want to help my Hennie, without adding trauma to an already surely sore area.

    Question: She’s a Cochin…Feathery feet!! I’ve been rinsing her feet after the soak, because I can’t find anything about “ingesting” the TriNeo.

    She of course immediately starts preening them, because they’re wet.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you!!

  30. Hi
    My hen just has a swollen toe that looks yellow, and is very painful. Wouldn’t this be ok to try for her swollen toe?

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