Duck emergency!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Rosie75, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Rosie75

    Rosie75 New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Hi, I hope you don't mind me popping by but I'm desperately trawling the net for some advice.

    I am looking after my neighbours' indian runners while they're away. One of them is a 5-7 week old, and last week we noticed it was getting a bit wobbly. Now it has gotten a lot worse, struggles to stand up, keeps falling over (sometimes backwards) and is generally flailing around. It doesn't make any noise as if in pain, but I don't know enough about ducks to know if they do anyway. We have caught it a few times and had a good look at it's feet and legs and can't see anything obvious. Can anyone give us any advice? My (vegetarian) husband has reluctantly offered to cull it if necessary - advice on this too would be appreciated.

    Sorry to barge in with a crisis, but it is quite heart-breaking and we want to do the best we can for it (mmm, although without running up any vet's bills)...

    thanks in advance
    Rosie
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    How long has it been this way? What has it been eating? Could it have gotten in to some moldy food, rotten carcass, "not to clean" water that has been sitting a while?
     
  3. Rosie75

    Rosie75 New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2011
    It's been this way at least a week, getting steadily worse. They live free-range in a massive kitchen garden. They are kept as sluggers and layers. They are also fed layer's pellets (I assume you get these in the US too? We're in the UK) It could well have gotten into old water - what does this do?

    Thanks
    Rosie
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would not consider culling at this point.

    They can get into toxins which affect their nervous systems.

    Some general care for sick ducks is to get them where they can be safe, quiet, warm, with plenty of fresh water. Activated charcoal (you can get capsules at the pharmacy or sometimes in a grocery store pharmacy section) is supposed to help with toxins.

    A slight possibility, but not really likely if the baby is eating slugs and bugs, is niacin deficiency, to which some ducklings are more susceptible. In that case, 100 to 150 mg of niacin per gallon of water for a few weeks should help.

    These ducks aren't mature and they're getting layer food, which I don't think has quite the same nutrients as starter food. Many do just fine with this, but again, some individuals are just more sensitive.

    A vitamin/electrolyte/probiotic mix, available at feed stores, is always a good idea when a duckling is feeling ill.

    A teaspoon of yogurt in a cup of water can provide some probiotics, and some have found pedialyte in water to help provide electrolytes.

    Is the duckling eating well? Drinking?

    Also, if there is anything it could have gotten into - carcass, rotting things, old yucky water, kuntrygirl is right - you need to find that and get rid of it.
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Amiga has a lot of knowledge in this area, so I would strongly follow Amiga's recommendations. Do this ASAP.

    We appreciate you finding BYC and trying to get help for the ducks. [​IMG]

    I hope everything works out and the duck can pull thru this.
     
  6. Rosie75

    Rosie75 New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Thanks so much for all those suggestions. The poorly duck seems to have the same appetite as all the others. I will try giving it some proper attention (also got tiny children) and hope it starts to improve.

    All the best
    Rosie
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Please keep us posted on the outcome.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    And while in an emergency I sometimes start listing things quickly without much of a personal tone, please know that we are pulling for you and the duckling! I pray all will be well.

    [​IMG]

    See if you can encourage it to keep drinking water. Hydration is our friend, as my vet says.

    By the way. How does its breathing sound? Any gurgling crackling noises?

    Ducklings can get into the most unimagineable situations - and we don't always see what they've been up to. Mercy.
     
  9. Rosie75

    Rosie75 New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Thanks for the kind words and support guys!
    The duckling is making no unusual noises., and if I project human behaviour, shows no obvious signs of being in pain. it is just very unco-ordinated and unable to stand or walk properly, although it is still bombing (and tumbling) around to keep up with the other 3.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks again
    Rosie
     

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