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Duck Botulism

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jmohon88, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. jmohon88

    jmohon88 New Egg

    Aug 18, 2014
    I have had two ducks for over a year now (they are the ducks in my profile pic). We had a huge pen in the back yard where they lived for most of that time. Recently my husband wanted to down size the pen since our yard is kinda small. we moved the pen further back on the property and made it a little smaller everything was fine at first they were there prob a month maybe I can't remember how long but not real long. Anyway one night when I went to put them up for bed I noticed the little black duck was limping I thought maybe he had stepped on something, I checked his foot but everything seemed ok so I didn't think much of it and just a few days later he died. I started looking up duck illness online since I'm not all that experienced with ducks and I think he had Botulism since all the symptoms seemed to match. I feel terrible that it happened I feel guilty I didn't know. My other duck the white one seemed fine she was still acting normal so I thought she was ok (I removed the sick duck as soon as I knew) well today when I went to put her up for the night she started to show the same symptoms he did she was limping and falling down. I saw somewhere online I could treat her with Epsom salts so I'm maybe gonna try that Idk I joined this page because I'm hoping I can find someone who knows a little more about this than me. Please someone help I don't know what to do and I don't wanna lose her too. Thank you :)
  2. DeckDuck

    DeckDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2013
    I'm very sorry to hear about your ducks. This is a sad occasion to welcome you to Bakyard Chickens, but I hope someone will be able to help you.

    I don't know much about this, but Storey's Guide recommends confining a bird and providing clean water with a laxative, like molasses or Epsom salts, for botulism poisoning. Taking your duck to a vet is a possibility, and would probably have the highest chance of success. Is there something with a risk of causing botulism poisoning that your ducks had access to? Rotting animals or vegetation, especially like the kind you'd find decaying in stagnant water or ponds in a drought, can be a source of botulism poisoning. Spoiled feed or canned goods can be another. Botulism poisoning isn't usually a very optimistic diagnosis, but it could be something else. Botulism is usually fast acting, and if your late duck lasted several days after symptoms started I wonder if it might have been something else.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. jmohon88

    jmohon88 New Egg

    Aug 18, 2014
    Thank you so much for your reply :) I can't really remember how many days he lasted I wanna say it was a couple and he died very suddenly. I came home from work and my daughter said he hadn't moved from where he was I picked him up and carried him into the house and in just a few mins he was gone :( We use a kiddie pool for their water and clean it everyday. I read online that the ground can contain it and flooding the ground could cause it to release ( I didn't know about all this until after he had passed). There are no rotting animals or anything else that could of caused it the only thing I can think of is the ground. we have been feeding them vegetables but everything is fresh when we give it to them. All the research I have done all the signs point to Botulism (when the male duck died he lost control of his neck muscles and he couldn't move) but it could be something else I'm not 100% sure but do you think it would hurt to try to flush her out anyway just to be safe? She is still eating and she seemed ok all day she has been laying down but its hot so I haven't thought much of it. It wasn't until I went to put her to bed tonight that she was falling down and her feathers are kinda ruffled. I have a kennel to put her in the house and try to treat her and I wanna move her pen back where it was. Is there anyway to treat the ground for this I've googled it but all that comes up is just information about ducks having it not if you can treat the area ( you probably can't but I thought I would ask). Thank you again
  4. Miss Carol

    Miss Carol New Egg

    Aug 30, 2014
    Very sorry to hear about your lost of your precious ducks...I am having the same problem with one of my mallard ducks. They are almost 4 months old. Just last Tuesday, I saw my duck fell flat to the ground while she was walking. She stiffen up, I thought she was dead. I picked her up and she began to walk again but limping and the head dragging on the floor, but the past few days she a had been getting those attacks where she would fall and stiffen up...the symptom is getting worse..just yesterday I started treating her with Epsom salt on her drinking water but it didn't seem to be working. I fell so sad and helpless. Today, she is not eating much. Is there anything further I can do or give her?

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