The Story of Hot Shot July 17, 2012

Hot Shot

Oh, me, did I ever bite the bullet. One of my lovely chickens, a Campine/Black Marans cross named Hot Shot, developed a foot infection, commonly called bumblefoot. Off we go to the vet and she had surgery to open up the infected foot and came home to live in the house and get her daily foot baths and foot wraps. Everything seemed fine for 10 days or so and it was just lovely having a Talkie Talkie chicken beside me in the rabbit cage while I worked for My Pet Chicken all day.

Hot Shot was so very cooperative, never complained and did a first rate job of endearing herself to me forever more. What she also did, however, was learn to beg with the best of them. Grated cheese was her absolute favorite, with blueberries running a close second. She quickly figured out the system and she sure got my number by cackling her head off every time the refrigerator door opened.

It was so nice to hold her and talk to her while she struck a noble pose in my lap with one foot in a pot of warm water. She even laid on her back in her long suffering manner with her sore foot in the air and relaxed while I bandaged her Bumble. You’ve got to love a chicken like that. And after every wrapping she got her treats. Talkie, talkieing her delight the whole while.

As I said, all was well for a while and then the foot swelled up even more than before. Back to the vet. Now we are talking big time surgery with a two day stay. Home again. More soaking, more wrapping, more treats but alas 2 weeks later it all ballooned again. I crumbled. There was no way, after already having spent $600, that I could consider another surgery with no guarantee that it would work. So with a very heavy heart, a very somber trip to the vet was made and I left my dear Hot Shot there to be put down. I drove home in tears. Well, more than tears… I was bawling my head off.

I consoled myself with the knowledge that I really had done everything I could do and that it would be beyond all reason to sink any more money into a $3 chicken. I cried the next day and the next. I cried a whole lot every time I thought of her patiently standing in her pot of warm water. It broke my heart thinking about her laying on her back with her foot in the air for me to do the wrapping thing and every time I opened the fridge door I cried because there was no Talkie, Talkie begging for grated cheese.

Two weeks went by and the phone rang. It was the vet saying, “I hope you are not going to be mad at me, but the day you brought Hot Shot in to be put down, I had had such a bad day putting down two other animals that I just couldn’t do it again. So I went ahead and operated on her and she is all better now.” I cried again. Tears of such joy. So Hot Shot came home and I promised her cheese for life, and meal worms, and blueberries, and sunflower seeds–I promised her anything she wanted and she said, “Talkie, Talkie.”

34 Comments
Sarah Clough July 18th, 2012

What an emotional tale, you just had me sobbing along with you! I’m glad Hot Shot is home.

Natalie Bishop July 18th, 2012

Amazing story – thanks for sharing. I am never prone to tears, but you had be bawling away!

Glad Hot Shot is still around – such a wonderful vet too.

Deb S July 18th, 2012

You cannot put a dollar value on the price of unconditional love. Whether it’s with human or animal, it’s still love.
I’m glad your vet had the heart to try. Not many would put the dollar value aside and go with their heart!
Thank you for sharing all of your stories with us on this blog. I follow it on facebook, usually.

Arlene Dorsch July 18th, 2012

I am so thankful Hot Shot is still around. God bless that vet. I was feeling so sad about her. You tell a great story, Deb. Keep them coming.

Diane Sonnenberg July 18th, 2012

What a kind vet ! Losing a favorite pet is hard and it’s nice to know “putting your pet down” isn’t your vet’s first option. Enjoy your bonus time with Hot Shot. 8)

PromiseJubilee July 18th, 2012

Seriously bawling over here. WHAT A NICE VET!!! Bawwwwahahahahhh.

Melissa July 18th, 2012

What a great story and a happy ending. Now I have to go out and check my girls’ feet.

Kira July 18th, 2012

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. How often do we get a second chance to keep a beloved pet we’ve lost? Your vet is the soul of kindness (as are you!).

Meri July 18th, 2012

SOB! I’m glad to know there are others who love their chicken babies so much! What a wonderful Vet! Give him a hug for all of us!

Mickeybb July 18th, 2012

I’m treating one of my chickens for Bumblefoot. Gosh, I hope I can fix it.

Brenda Mayer July 18th, 2012

I’ve had canaries and chickens with bumblefoot and an orange wing amazon parrot with constricted toe syndrome. Foot problems in birds are difficult to cure. Pete my parrot had to have two toes amputated. The canaries I treated with betadine soaks and the rooster had both feet affected. Can’t say how many times I cleaned out treated and wrapped his feet with coban. Neon pink coban is pretty on a Rhode Island Red Rooster!! What if I may ask actually cured your chicken?? I’m a lot of us would like to know what the vet did to fix her. Such an encouraging story.

Kayla Rosencutter-Jones July 18th, 2012

It’s hard to type when you can’t see for crying. Now tell me….what is Bumblefoot? I’ll keep an eye on my chickens feet.

I have a Wheaton hen I’m doctoring now. A cat got ahold of her and put a hole in her neck. So she’s not feeling to good right now. I put Neosporin on the wound and gave her some Durmiacin. Hopefully she will overcome.

Vanessa July 18th, 2012

Even chickens can be the opportunity for a “God moment”. What a blessing. So happy for you!

Susan July 18th, 2012

What a sweet, sweet story! Wonderful hen, wonderful you, wonderful vet! The world needs more happy endings like that…so enjoy yours. Talkie talkie! =)

Lisa Meaux July 18th, 2012

A hawk once scalped my little dutch bantam THROUGH THE CHICKEN WIRE of my coop, and when I brought her in to my vet to euthanize her, my vet was just as compassionate. She put my Little Debbie on antibiotics and pain medication and watched her for three days. She even mashed up her food and fed her by hand until the swelling went down and she was able to find the food on her own. She stayed in a box in my bathroom while she healed enough to go back out with her sisters. Her little comb and head feathers never grew back, but she lived a happy life, clueless about her bald head.

Tammy B July 18th, 2012

Oh my gosh, that is the happiest ending ever! I can’t imagine the emotional rollercoaster you went on. I have loved and lost my fair share of hens/chicks and I know it is very hard when they get sick. I’m so happy Hot Shot made it through. Give her some cheese and blueberries for me! 🙂

Tammy B

Franchesca Lane July 18th, 2012

Thank you for sharing, these/our chickens have become part of our family…and yes, you will do what it takes to see them
through! I wish we had had them all our life! Yeah for Hot Shot:)

Jeanne M July 19th, 2012

What a wonderful story and what a truly wonderful vet! You’ll need to post about Hot Shot again to let us know if she remained totally spoiled once she was returned to the coop.

Judy July 19th, 2012

Where do we find a vet like that??????????\

Brandy July 19th, 2012

I too am very attached to my chickens and that would just devastate me. I am happy that the vet chose to save your chicken!

joyce July 22nd, 2012

Thank you all for your kind and heartfelt replies – I will pass all your messages on to my vet – I am sure she will appreciate the fact that she is so highly revered by you all. Hot Shot is doing great! My problem is that among my 24 egg laying chickens I have 2 who expect special treats and loudly tell me “I am special” every time I go out to feed them. It gets pretty tricky trying to hide a blueberry or two to slip to Lenore and Hot Shot. By the way, Lenore has just hatched all eight eggs she sat upon! WHAT A CHICKEN!!! Isn’t it just fun to love them so much?

Katherine August 21st, 2012

That is such a touching, and sad story! You had me crying!!! keep it up!

Dana August 22nd, 2012

What a wonderful vet you have.

Jen October 8th, 2012

Wow, That was a great story. What a great vet :).What a cool name – Hot Shot. Thank you for the smiles and warm fuzzies.

Rebecca Medina October 8th, 2012

Deb, This article just touched my heart. God Bless your vet. What a kind human being. Reminds me of James Herriot the Yorkshire vet. Yes, even chickens can
“rule our roost” and touch our hearts. They are our babies and always will be..
I pray that Hot Shot will continue to heal and yes, I will be checking my ladies’ feet all the time, now.
Thank you for your site. I love my Pet Chicken. Has lots of help and great information.
Rebecca Medina

Stephanie October 8th, 2012

I have a special girl named Cocoa. When Cocoa was about 3 months old she became the victim of my killer chihuahua Papi. I intervened before the deed was done but could tell Cocoa had suffered injury. The next morning she had managed to make it into the bushes so I thought she would be ok. 2 days later I found her in the coop, with no function in her legs. I carried her over to the water and she drank ravenously! I knew I could not give up on her! Cocoa lived I my living room for the next 3 months with my family and I. Her neck wound was raw and exposed muscle. I washed it carefully and administered daily antibiotic injections. I assumed that swelling to her spinal cord was blocking signals to her lower extremities. She could not stand to defecate so she needed frequent bathing. While in the tub she could stand as the water helped with added buoyancy. Being a nurse I used these baths to perform hydro physical therapy sessions to help maintain Cocoas range of motion. As she improved we would go into the front yard and offer special treats to encourage her to try to walk. Eventually Cocoa was ready to rejoin the flock although she had a marked limp. Today Cocoa has grown into a beautiful Americana with a very “fluffy” backside. Her limp is unnoticeable to to those who are unaware of her story. She remains one of my favorites to this day. Shhh! Don’t tell the others! I tell them I love them all the same!!

Portia October 9th, 2012

I began tearing and felt your pain when I read about you having to leave her with the vet for the “final” time. What an uplifting story in the end. The chickens that have been patients are the ones I get most attached. The seem to know you are trying to help & become so docile. I cannot believe how attached I have become to all of my chickens. Thank you for sharing!!

Chris October 12th, 2012

My experience with bumblefoot is it’s really not worth trying to fix and sometimes it can even get worse with human intervention. I have a hen with it but she functions just fine, she’s had it since she was 8 months old, now she’s 3. I have read that penicillin injections into the foot have been known to clear it up without running the risk of actually opening the area up and exposing to even more infectious agents. Now, that being said, I’m impressed you went to so much trouble for your hen. I too have taken one to a vet when she developed a wheeze. Unfortunately she had pneumonia and despite our best efforts succumbed to it. And I’ve also been known to bring them into the house, one older barred rock spent an entire winter with us due to her being so low on the pecking order ladder, she would break into loud chuckles every time someone walked through the back door and spent many hours having secret discussions with our cat – we suspected they were plotting a coup which had something to do with cat/chicken treats. Very nice story, two big thumbs up for a vet who really cares and a chicken person who cares even more.

Eleanore November 16th, 2012

Aww so sweet!

Anne January 7th, 2013

Great story!! Two of my girls have developed bumble foot, so I know just what you went through with regards to soaking and wrapping those trusting little chicken tootsies. I’ve found that if you catch the infection early, it’s easily treated. My seven girls get their feet inspected by-weekly!
Since I’ve been inspecting their feet, I’ve notices that their nails are getting very long causing the toes to roll to the side. The runs floor is clay/dirt which gets very hard in the summer. However, during the winter it gets very soft and muddy, so I spread oak leaves (collected and bagged last fall) which act as a barrier to the damp clay. All in all during the winter, the run is too soft to help naturally where down their nails.
Question… is it safe to trim their nails? If so, any suggestions??

Lissa January 8th, 2013

That’s a common, question, Anne, so we address it in our Chicken Help pages right here.

Anne January 8th, 2013

Thanks Lissa!

Libby July 13th, 2017

That is the sweetest story ever. It made me tear up, and not just because of the story, but because of the picture. I had a loving hen just like her. I didn’t know until today what breed mix she was, as she could be your hen’s twin. She watched TV with me, “sang” Christmas songs with the family, and yes, loved the fridge door and whatever yummy treats she could wheedle out of it…. not hard at all, really. I’m so glad yours is safe and sound.

Helen February 14th, 2018

This is a kind of late response and I hope you and Hotshot never have to deal with another case of bumblefoot again. But one of our turkeys came down with bumblefoot and we were able to fix it using Zymox Otic. We soaked the foot, followed the bumblefoot surgery video on youtube we found, squirted the otic in the infected zone and wrapped it. We applied the Zymox for a few days, rewrapping the foot each time and at the end it was all gone! We have Zymox for our cats and dogs but the bottle says non-specie specific and we couldn’t find anything online to treat it other than expensive vet visits and epsom salt foot baths so we figured it was worth a shot.

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