Guinea Pig Feet and Foot Problems
Links to Treatment of Pododermatitis in Guinea Pigs & Other Species
Dr. Nakamura offers his advice on pododermatitis in guinea pigs.
Ralph M. Bunte, DVM, in his article on Diseases of Guinea Pigs, offers this information:
Pododermatitis - Caused by infection subsequent to trauma, wire cage bottoms and lack of appropriate sanitation. Bumblefoot may also be caused by obesity, rough cage bottoms, unsanitized floors. Most lesions are chronic .The contact surface of the forefeet are swollen, painful and encrusted with necrotic, exudative tissue and clotted blood and /or crust. Microscopically, lesions are fibrotic pyogranulomatous inflammation. Amyloidosis has been temporally associated with advanced cases. Isolated cases of pneumonia, mastitis and conjunctivitis have been seen.
Jan McArthur, R.V.T describes treating bumblefoot in rats. Read her article at www.rmca.org.
She suggests flushing the area daily with chlorhexidine solution (brand name Nolvasan), using BLU-KOTE and a veterinarian prescribed antibiotic. The chlorhexidine can also be used to disinfect the cage everyday "when you change the towels that are your new bedding material". In her case, steroids, anti fungal creams and triple antibiotic creams did not work. Her advice:
"Have your rat on the antibiotics prescribed by your vet and flush the feet at least twice a day with the chlorhexidine/Nolvasan antiseptic. Then once a day spray the Blu-Kote directly onto the bumbles. Using it more than once a day will cause too much irritation to the skin. Change the bedding daily and wipe down the cage with the chlorhexidine. It may take up to two months for this to work but you should begin to see some results after two weeks. The bumbles should begin to shrink and their bleeding should begin to occur much less often.
It seems that the combination of all of these steps is what will do the trick to rid your rat of this affliction. Leaving out any of the steps may cause your efforts to fail."
The Falconer's Web describes using cement antibiotic beads imbedded in the afflicted tissue for stubborn cases. (link no longer active)
At the recent 3rd International Raptor Biomedicine Conference held in South Africa, David Remple from Dubai and Neil Forbes from England, presented their findings following a research project using a new technique in the treatment of persistent infections, which have so often previously been the problem with bumblefoot therapy. Remple and Forbes (1998) described the use of antibiotic impregnated bone cement beads in the treatment of bumblefoot. By this method increased local concentrations of antibiotic can be achieved than with injections or tablets administration without relying on blood supply, which is often impaired in such cases. Furthermore drugs which could not normally be used by injection or tablet, (in view of their potential toxic effects) may be safely administered in this local form.
Wildlife Medical Clinic -- CLEANING RAPTOR FEET AND BUMBLEFOOT (link no longer active)
Different cleaning solutions can be used to clean raptor feet. A dilute Nolvasan solution or alcohol work well. Stronger solutions, such as dilute Betadine Scrub, may be used if open wounds are present. ... be sure to thoroughly rinse and dry the feet. When done cleaning the feet, check the bottoms of the feet for worn areas, puncture wounds, abrasions, scabs, etc. .... Problem areas on the soles of the feet make the raptor prone to infections of the foot, and eventually bumblefoot. Since raptors use their feet extensively in hunting and perching, foot infections are potentially very serious. Treatment should be initiated at the first sign of a problem. Preventative measures can also be implemented. Preparation H can be applied to feet that appear dry or chapped.
The Organic Vet identifies poor housing (high humidity and ventilation, insufficient bedding), and wet litter as contributing causes of bumblefoot in poultry.
Long-standing erosions and other skin damage, such as cuts and abrasions, can predispose birds to a deeper infection of the footpad, frequently referred to as bumble foot. Bumble foot is most often associated with staphylococcus infection [which can also cause swollen hock joints and lameness]. This can result in a large ball-like foot abscess.
When infection occurs, synovial membranes in the joints and tendons of the hock and feet become thickened and oedema is seen. Inflammation occurs and a fluid may be produced around the joints and tendon sheaths. Wounds heal on the outside to leave a hard core of pus in the inside. If the condition becomes chronic, fibrous tissue can form around the foot.