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HELP! Two hour old duckling with potential slipped tendon? pictures attached

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My duckling has hatched without being able to stretch its leg out. its other foot is fine but when it tries to walk it uses its hock as a peg leg. is it a slipped tendon? 

post #2 of 4
Does it look like the tendon is to the side of the groove in the joint? Compare it to the other leg. You may also be able to feel the tendon rolling around out of the joint if it slipped. I have used use paper tape above and below the joint to hold the tendon in place if it has rolled to the side. The tape needs to be tight enough to hold the tendon without cutting off circulation.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply, I can't feel anything rolling around in the joint and it is more of a square shape when compare to the other joint. 

I'm starting to think it's not a slipped tendon and it may be dislocated instead. do the pictures help you able to identify what it could be?

post #4 of 4
It looks like a deformity in the picture but the tendon would have been repairable so it was good to check that first. Instead of taping above and below the joint you will need to try to straighten the joint in a supportive position and tape the entire joint with the knee slightly bent to allow it to use the leg without it staying tucked into its body. The joint will be stiff instead of flexible so the goal is to give it a peg leg it can use to paddle with in water and limp on like a crutch on land. You don't want it so straight that it carries the leg behind it or so bent that it stays bent under it so go for a natural angle, depending on how flexible the ankle joint is as the knee will be locked in whatever position it is taped.

The best way to tape it is using a figure 8 around the back of the knee above and below the joint with the center of the 8 in front of the joint. Be careful the tape is not too tight as it is just to keep the joint in position during weight bearing. If you get a nice bend but the duckling is still dragging it behind, you can use a large rubber band to help pull it forward while giving it a range of motion in the hip. The hip joint needs to move freely and the ankle joint needs to move freely so do not tape them, just restrict the range if necessary to allow the duckling the ability to walk and swim without the leg being totally useless. Hydrotherapy is very important to get the best results. If the leg is turned out you can also use a rubber band to pull the leg in under it in a supportive position that will hold the duckling's weight. You may have to make small adjustments using pressure to position the leg correctly if it is already getting stiff. The sooner you can correct the leg the better but the duck will most likely have a permanent limp. As long as it can use the leg for balance and propulsion it should survive and get around fine.
Edited by Duck Drover - 5/19/16 at 11:18pm
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