Broken leg

Horsefly

Songster
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
328
6
144
Virginia
Hey, I posted a post over on the emergencies board this morning but thought I may have better luck here since it is a duck I am worried about. Long story short I have a Cayuga girl that has broken her leg or dislocated it. I think it may be broken up near her hip on the feathery part of her leg (as opposed to the scaly part). This happened sometime yesterday but she can't put any weight on the leg or move it, it just flops around. I can move it and it is still warm and not swollen or anything. She is perky and swims and gets around some on land by using her wings. I am hesitant to isolate her because she would have to be on land and she can't get around very well on land. Other than my males trying to mate her periodically they pretty much leave her alone. I can't decide if I should leave her alone and see what happens, put her down ( I really don't want to do that), or taker her and wrap her leg next to her and keep her confined to a crate for a few days/week. What would you suggest? Also could it just be dislocated? I have moved it all around and can't tell.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,197
2,602
521
Southern New England
It could be dislocated. Or broken, we don't know. Ideally, we could get an x-ray, but I understand that is not likely to happen.

I would get her into a small "sick bay." I use a dog crate. That way she's confined and won't try to run or walk much, and safe, and where you can watch her.

Other things I would do:

Put some poultry vitamins-electrolytes-probiotics into her water.
Let her float in a lukewarm bath, and watch how she moves the leg.
Give her Epsom salts compresses twice a day on the leg, high up where the problem is.

I have not had to do this, but sometimes you can get a dislocated limb back in the socket. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. Which may be soon.

Or, if it's broken, you could try to set and splint it.

Ducks have a remarkable capacity to heal, sometimes they just need some help.

And I apologize that I don't check the Emergencies forum much. I do for a while, but then I don't see any duck issues, and this week I have had my fingers full of crises here on the Duck Forum. Welcome.
 
Last edited:

billw

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 25, 2011
159
11
91
WA Coast
I would get her into a small "sick bay." I use a dog crate. That way she's confined and won't try to run or walk much, and safe, and where you can watch her.
I think this is good advice. We've twice had ducks develop a very bad looking leg. Each time, we isolated the duck in a cage indoors and the ducks recovered substantially within two weeks.
 

Horsefly

Songster
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
328
6
144
Virginia
Thanks for the replies, I guess I will be setting up a hospital crate soon. I have watched her swimming in the pond and she doesn't move the leg at all, nor can she support anything with it. What will the epsom salts do? Could I just put her in a container with epsom salt water to soak?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,197
2,602
521
Southern New England
Epsom salts is a powerful laxative, that's why I use a compress. I agree it would be easier to just put her in a bath with it, but ducks drink the bathwater, and no one wants diarrhea and dehydration on top of her leg problem.

Not moving the leg . . . see what you can see with her floating in a warm bath . . .
 

Horsefly

Songster
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
328
6
144
Virginia
I did an epsom salt soak in a container just big enough for her and I don't think she drank any. She can't move the leg at all. It freely moves when I move it but when I let go it just flops. I am at a loss because this doesn't seem to be the typical leg injury. I almost wish there was a break evident or something that I could fix but I don't even know what is wrong with it. She still eats and drinks fine but usually just rest. I will probably let her out on the big pond for awhile tomorrow and let her swim and play in the mud but keep her in her box most of the day. When I manipulate the leg she doesn't react like anything hurts or anything but I seem to recall birds don't sense pain the same as we do.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,197
2,602
521
Southern New England
Depending on the injury, there could - probably likely - be nerve damage. The injury could, I suppose (not a vet or vet tech) even be "upstream" in the nervous system.

If you have a vet, that would be a good idea. Aside from that, vitamins+, safety, warmth, TLC, and see how she does.
 

Horsefly

Songster
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
328
6
144
Virginia
Thought I would give an update. Beaker (the duck) doesn't seem to be much better though there has been slight improvement. I take her out to swim in a washtub once a day and leave her out in the yard on the grass (away from all the other ducks) the rest of the day. At night she gets locked in her cage. She doesn't move around much when she is out, she mostly hops and sits under a tree in the weeds all day. When she swims she dunks and does all the normal duck cleaning things and really enjoys it. She can move the upper part of her leg now but from the top joint down she can't move the leg at all. She will tilt her head and lift the leg some and I can tell she really wants to scratch her head with her foot but she just can't move it there. She eats well and still has bright shiny feathers and eyes so I will continue to wait and see if she improves further.
 

2colegroves

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 29, 2013
41
0
24
Kermit, WV
Hey, I posted a post over on the emergencies board this morning but thought I may have better luck here since it is a duck I am worried about. Long story short I have a Cayuga girl that has broken her leg or dislocated it. I think it may be broken up near her hip on the feathery part of her leg (as opposed to the scaly part). This happened sometime yesterday but she can't put any weight on the leg or move it, it just flops around. I can move it and it is still warm and not swollen or anything. She is perky and swims and gets around some on land by using her wings. I am hesitant to isolate her because she would have to be on land and she can't get around very well on land. Other than my males trying to mate her periodically they pretty much leave her alone. I can't decide if I should leave her alone and see what happens, put her down ( I really don't want to do that), or taker her and wrap her leg next to her and keep her confined to a crate for a few days/week. What would you suggest? Also could it just be dislocated? I have moved it all around and can't tell.
When I put my duck up in a box and isolated her she quit eating, just laid there seemingly to be depressed, I kept her isolated for 3 days, so on the 4th day I put her outside with the rest of the ducks, she is happy, eating again but hops around on one leg. She travels with the rest of the ducks, can't keep up but my male duck will go back and forth and seems to check on her, but she is happier with the rest of the ducks.
 

2colegroves

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 29, 2013
41
0
24
Kermit, WV
My female who couldn't walk at all over a month ago is still limping real bad but she is getting around better, she keeps up with the rest of the ducks, it's funny to see her flirt with Howey on one leg. She use's her bad leg to stable herself at time's but still hops on one leg. She grabbed my husbands nose and twisted it and yanked and it was so funny so her name is Feisty.
 

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