Skip main navigation

Scaly leg treatment

Article describing the surgical treatment of scaly leg in poultry.
© University of Nottingham and the British Hen Welfare Trust

A cockerel presented with a severe case of scaly leg but was otherwise well and was eating and drinking normally. The skin over his legs looked severely infected, oozing purulent material.

cockerel’s leg prior to debridement Scaly leg – initial presentation, ©Marcella Perversi

 cockerel’s leg prior to debridement Scaly prior to debridement, ©Marcella Perversi

 cockerel’s leg prior to debridement Scaly prior to debridement, ©Marcella Perversi

 cockerel’s leg following debridement Scaly leg following debridement, ©Marcella Perversi

The cockerel was pre oxygenated via mask for a few minutes, then anaesthesia induced with isoflurane at 2% via mask before intubating with a 3.0 uncuffed rubber endotracheal tube.

The overgrown crusted skin was soaked with warm saline and gently peeled off. The underlying skin and infected tissue on the legs was surgically debrided and any remaining purulent material removed with a dilute hibiscrub solution.

 cockerel’s leg following debridement Scaly leg following debridement, ©Marcella Perversi

 cockerel standing in a vet clinic with bandaged legs Cockerel with bandaged legs, ©Marcella Perversi

Anti-inflammatory treatment, Meloxidyl at 1mg/kg once daily, a course of antibiotics, Synulox at 125mg/kg twice daily, and an anti -parasite treatment, Ivermectine at 0.02mg/kg were prescribed under the cascade.

Manuka honey was applied to the skin before bandaging both legs with a Zorbopad, a layer of Soffban then conforming bandage.

The bandages were removed every three days on three consecutive occasions. The skin healed by second intention.

cockerel with bandages removed from legs Bandage removal, ©Marcella Perversi

© University of Nottingham and the British Hen Welfare Trust
This article is from the free online

Poultry Health

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education