Ray Charles Health Care: Part 1
Ray Charles has had severe bumble foot since the beginning of the summer. He was examined by two vets who were unable to come up with a treatment plan for him. The main reason for this is because it’s very unusual for a commercial white breasted turkey to live past 5 months so there is a lack of medical research for older turkeys. We want Ray to live a good quality of life for as long as possible, so we need to figure out how to deal with several health issues caused by intensive meat breeding. One vet explained that if the bumble foot was surgically removed it would just return due to Ray’s toes being amputated (causing flat foot) and his excessive weight.
We’ve learned so much by treating Louise, so we knew we needed to start the same routine with Ray Charles. But how do you soak the feet of a 36 lb bird?
Turns out Ray loves to have his feet soaked and he will actually spend 15 mins standing in the tub. We have been able to keep his infection from spreading and it looks like the affected area on the bottom of his feet is responding to the treatment. Maybe in another month he will have new tissue there.
Come the fall wet months, it was more difficult to keep his feet dry with vet wrap. We found some waterproof dog boots which solved that problem. Ray became a social media star strutting around in his new boots.
In November, I realized that his bumble foot was not improving and was getting worse. I asked our bird vet if they would consider surgery since we now were able to protect his feet with these new boots. They agreed and surgery was scheduled for December 5th.