Anyone do a skin biopsy on their duck?

CoriM

Songster
Jun 6, 2019
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I'm curious about whether anyone has ever had a skin biopsy done on their duck. I am trying to figure out next steps for my Pekin duck Penny who has some sort of bacterial skin infection. She's been to see an avian vet twice now. She's tried 5 different antibiotics, injectable meds for parasites, and pills for anti-fungal. In the last three weeks she's been on tylan powder and clavacillin, plus the anti-fungal and anti-parasite. Whatever she has is so strange, because one day it can seem like she's better, and then the next day she looks worse again. I had just postponed my re-check appointment at the vet for Friday, as I thought she might be on the mend, and doc said I could keep going on the clavacillin for another 2-4 weeks, but yesterday and today the skin looks bad and has fresh "wounds/red areas" not just scabs, and is still covering large parts of her body. I guess I'm wondering now if I should just go straight to skin biopsy instead of keeping her on these very expensive antibiotics? Is three weeks on the clavaillin enough time for it to stop spreading and for me to see a lot of healing? What could the skin biopsy possibly reveal that we haven't already treated for? I'm struggling for what direction to take with her and feeling discouraged as she's had this condition for almost three months now, and we're spending sooo much money trying to get her healed. I don't think it's anything like skin cancer, because I have another duck who appears to be mildly affected with the same thing, and she's been on the same drugs as Penny the past three weeks. Has anyone had positive experience with skin biopsy for their poultry? Thanks!!
 

CatWhisperer

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I am a veterinarian and I would highly recommend a biopsy at this point. It may be a hypersensitivity or immune problem. Histopathology can show so many different things. After 3 weeks on an antibiotic you can assume it isn’t helping. You don’t say where you live or what kind of environment or diet your ducks have. You could try contacting the local cooperative extension service to see if they know of anything affecting waterfowl in your area. After getting biopsy results the state veterinary diagnostic lab may also be able to help.
 

CoriM

Songster
Jun 6, 2019
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Ok, interesting about the antibiotic effectiveness. I live in Western Washington. My ducks were eating organic fermented whole grains until I switched them to pellets a few weeks ago (due to the waste). I still feed the whole grains for a day every 4 days or so, and every day they get kale, and treats of peas and meal worms. At this point I think the cost of the biopsy will be about equivalent to another month on my super expensive antibiotic, so I'm contemplating that route, but waiting to hear back from the vet. I really wonder about what it can tell me though and what I can do after that. If this is some immunity issue, etc. how lifelong or expensive can treatment get. Obviously costs are adding up quick.
 

Miss Lydia

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I am a veterinarian and I would highly recommend a biopsy at this point. It may be a hypersensitivity or immune problem. Histopathology can show so many different things. After 3 weeks on an antibiotic you can assume it isn’t helping. You don’t say where you live or what kind of environment or diet your ducks have. You could try contacting the local cooperative extension service to see if they know of anything affecting waterfowl in your area. After getting biopsy results the state veterinary diagnostic lab may also be able to help.
:goodpost:
 

CoriM

Songster
Jun 6, 2019
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@CatWhisperer - hi, I saw that you were a feline vet, but wondering if you can tell me anything about what a skin biopsy might be able to show on a duck. My vet is super busy and I haven't been able to talk with him. I did schedule a biopsy for next Wednesday, but still second-guessing that choice. Since I have another duck who seems to have a mild case of whatever this is, it doesn't seem like my duck would have cancer or something like that. So will the skin biopsy give definitive results, and will there definitely be a cure? After trying 5 antibiotics, anti-fungal, and anti-parasites, I am just wondering what else could possibly left as far as treatment.
 

MROO

Crossing the Road
Feb 26, 2018
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@CatWhisperer - hi, I saw that you were a feline vet, but wondering if you can tell me anything about what a skin biopsy might be able to show on a duck. My vet is super busy and I haven't been able to talk with him. I did schedule a biopsy for next Wednesday, but still second-guessing that choice. Since I have another duck who seems to have a mild case of whatever this is, it doesn't seem like my duck would have cancer or something like that. So will the skin biopsy give definitive results, and will there definitely be a cure? After trying 5 antibiotics, anti-fungal, and anti-parasites, I am just wondering what else could possibly left as far as treatment.
Do you have a teaching hospital near you? Someplace with a veterinary medicine program? They might welcome the challenge.
 

casportpony

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I am curious, what drugs have been tried so far, and how were they given? And FWIW, while catwhisperer is a feline veterinarian, I trust her advice.
 

Ratchnick

Songster
Oct 13, 2019
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Anchorage Alaska
There was a post a few months ago, same thing, it was a pekin also, i wonder if they ever figured it out. I swear it seems like pekins have more health problems then other ducks.
 

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