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Caring for BumbleFoot

February 23rd, 2009

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 Recently I had the opportunity to learn some pre-apprentice knowledge from my sponsor by helping her with her Red-Tail.  Bumblefoot (plantar pododermatitis) is a foot disease somewhat common among captive raptors that stems from small lesions or cuts in the foot pads.  These small cuts or abrasions become infected with staphylococcus bacteria and begin to produce a swelling of the feet.  In preventing this ailment from becoming life-threatening, there are some measures that can be taken in order to ensure a speedy rec0very for your raptor.

1. Keep the Perches in the Mews Clean. Clean, padded perches that are free of sharp edges are essential to ensure comfort for your raptor.  It is also suggested that the perches should not be more than 18 inches high to prevent the raptor from high impact on the foot pads.

2. Clean the raptor toes, feet, and talons with an antisceptic treatment.  A regular wash and treatment can do wonders for prevention of bumblefoot before it becomes a real problem.

3. Change the bandages regularly and use an antibiotic cream (and oral antibiotics if necessary).

The purpose of this excercise had many benefits.  I got to handle a Red-Tail and that was something that I had not done before.  While not terribly intimidating, it was humbling and exciting to handle a Red-Tail.  I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these raptors.  It was also a lesson in raptor health-care, as well as an inventory review for med-kit creation.

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