Advice needed for muscovey drake

Starling5767

Chirping
Sep 20, 2017
19
18
59
Need advice for treating my muscovy drake, Wilbur. His feathers are in terrible shape. He will no longer swim in the pond and he is not water proof. I see him preening himself but it doesn't seem to be doing any good. My other ducks appear fine. Sorry the pictures aren't that great - He isn't cooperative in the least. From research online it seems it is likely an infected preening gland or parasites. The 2nd pic is of the gland. It does seem enlarged and the feathers are yellow around that area. A vet visit is not really an option. I read that applying a warm compress, daily, can help but that's not going to happen - He is BIG and very ornery. I'm have Bactrim on hand (800mg.) Is it safe to give to a duck and how much? I also have ivermectrin on hand, in the event of parasites, but I was reading that it can be toxic to ducks. I have used it to treat a chicken with great results but hesitant to give it to Wilbur... Any advice would be very much appreciated. This guy is a big bully but I love him and want to help him. If you guys tell me the warm compress is the way to go I'll figure out a way to wrangle him....
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Have you looked him over for parasites? With his light color and light skin you should be able to see anything crawling on him. At this time of year a lot of our Muscovys feathers aren’t in tip top shape it’s almost molt time and once that’s over they will be beautiful again. Are you in the US? I am not familiar with Bactrim and using invermectin internally but I bet @casportpony is. Wilbur’s oil gland looks pretty normal actually. How old is Wilbur and what do you feed him?
 

Starling5767

Chirping
Sep 20, 2017
19
18
59
Thank you for the reply !! Yes, I am in California. I have looked him over for parasites and don't see anything external. Wilbur is 4 years old and I feed him Nutrena crumbles with a small amount of scratch mixed in. Probably a 5-1 crumble to scratch ratio. He gets some treats, but not every day. Mostly tomatoes, mellons and lettuce from the garden. It's possible it is a molt. He just has never looked this bad before. I will order some Feather fixer from the feed store.
 
Last edited:

AquaDuck

Incubator Addict
Jun 12, 2017
850
2,400
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Northern Europe
A dish-soap bath could help him feel better. His feathers look like they're oily and grimy, and he won't be able to get rid of it himself. A soap that dissolves fat and oil is like a restart-button for duck feathers. Keep him away from bath-water a few days after, and he'll preen and waterproof himself again. Worked like a charm for my drake who decided to take a bath in oily mud-water...
 

Starling5767

Chirping
Sep 20, 2017
19
18
59
A dish-soap bath could help him feel better. His feathers look like they're oily and grimy, and he won't be able to get rid of it himself. A soap that dissolves fat and oil is like a restart-button for duck feathers. Keep him away from bath-water a few days after, and he'll preen and waterproof himself again. Worked like a charm for my drake who decided to take a bath in oily mud-water...
OK, thank you for the advice. I will give him a warm water dawn dish soap bath this weekend. I'm sure he's not going to like it but it's tough to be a duck sometimes :)
 

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