Adult Duck With Splayed Legs, Potential Further Issue With Hock Joint

Herder Of Ducks

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
6
18
27
England
I am very leary of any surgeries that require birds to go under anesthesia as I have very poor outcomes. I had a goose that broke it's leg and the surgery was a success, but she died a few hours later never coming out of the anesthesia. Spent a 1000 dollars and the goose didn't make it. I also had a duck that was egg bound who I also tried to save and that duck also died post surgery but likely that was due to egg yoke peritonitis as they had to break the egg inside to remove it given it was stuck to her ovary. The duck did not ever wake up following the anesthesia. Also, spent over a 1000 dollars on the duck that didn't make it. So, I would really think this surgery though as you may spend alot of money and the duck may not make it.

I'm sorry to hear about your birds. Thank you for sharing your experience, i shall take that into strong consideration. Do you know whether the anesthesia used was an injectable one or a gas one? I ask as one of the other replies mentions having higher confidence in gas ones over injectables.
 
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Herder Of Ducks

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
6
18
27
England
Injectable anesthesia is the only medication that has made me feel uncomfortable in avian surgery. There is a reverser, but it can take 15 minutes to see results and it doesn't reverse completely. For this reason the exotic vets I know use gas anesthesia when possible. The two types I know of, isoflurane and sevoflurane, are usually safe. The main difference I have experienced is response time in the patient. My own ducks have had surgery under isoflurane multiple times with no issues.

That being said there is always a risk whenever any animal, including people, have surgery. Birds are less likely to have a positive outcome with some surgeries, in particular reproductive procedures. If an animal is already ill surgery may be too much for their body. In general I have found that birds do very well with gas anesthesia.

Personally, if you are using a qualified exotic vet with gas anesthesia, I would be more concerned with post operative infection.

Thank you for the information. I shall contact the vet to clarify which anesthesia he would use for the procedure. He's an experienced exotics vet, although i don't think he has done this specific procedure on a duck before, however he seemed familiar with the procedure itself.

If we go for the procedure it will be in just under two weeks from now, so by then she'll have finished her course of antibiotics about a week prior so should have regained her strength from that; she's also been on probiotics during the course and will continue for a couples of weeks afterwards, to keep her in the best shape possible.

The vet's primary concern was also her recovery, risk of infection being of key note. However i would hope that as long as we provide her with the correct living conditions that risk should be minimized. Any tips on post surgery care for ducks are welcomed from anyone reading this.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 13, 2015
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Thank you for the information. I shall contact the vet to clarify which anesthesia he would use for the procedure. He's an experienced exotics vet, although i don't think he has done this specific procedure on a duck before, however he seemed familiar with the procedure itself.

If we go for the procedure it will be in just under two weeks from now, so by then she'll have finished her course of antibiotics about a week prior so should have regained her strength from that; she's also been on probiotics during the course and will continue for a couples of weeks afterwards, to keep her in the best shape possible.

The vet's primary concern was also her recovery, risk of infection being of key note. However i would hope that as long as we provide her with the correct living conditions that risk should be minimized. Any tips on post surgery care for ducks are welcomed from anyone reading this.
Sometimes vets use a combination of injectable and gas anesthesia, especially with cats and dogs, to smooth the transition. My strong preference was to use only gas. Once you inject a medication it is in the body. Gas anesthesia is very controllable, especially sevoflurane. Gas anesthesia is mixed with oxygen and the medical team can breathe for the patient.

Sevoflurane is significantly more expensive than isoflurane. If my veterinarian offered both I would pay more for sevo. I was surprised a few years ago when I had surgery to smell the familiar scent of sevo as I was drifting off.

My understanding is that a lot of the post operative risk of infection with ducks comes from their messy and poopy nature. It can also be challenging to keep bandages on them.

My advice would be to get all post operative instructions in advance. Set up all areas and get all the supplies needed for her recovery in advance. I would keep my ducks as quiet and still as possible. Follow your vets instructions even if they don't make sense to you, your vet has a good reason.
 

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