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On going leg issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Brand new to the forum.
I have been trying to do internet research before coming here but felt it was time I reached out for some help.
I have two white Pekins who have developed issues with their legs. One with a swollen right leg one with a swollen left leg.
This started almost 2 months ago with one and we took her (Chelveston) to the vet. They could see no obvious sign of injury but suspected she had a cut or scrape which got infected. They started us with an anti-inflammatory (Meloxodil) which we tried for a few days to no effect. They then switched us to an antibiotic (sorry don’t have the name off hand) and she was on that for 10 days and her situation improved dramatically so we returned her to the rest of her duck mates. Well, due to poor retelling of vet instructions to me by the rest of the family I neglected to take note that we needed to keep her on the antibiotics for an extended period if the initial course was working. So, after perhaps a week she suffered a relapse. The vet prescribed a longer course of the same antibiotic which this time around did nothing. Back to the vet. This time they took x-rays and tissue samples to identify the type of infection and narrow the choice for a more directed antibiotic. Basically she has a staph infection and they identified a sulfa type antibiotic. We had her on this for 10 days. Very difficult to administer as she was able to detect it in her food or lettuce or meal worms so we squirted it down her throat when we were not able to sneak it into her food. After 10 days of this no improvement. A call to the vet to report and they said there isn’t really much else that can be done. We kept her on the antibiotics with a force feeding of medication but still no improvement. I gather that she has a MRSA type of staph infection that we had on the run the first time but with our failing or follow through the infection mutated to an antibiotic resistant strain. The vet referred us to an avian specialist but I don’t know if this will be of any value plus it is almost 2 hours away. I have been researching for alternate treatment methods and have found references to Manuka Honey, Pascalite, Turmeric, Oil of Oregano, Tea Tree Oil and Olive leaf extract. Most of these are topical and she has no open wound so I am not sure how effective these would be as a poultice. Not sure if eating any of the edible varieties of the above will have the desired effect.

Does anyone have any experience with these remedies for this type of situation that they can report on?

I will search through the forums here too in case I missed something.

I don’t think the infection will go away on it’s own and while she is still eating and drinking and pooping and bathing she is not very mobile with only one good leg.

I would hate to have to put her down if there were something I can do to help her.

Any help appreciated.

Sorry for the verbose posting

post #2 of 9

Not too verbose, it was good background.


Oregano has been used to reduce the need for antibiotics in flocks.  I don't know what the dosage would be, but I would seriously consider trying that as part of the project.  In her feed or water.


I do know from recent experience that oil of oregano (it is actually marjoram oil) burns like all get out.  Yes, silly me, I put a drop on my toothbrush.  Live and learn.


Colloidal silver is used by some as an antimicrobial.  Please do your research, it is a metal and I am extremely cautious with those - at the same time, I have used it myself under a naturopath's guidance.


I am wondering if clear iodine might be any help.  Several people have used it on bumblefoot and it seems to cross through the skin and into bumbles, so perhaps it might do something for that infection. This is really me thinking out loud here - not a vet, just a duck keeper who reads posts on the Duck Forum.  I don't know what the counterindications might be.


Please keep us posted.




Also, Majestic Waterfowl may have some useful insights on that.

Edited by Amiga - 4/18/16 at 7:19pm

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input @ amiga.

I found some reference to 1 drop of oil in a container of I gave that a try. The ducks were not very fond of it but since they were eating they didn't have much choice.

I guess we will see if any benefit is realized.

the stuff is potent, after just opening the bottle I smell like a pizza.

Found out tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats and seems likely it would be toxic to other animals. I guess like any oil essence it can burn.

I have not been able to find out if it is ok to feed ducks honey yet.

Seems like olive leaf extract may be okay.

I am trying one thing at a time to see if any benefit is realized.

I'll keep at it.
post #4 of 9

Look into a colloidal silver ointment - see what you think.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  


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post #5 of 9
I might try injectable penicillin because I keep a bottle on hand to treat bumblefoot, which is a staph infection. It can be given in larger doses less frequently if you give it subcutaneously instead of intermuscularly and it is not as painful or hard to administer that way. I am not sure what dose to recommend but antibiotics need to be strong to kill bacteria or it can mutate.

I inject it under the skin into the hollow between the neck and shoulderblades by inserting the needle downward through the skin and into the hollow and then filling the pocket, making sure it does not come back out. I alternate sides each day and adjust the dose based on the amount absorbed from the prior injection. The goal is to have a steady rate of absorbtion. I learned the pocket technique on lambs with inverted eyelids since swelling up the eyelid with penicillin would keep the lashes from scratching the eye and causing blindness.

Giving it directly into the leg is faster acting but it also absorbs into the system faster so you need to give a more painful shot twice a day instead of a less painful shot once a day. The muscle gets sore at the injection site so you can't keep giving it in the same place either. You have to use a large needle because it is such a thick solution and that is harder on babies too.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wound up setting up an appointment with the avian vet on saturday.the regular vet did mention intermuscular injections but did not seem to think it would be of much benefit since the antibiotics that have been given were targeted directly at the bacteria and have had no effect. Might be worth a try as I am willing to give injections and the vet mentioned most people won't which is why it wasn't suggested before.

I went over the homeopathic remedies I found on line but she recommended against most of them as not being used on ducks and the uncertainty of what harm they may cause.

So,I will wait for Saturday and see what the specialist says.

Chelveston is almost a year old.

Thanks for the input!

Ps: I could not find any positive recommendations for using colloidal silver preparations no claims of benefit have been proven at least in humans.
post #7 of 9

Fair enough.


By the way, there is a textbook on herbal medicine for veterinary practices - your vet may be interested in that.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  


Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am interested in that!  I will search it out.



post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, unfortunately, the avian vet was not able to offer any viable solutions. An expensive stay in a hospital with no guarantee of a good outcome or amputate the leg which carried it's own set of problems. So I had to euthanize my little buddy. A sad day...
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