Posts Tagged ‘bumblefoot’

Left Turn on the Falconry Journey

January 4th, 2012

Left Turn on the Falconry Journey


Sable's Hawk Feet


Sometimes the journey takes an turn when you least expect it.  While this sideline delay isn’t completely unexpected, it is most certainly unwelcome as it takes away from the Hunting Season and all the Hunting activities.  Being sidelined for hunting injuries is bound to happen, it’s just a matter of time and luck. Sable is now laid up for about three-four weeks as we intensely care for her feet which are marred up by an encounter with an angry squirrel and an opossum.  Each time out hunting has it’s own potential for hazards and the holiday break gave us extra hunting opportunities which in turn gave extra opportunities for danger.  While late December isn’t exactly ‘the-middle-of-winter’, it is supposed to be a time when the weather is cold and the hibernating animals are, well, hibernating.  Opossums normally hibernate and are tucked away in a den or a tree-trunk somewhere sleeping away the cold winter days.  In this case, Christmas Day wasn’t exactly a cold winter day and the weather for the previous couple of weeks hadn’t been solidly cold.  In any event, an unlucky young opossum met it’s fate when it wandered off into the sticks in search of a meal and Sable was perched high in a tree overlooking those sticks.  We’ll be caring for these feet for a few weeks while we let them heal up.


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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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