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Lethargic Duck

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

When I let them out this morning, my oldest duck held back and came out slower, and when she got out to the yard, she walked around slowly, half heartedly nibbling at grass and totally not acting like herself at all. Usually she's the crazy one, talking the most, and running off as leader of the group.

I caught her (too easily) and set her up in quarantine with food and water. I cooked her some eggs, chopped tomato, cucumber (peeled), two garlic cloves, and some clover. She nibbled, didn't eat it. So, she's off her food.

She drinks water.

She seems to have diarrhea, first I saw from her was green and mostly water (dark green like vegetation), and after putting her up, white and VERY watery, nothing to it at all, just liquid. Or could this also be from not eating?

Breathing is fine. Eyes are clear. No discharge. Crop feels soft and squishy like normal. Rear end feels normal and isn't distended as far as I can tell. She started laying a week ago, laid every morning for 3 mornings, laid one soft shelled egg, took the next morning off, then laid every morning there after, this morning included, normal eggs.

Yesterday she did a weird thing. She was acting fine, but started shaking her head from side to side, seemed to vomit, and then went on about her day as normal. I thought she had eaten something she didn't like and half swallowed it, got rid of it, and was fine. When I went and looked at it, it was grass and a couple of leaves covered in slime.. duck spit and stomach fluids I guess... totally clear, no color.

She was eating normal yesterday. Not today. She half heartedly preens herself, but did not go swimming. Didn't do her usual "OMG clean water" insanity.

Any ideas? Need any more info? She's on a basic layer feed with daily fresh greens and veggies. Still has some grower mixed in for the younger ducks. She's just shy of 7 months old.

Looked at her feet, she appeared to have one cut and minor swelling with it, normal coloring, no ooze, is that mild bumblefoot? Would that cause her to go off her food and get lethargic, that tiny little thing? Doesn't look like much of anything, but should I treat it and wrap it while I have her put up? I was thinking I would when husband gets home and can hold her while I doctor it. She was favoring that foot when she was walking, like a slow motion waddle a little more pronounced than normal... not bad looking, but different enough to make me look at her foot.

post #2 of 17

So many things can make a duck lethargic.  You are doing everything well.

Especially in light of her tossing something, she could have some kind of blockage in her digestive tract, she could have had a low grade infection for a while that is now catching up with her, she could be having an off day, she may have ingested something toxic.

I'd treat the foot with triple antibiotic ointment, keep it treated and watch for the swelling to go down.

Activated charcoal (not briquettes - there are tablets you can get at the pharmacy or pharmacy section of a large grocery store) is supposed to help absorb toxins.  I add a few to drinking water when a duck seems off.

Another approach is something that will move things through her more quickly - some use epsom salts, some use other methods (I'm thinking molasses in water? - a search of the forum should turn up a number of good ideas).

Keeping her drinking clean water, keeping her comfortable will help.  Vitamins/probiotics/electrolytes will probably help.

If it's a systemic infection, the only thing I know that works is antibiotics.  It helps if you have a vet who can guide you with that, but there is some information on the forum about using antibiotics.

Are there treat foods you can offer like peas?  Slugs?

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

There are two Avian vets that I hear great things about for if it reaches that point. She's my favorite duck!

Does she need to actually eat the activated charcoal or does it go into the water? I have the type for fish tanks already, small crumble sized. I'm planning a trip to Walgreens when husband gets home since we're low on the triple antibiotic cream.

Can I use unflavored pedialite or is a trip to TSC also in order? Was going to get some organic yogurt too and see if she'll eat that, she likes it with peas in it.

I have syringes and tubing if I need to go that route to get things into her system if she won't eat/drink it.

She's my very first sick duck, it's been smooth sailing till now. Didn't think bumblefoot would be an issue, everything is hosed down once a day and kept spotless. No mud or stagnant water or anything like that. But that's what the cut with swelling is, right?

They do get time in the yard every day, but none of the plants are out of the ordinary and we don't use any chemicals on the lawn. Will search the site specifically for anything I can find, I've googled myself to death already and didn't find much of anything.

So, shopping list...

- Triple antibiotic cream
- Organic yogurt and peas
- Activated charcoal tablets (unless the fish tank type works? Says "activated charcoal" on it)
- Pedialite unflavored?
- Molasses
- Epsom salt (can soak her foot in that too, right? Let dry out and then wrap with ointment?)


Edited by mandelyn - 10/7/11 at 11:14am
post #4 of 17

The charcoal I use comes in capsules which I pull apart and put into their water.  I don't know if the fish tank charcoal is food grade or not.

The pedialyte should be fine, and the yogurt for probiotics, too.

The Staphylococcus aureus (if I recall correctly the name of the bacterium) is really just about everywhere.  And people and ducks generally don't have trouble with it.  But sometimes if our systems get out of whack, or we're under stress (weather, diet, environment, etc.), it can get in and cause trouble.

The trick with epsom salts as you probably know is keeping her from eating the stuff you want to soak her foot in!!  But you might make a poultice and wrap that on her foot and hold her for a while (excuse for duckie hugs!).

Keep giving her attention.  Often I think that helps an animal feel better.

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 17
Thread Starter 

Found a useful thread, there are capsules of charcoal in the gel tabs like the Niacin it sounds like.

Found dosing of 1/4 cup molasses to one gallon? Does that sound right?

Molasses for blockage, try that first because she had vomited yesterday. Activated charcoal for toxins in case it was something she got into.

Probiotics and electrolytes to boost her strength from not eating... while offering her favorite foods too and seeing that gets something in her belly.

She hasn't pooped in the last hour+ that she's been put up besides that white runny one.   Probable blockage then?

post #6 of 17

Hi just wanted to say your doing and going to do everything you can and hopefully she will bounce back fast. will be thinking about you both.  fl
I have soaked my ducks feet in epsom salt water [warm] and I use a plastic dish pan, after you put them in they cover the water so you don't have to worry about them being able to drink it.

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

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Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Reply
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well she laid a soft shelled egg some time in the last hour, but I'm thinking that may be stress? She'll drink the pedialite but she's not eating anything. Not even the peas! I can't believe that, she must be feeling awful.

I hope she pulls through this, whatever it is.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandelyn 

Well she laid a soft shelled egg some time in the last hour, but I'm thinking that may be stress? She'll drink the pedialite but she's not eating anything. Not even the peas! I can't believe that, she must be feeling awful.

I hope she pulls through this, whatever it is.


have you treated her foot yet?  the pedialite will give her electrolytes, but at least you can rule out egg bound. if she has infection in her foot that would make her feel bad, But to rule out ingesting something nasty i would try to give her the molasses water. I know your worried and I would be too. Just make sure she is getting liquids so she doesn't become dehydrated. alot of animals will go off their feed when feeling bad. keep us updated please.  fl

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Reply

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Reply
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

She drank the molasses water and pedialite on her own. Not often, but I find she gets thirsty after I fool with her, so I this last time I tried giving her peas (successful when she got mad and bit my finger with the pea on it...) and as soon as I put her back she drank.

They didn't have the gel capsule activated charcoal, only a coated pill. So I put it in a zip lock bag and smashed it with a hammer, pull out as much of the coating as I could, crushed it more, and concealed it in yogurt. Got some of that in with the peas.

Treated her foot earlier. Trying to figure out how best to affix a bandage, don't have any duck booties on hand. The foot didn't look bad at all, you could see the injury, a small slice. Minor swelling. Hard to think something that small would be causing her to be this way.

She must be feeling a little better, she got perky enough to bite me. Likely only feeling better because of the pedialite.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandelyn 

She drank the molasses water and pedialite on her own. Not often, but I find she gets thirsty after I fool with her, so I this last time I tried giving her peas (successful when she got mad and bit my finger with the pea on it...) and as soon as I put her back she drank.

They didn't have the gel capsule activated charcoal, only a coated pill. So I put it in a zip lock bag and smashed it with a hammer, pull out as much of the coating as I could, crushed it more, and concealed it in yogurt. Got some of that in with the peas.

Treated her foot earlier. Trying to figure out how best to affix a bandage, don't have any duck booties on hand. The foot didn't look bad at all, you could see the injury, a small slice. Minor swelling. Hard to think something that small would be causing her to be this way.

She must be feeling a little better, she got perky enough to bite me. Likely only feeling better because of the pedialite.


Hopefully it is all helping. if she is dry bedding you might not have to bandage. I soaked my drakes foot, dried it off and sprayed it with verericyn and put him in his bedroom. as long as she isn't out walking on dirt she wll probably be fine. His foot healed in about 3 days.

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Reply

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Reply
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