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Straddle leg or splay leg in juvenile duck

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello my name is Tom I have several Muscovy ducks and I have one Muscovy duck who is two months old and he developed spraddle leg or splay leg which ever one you prefer. I did a lot of research and I did not find anyone who had the same problem with a duck of that age. I read that niacin deficiency is common in ducks, however I added niacin to the water and the duck did not improve. He spent the majority of his time hobbling on his "knees" struggling to get around. I think it was a combination of his rapid weight gain as well as the slick ground, a result of constant Georgia rain. I ended up teathering his legs together with cloth. I allowed a cue tips width to prevent cutting of circulation. Immediately after tieing his legs together the duck was able to walk, but I could tell that he depended heavily upon the leg tie. Now two weeks later I cut off the cloth and my duck is walking normally again. Just thought I'd post in case anyone ever ran into this problem as I had. Late onset splay/straddle leg.
post #2 of 3

Thank you. I've been looking for info on juvenile ducks with splay leg, but yours is the only post I've found. At Easter, a neighbor bought 4 Pekins from Tractor Supply and dumped them on the lake once they were no longer fun to care for. They knew that one had a bad limp, but did nothing to help her. Now she is completely lame. 


She was approx 5-6 weeks old when I saw her hobbling around the lake. Now, at approx 8 weeks, she is completely unable to walk. Her legs were horribly swollen...nearly 3X their normal size. I don't know if there was an infection that developed in her legs, or if the constant stress on her joints caused a severe inflammatory reaction. Her legs were very hot to the touch. After a week, I took her to the vet and they gave her two was an antibiotic and I'm guessing one was an anti-inflammatory. 


I decided to wrangle her into a caged area that I have for my own ducks, and began to provide electrolytes, vitamins, higher protein foods, dried mealworms, etc... I also wanted to keep her in a small, safe area so she wouldn't keep trying to use her legs, due to the swelling...and so that she would not become prey for our local fox.


I then began physical therapy for her in the baby pool. I put her in the pool at least twice a day for 30-45 minutes, and found that using a sprayer hose (aimed at the wall of the pool) created a whirlpool effect that caused her to try to swim. If she stopped swimming, I would gently reach in and touch her legs and get her to push off against my hands with her feet. I would then take her out of the pool and set her on a towel to try to get her underbelly dried off. She is unable to stand up and preen herself, so her belly stays wet. The vet advised to help her get her belly dry, since she is unable to do it herself. I sit her on one side of a towel to get the worst of the water off of her...and then an hour later, I move her to the other side of the towel. It's not a perfect system, but it helps.


The swelling in her legs has decreased significantly, but her upper leg joint is very stiff and still fairly swollen. The joints have limited mobility. Once I get the swelling under control, I am going to attempt to tether her legs and hope that it will allow her to stand. She has become very weak on her right side, and even sits (and swims) a little lopsided. Her right foot seemed to be almost was not opening up. After a week of therapy, I have seen improvement in that foot. I am going to focus, in the pool, on that side of her body to try to get her evened out before I tether her legs. I'll update if I have success.


I hope that with more therapy and better quality food and vitamins, she can get her legs back...will have to wait and see. I feel like this has turned into a full time job, but I just can't stand to see an animal suffer. 


Just thought I'd add my story in case anybody else has encountered a juvenile duck with this problem. I've seen this in ducklings, but never in a juvenile duck. I'm hoping she can have a full recovery. 

post #3 of 3
I have for t almost two years now cared for a wood duck we call lady Mandarin Flappers. She was bout five days old terrified in middle of street. For three months she slept in my hair and hung out in a pocket on my shirt, like a big belly pocket for hands. Any way she is gorgeous and a member of family. She free roams in house, forges outside and takes mini fights around house to stretch her wings and comes right back. I call for her while in flight so she doesn't get lost. She usually sneaks up behind me and uses back of my knees to stop. You would think I would just turn a round and wait but noooo she gets me every time. We have spent slot of time learning bout each other and its been quite a ride. Thank you for led me to this site and now I feel I can care for her better knowing I have a place to seek out info. Awesome the care you gave your lil one... how cool , wishing both of you the best with the feeling of your babies!
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