Feb 11, 2021
Hi there,

I have a 4 week old Muscovy duckling, his name is Bald Eagle because of the bald spot he was born with on his head. He's always been a little funny, has some balance issues, spacial awareness issues, possibly vision issues. He has started doing it less now but will look around over and over, not really looking at anything but almost like he's dizzy. This is the 5th muscovy I've raised, never seen this before and neither has the duck lady I know who has a whole flock of Muscovies and several breeds of chickens.

I was worried about him from the jump, he's small and always needed more rest than his sibling. My biggest moral has been that I will do everything I can to support him and help him grow into a healthy young duck as long as he can function and is showing that he's happy, and so far he has been the happiest cuddliest duck I've raised.

That being said, last week we noticed he was closing his left eye. No discharge, signs of sickness like coughing/sneezing, no bubbling or anything, just tired and didn't want that eye open. So we thought maybe he got a little scratch, I rinsed with saline 2-3x per day and it got better. Something else I noticed was I could see cloudiness in both of his pupils.

He was back to his happy wiggly playful self until today, he is now closing his right eye, again lethargic and tired and something just seems wrong. I rubbed some VetRX on his beak/head just incase but am very worried about him and unsure what to do. One thought I had was maybe its an autoimmune thing but I don't know anything about that or what I would do to treat it. I don't have hundreds of dollars to be able to do a vet appointment, plus I already called and the ones in my area aren't taking new clients right now because of Covid. So any advice or support would be so hugely appreciated! I don't know where to turn, I keep researching as much as I can but would love to find someone who really knows what they're talking about or has experienced something even remotely similar!

Some other background info- he has had niacin in his diet since birth, since we only have 5 ducks and about a half acre, they have a very clean living area and for this baby and his sibling, they get fresh towels to sleep on every night. They get fresh water every morning and I scrub out their bins weekly with gentle soap. They have glass and plastic water bins, no metals that could be toxic. They get greens and are free rangers so have plenty of natural grasses/seeds/bugs to forage as well as access to appropriate duck feed at all times, with the niacin mixed in. Sometimes we give them turmeric water, they get lots of mealworm treats, in essence we try to enrich their living environments and meals as much as possible and keep them as clean and safe as possible so the likeliness of bacterial infection is very low, especially because none of the other ducks are showing any symptoms similar to Eagle.

Below are some photos of his bald spot, one from him a day old and the other a month old. Also attached are photos of his eyes, it's pretty hard to see the grey cloudiness in the pupils, hopefully these post high res


  • Eagle Baby Bald Spot.jpeg
    Eagle Baby Bald Spot.jpeg
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  • Eagle's Left Eye.JPG
    Eagle's Left Eye.JPG
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  • Eagle's Right Eye.jpg
    Eagle's Right Eye.jpg
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  • Eagle Bald Spot.jpg
    Eagle Bald Spot.jpg
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Maybe even if anyone has any ideas of what tests he would need to find out something like this then I could keep trying the vet and would at least have a plan and would know a bit more so they don't try to get me to pay for extra unnecessary things (has happened before and got sucked into spending $900 when they quoted me at $300)
Thought I would update this thread just incase it helps anyone else in the future who stumbles on it. I did end up taking little Eagle to the vet and was told that the cause of his eye being shut, the lethargy, and the cloudiness in his eyes were all from ammonia poisoning. It turned out, the way we had them set up for sleeping (along with the fact that his sibling was sleeping on top of him) he wasn't getting enough airflow and so was inhaling too much ammonia from their poop at night causing those symptoms. Right after I fixed all that and made sure they have proper air flow and access to water all night, he healed right up! The vet said all the symptoms were temporary, even the cloudiness in the eyes, we got lucky!

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