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EMERGENCY-Broken Duckling Femur HELP!!!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


My wife and were walking our puppies last night we we can across a 7-8 week month old Muscovy duckling lying in the grass.  First, I knew it was too young to not be around it's mother, but as I approached, I realized something was wrong with it's left leg.  We have experience raising new born that were abandoned by Momma prior to imprinting all the way to adulthood then back into the wild.


I was able to catch her, which is what well refer to her as going forward as we can't know for quite a while yet.  We took her home, and had my wife hold her and I felt across her foot and lower leg bones, and couldn't find anything off. At that point, I was thinking maybe a hip dislocation, so I felt further up and found the badly broken femur (I think).   While not a compound fracture, the only reason it wasn't was because it hadn't yet poked through the skin, but it was broken all the way through and jagged on both sides.


Not having any experience with this kind of thing, I did what I thought best, which was to line up the two jagged sides and use a carnation stem (thick) and a narrow ace bandage to hold it all together.  First, this had to have happened fairly recently, because she wasn't terribly fatigued, though very scared. Also, that the jagged bones hadn't poked through the skin also indicates it couldn't have been too long prior to us finding her. 


Anyway, we made her a sleeping box with towels and water and some bread to see if she'd eat, and survive the night.  This morning, she was alive, and today she started eating bits of bread and drinking.  I know I'll need to get her some duck feed & a larger box, as well as a baby pool, but my questions are below.


1. The leg is presently lame, and generally lays back behind her sole up.


2. I know we need to get Popsicle sticks and stabilize both sides today, but I'm sure we can't use an ace bandage because she needs to be put in water, and understanding fractures, this is the only time I will change the dressing again because every time it's changed you risk undoing any healing that's been done.  I mention this because I know I can't use an ACE bandage even though it allows circulation because it can't get wet without needing to be replaced. When I change it, what would you recommend?


3. How do I know if amputation or euthanasia is appropriate? 


4. How confined do I need to keep her and for how long?


5. She didn't seem to have any pain nor swelling at the break site.  While I was reducing the fracture, she didn't fuss at all where I've had a badly broken bone reset and about came out of my skin.  I can only assume she was in shock, again, another indicator that we got to her quickly, and having read other posts, that seem to suggest the quicker you can set and stabilize it, the better the outcomes.


PLEASE help us.  We can't afford to take a wild duckling to the vet, and we don't want to turn her over to the rather business like wildlife centers around us as I'm 100% sure they'll euthanize her given how common they are, and just because they're not generally in the business of healing injured animals unless rare.  If necessary, I'll take her there to be euthanized, but I'm praying she will not need to be euthanize. 


God bless all.



post #2 of 2
I may be reading this too late to help. The popsicle sticks may dig in to the skin and cause sores. I have found that layering paper tape makes a nice stiff cast and as it heals you can gradually peel off layers of the tape to allow more movement. I have repaired a duck's broken leg this way and the bone was jagged when I put it together to tape it.
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