Duck Eye Problems - Anything Specific to Runners?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Helicalstripes, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Helicalstripes

    Helicalstripes Hatching

    Dec 5, 2016
    Hey all,

    In November I bought two white runner ducks, they were sold as being 2 years old. They lived in a chicken barn, they were dirty and didn't seem to know what water in a kiddie pool was. They looked brown and had a lot of crust around their eyes and tear ducts.

    I kept them in quarantine for 3 weeks in a separate pen outside with constant access to a kiddie pool of water and duck food. They sounded raspy, and had conjunctivitis. The fresh air, and constant access to fresh water seemed to help & it all cleared up.

    I added them into my regular mixed flock - (2 other runners, 4 pekins and 4 call ducks) - and things were fine for a while. They are in a large free range pen outside, they have a duck house that they can come and go from as they please. They get fresh water every day, and I clean the whole pen once a week.

    Now my other runners are also presenting with conjunctivitis and the white runners have it way worse than before. Still no coughing/rasping though which is good. So far I see no neurological signs of it being Mereks, and it seems to be only my runners that are effected by this.

    Is there anything specific to Runners? Everyone else looks fine.

    I don't think I can give them medication in their water right now as I cannot get the dosing right for their heated dog water bowls. If it gets any worse I will have to look into a feeding tube so I can make sure the meds are still effective by the time it reaches the bird.


  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    @Helicalstripes Sorry your having this problem I'd try adding some ACV to their drinking water I use heated bowls and buckets and use 1Tab to 1 gal of drinking water. ACV can take care of some bacteria also there is Terramycin Eye ointment from feed store or on line ordering. I have Runners and haven't seen this in mine so don't think it's specific to the breed. They may just not be cleaning their eyes out much over winter.

    Welcome to BYC They need a bucket or bowl deep enough to be able to stick their whole head inside for washing.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  3. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Songster

    Just the person I was going to tag! [​IMG]

    @Helicalstripes , I have a Runner and haven't seen a similar problem, either. My guess is that the conditions they were kept in before you got them may have caused a deep-seated problem from not having adequate water to flush out their nares - it can cause a foamy eye issue, and conjunctivitis doesn't seem like a leap, either.

    X2 on @Miss Lydia 's advice - a little raw vinegar in their water (and lots of clean water) should help. I used Terramycin Ophthalmic Gel on a rabbit with a corneal abrasion and it worked great. Vetericyn makes an eye ointment, too, that I'm going to be adding to my first aid kit because the Vetericyn wound healing spray is top notch.

    Hope their eyes clear up soon!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Helicalstripes

    Helicalstripes Hatching

    Dec 5, 2016
    The dog water bowls are deep, and they have a horse water bucket that they all are able to reach over into & blow out their noses.

    I will try the vinegar with them, I may just bring the "original sick ones" into the house to treat & see what works. Sadly I don't have any vets around that will do anything with a duck.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    We have had Runners for seven years, now, nothing like this in our flock.

    Something that can work really well, and it's simple, is mild saline solution. Vetericyn is excellent, and ACV in the water is a good idea - I am sure you know that it is not a good idea to put ACV into a galvanized water container - risk of leaching metal.
    1 person likes this.

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