Bumblefoot!

Another catchy heading from yours truly is Bumblefoot!  One might think it is a derogatory term for someone with two left feet on the dance floor.  The reality is much more serious.  First let me digress and explain why I am writing about bumblefoot.  My husband and I enjoyed a “minivacation” recently, and during a walk he noticed a pigeon limping badly.  My husband has the endearing belief that I am able to catch, foster, feed and rehab almost any critter that walks, crawls, swims, or flies.  Not sure how he got this misinformation, but he quickly decided that a) we should try to capture the pigeon and b) I should so something about the ailment.  As the pigeon quickly flew off into the sunset I realized that what we had seen was probably a bad case of bumblefoot.  Bumblefoot is an infection and usually rises from an injury to a bird’s foot.  The skin can heal around the infected area, but often a small hardened “corn” develops.  This “corn” can continue to grow.  Bumblefoot is more comon in captive birds, but wild birds also develop foot injuries.  Waterfowl, particularly ducks are also prone to bumblefoot.  The disease can spread rapidly, since it is a bacterial infection.  A severe case of bumblefoot can lead to degeneraton of the foot and eventual death.  Bumblefoot is treatable, but only by someone trained who has the correct antibiotics and only at certain stages of the disease.  I have attached a photo which is only one example of what bumblefoot can look like.  It is a picture of bumblefoot on the foot of a raptor.  Bumblefoot also occurs on birds of prey, since their feet can be injured when they dive for their food.

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