5 Week-Old duckling woke up with Paralysis

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nikuskwas, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. nikuskwas

    nikuskwas New Egg

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post on this forum. I hope someone can help me with the following:

    I have two 5-week old ducklings. They sleep in a clean box with wooden bits on the floor. During the day, they spend outside in the garden. They also have a small pound where I clean the water daily. Their diet is a mixture of corn, oatmeal, soya and quinoa (all crushed in a powder, and mixed with water so they can swallow). They also eat a lot of grass and lettuce (not the bad kind). Both of them have been growing up normally, playing outside and laying on my lap during the night. When going to bed, I place them in their box inside a room where temperature is around 20C (68F).

    Today I woke up and went to feed them when I realized one of them (the bigger one) was not moving much. When I took them to the garden, I noticed he couldn't move his neck at all, and remained curled close to his body. Because of this, I noticed he can't drink and eat normally like the other duckling. I took them both to the box again (I was afraid the ill one could drown in the pool).

    I did my reading on internet, and found a bunch of duck disease related articles. But, none of them seem to fit in my duck's living habits. Both of them live in very clean conditions, and have unmedicated food.

    What my duckling has, reminds me of a neck strain I had when I was a kid. I remember I couldn't move the neck for a whole day. It was very very painful, and the only thing I could do was sit on a couch and watch TV. I don't remember what my parents gave me but after one or two days I was back to normal.

    One of the ideas I came across on internet was to give my duck Magnesium Sulfate as apparently it is a muscle relaxant. I found two or three links about it being helpful. The duckling can still drink water, but has some problems eating. We are holding his food bowl close to his peak and he's eating little bits. I'm worried that he'll end up like some ducklings I read about: the paralysis getting worse and worse until ending with the death of the little fella.

    At the moment, my duckling can:
    - Stand up and lay down
    - Move a little bit inside his box
    - Drink little sips of water, and small sips of food
    - He still does his 'quak quak' sound

    What he can't:
    - Keep balance very well.
    - Move his neck. He has very little movement of it. It doesn't seem paralyzed (like a gelatin) but strained and unable to stretch it.

    Please help, as I've got very attached with both duckings and I would really miss loosing this one :( I'm adding a picture of how he looks like at the moment (see how his head is close to his body? well, he can't stretch it at all...)

    Thanks,
    Nicolas
    [​IMG]
     
  2. AmandaVirus

    AmandaVirus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could be a nutritional deficiency, most likely Niacin. When they don't get enough, they could develop neurological problems and growth issues. Are you only feeding them corn, oatmeal, soy and quinoa that you've mixed yourself or a commercial feed with that in it? It doesn't sound like a complete feed, so they may not be getting everything they need from it. You can get niacin at most pharmacies or stores with a good supplement section. Make sure it's not the kind that's "no flush" or "timed release". It needs to be plain niacin. Mix 100-150 mg for every gallon of water. Or you could sprinkle brewers yeast on they're feed until they're about 8-10 weeks old.

    I could be wrong, but that was my first thought, as it's so common. I do know that the "hunched up" position he/she is in could be a symptom of something painful. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  3. nikuskwas

    nikuskwas New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Hi!

    Thanks for your input. I did come across this niacin thing someone else posted. It also took me to a website where some ducks had weird legs, or couldn't stand correctly. Mine isn't like this, but I do agree it is some sort of neurological problem.
    Their diet is all mixed by myself, I put extra care on having non-chemical food for them. I'll try to get this niacin as you suggested. Is this something that can also be found in a specific food? / fruit? / veggie?

    Thanks,
    Nicolas.
     
  4. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can understand the need for chemical free organic birds, but I would get certified organic growing feed for ducks. That would give them everything they need and should take out all the guess work for you trying to track down and mix all the needed ingredients. Hope the little dude gets better...
     
  5. AmandaVirus

    AmandaVirus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard of niacin deficiencies affecting they're necks before, but I've never had personal experience with it. From what I've heard insects are a good source of niacin for ducks, when I searched for niacin rich foods it came up with a bunch of meat along with spelt and peanuts. But I'm not sure if you could safely give them enough to get the right amount of niacin. You could get brewers yeast which is made from a natural fungus. It's rich in a lot of vitamins.

    ETA: I agree with hosspak, I feed mine an organic feed because I'm concerned about GMO's, not for my benefit, but for their health/wellness, because they are my much loved pets.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  6. nikuskwas

    nikuskwas New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm getting this Niacin first, and then I'll modify their diet.
    I don't have access to specific duck food in my country (as far as I've asked, people feed them here with whatever stuff, and usually chicken food, which is corn + soya + some other stuff). Since these are my pet-ducks, I try to be super careful with what they eat, but apparently I missed on these important vitamins.

    I'll keep you all updated about my little one :(

    Nicolas.
     
  7. nikuskwas

    nikuskwas New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Hello again,

    So, I went to the pharmacy and the only thing I could get was a mix of vitamin Bs (from my research, niacin is Vitamin B3, also known as nicotinic acid). This is usually used for children who need some supplementary vitamins to help them focus in school or something like that.
    The medicine I got has: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Niacin has the most concentration, but I'm just wondering if the other stuff could harm my duck in any way...

    Thanks again!
    Nicolas.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Nicolas,

    I am not a medical professional, but I feel the mix should be okay to give to the duck. It is water soluble. I would go with 100 mg per gallon (25 mg per litre) to start, plan on giving that for 2 months.
     
  9. nikuskwas

    nikuskwas New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Thanks everyone! The duckling seems slightly better than in the morning. I'm crossing my fingers that he'll get better tomorrow...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How about an update [​IMG]
     

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