Duck Leg Injury

barberfamducks

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
43
0
22
Colorado
I went outside earlier to check on my flock like I always do and I notice my black duckling laying on the ground while all the others avoided me so I picked him up and found a large gash in his leg! The veterinarian in me kicked in and I set him in one of our closed off broody boxes, ran to grab a bowl with water and some bandages! I soaked his leg in the lukewarm water for about 5 minutes and then attempted to wrap his leg as best as I can.

I know it wasn't a predator attack as it looks more like a cut/gash than a bite. So maybe he got his leg stuck somewhere and managed to get free while also cutting his leg in the process? I'm not sure. It didn't look too bad to my inexperienced eyes but it definitely didn't look good. I'm worried sick and probably won't stop worrying until I know what I should and shouldn't do to make sure this little guy survives! I will do everything in my power I just need a little guidance! He is about 8 weeks old, and he is a male Cayuga. Sweetest little guy you'll ever meet!

So please, if you can, give me a list of things I should look for / buy for him. I have bandages, medical tape, peroxide and that's about it! Also please give me some guidance on what I should do and when. I have him separated with food and water and heat right now and I plan to soak his leg again when my husband gets home. Any advice is greatly, greatly, appreciated! Thank you!
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
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Southern New England
Keep him away from flies - they lay their eggs in open wounds.

You may want to clip the feathers away from the edge of the wound to make it easier to see and to treat.

Hydrogen peroxide is good for the initial rinse - but it can interfere with healing if used too much, so I would switch to saline solution. You can find how-to information at WebMD or other reputable site. Saline solution rinses a few times a day will help greatly.

If you can get a photo to upload, that may also help some BYC people make recommendations.

You may simply need to keep him in sick bay for a few days, away from flies as I wrote, and having the wound rinsed. I would follow up with some antibiotic cream without painkiller, around the edges of the wound and then once it seals up, right on top of it. I would not seal up the wound, I would want air to get to it. I would give poultry vitamins to encourage his little system to heal the cut. Look around and see if you can find the offending sharp edge and fix that.

If the cut is not deep and there are no particles in it (look closely) that can make infection much more likely, and you can keep it cleansed, with topical antibiotic applied regularly, in a matter of days I would expect the leg to be healing up.

Just in case, and for the future, it may be a good idea to get some antibiotic (oral) to keep in your medicine chest. If the wound starts to get really warm, there is some infection in there and I would seriously consider antibiotics.

And a good duck vet is always best but not always an option.
 
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barberfamducks

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
43
0
22
Colorado
Keep him away from flies - they lay their eggs in open wounds.

You may want to clip the feathers away from the edge of the wound to make it easier to see and to treat.

Hydrogen peroxide is good for the initial rinse - but it can interfere with healing if used too much, so I would switch to saline solution. You can find how-to information at WebMD or other reputable site. Saline solution rinses a few times a day will help greatly.

If you can get a photo to upload, that may also help some BYC people make recommendations.

You may simply need to keep him in sick bay for a few days, away from flies as I wrote, and having the wound rinsed. I would follow up with some antibiotic cream without painkiller, around the edges of the wound and then once it seals up, right on top of it. I would not seal up the wound, I would want air to get to it. I would give poultry vitamins to encourage his little system to heal the cut. Look around and see if you can find the offending sharp edge and fix that.

If the cut is not deep and there are no particles in it (look closely) that can make infection much more likely, and you can keep it cleansed, with topical antibiotic applied regularly, in a matter of days I would expect the leg to be healing up.

Just in case, and for the future, it may be a good idea to get some antibiotic (oral) to keep in your medicine chest. If the wound starts to get really warm, there is some infection in there and I would seriously consider antibiotics.

And a good duck vet is always best but not always an option.
I have him in a closed box with very small mesh for ventilation, so I hope that will keep the flies away. If not I have a safe livestock fly spray I could use. The injury is more around his ankle than his leg. With the saline solution do I just pour a bit on it or soak his leg in it? I will try to take a picture of it tonight, it just breaks my heart.

Do you have any recommended antibiotic cream? I haven't found the sharp edge just yet but I've been keeping my flock away from the general area where I found him just to make sure no one else gets hurt.

I can't see too deep into it, I'm not sure why but there seems to be like a blood clot or tissue blocking it or something.

I'd love to take him to a vet but unfortunately there isn't one relatively close and at this moment we can afford it.
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Thank you for all your help!
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,509
133,687
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
I have him in a closed box with very small mesh for ventilation, so I hope that will keep the flies away. If not I have a safe livestock fly spray I could use. The injury is more around his ankle than his leg. With the saline solution do I just pour a bit on it or soak his leg in it? I will try to take a picture of it tonight, it just breaks my heart.

Do you have any recommended antibiotic cream? I haven't found the sharp edge just yet but I've been keeping my flock away from the general area where I found him just to make sure no one else gets hurt.

I can't see too deep into it, I'm not sure why but there seems to be like a blood clot or tissue blocking it or something.

I'd love to take him to a vet but unfortunately there isn't one relatively close and at this moment we can afford it.
hit.gif


Thank you for all your help!
bow.gif

I have him in a closed box with very small mesh for ventilation, so I hope that will keep the flies away. If not I have a safe livestock fly spray I could use. The injury is more around his ankle than his leg. With the saline solution do I just pour a bit on it or soak his leg in it? I will try to take a picture of it tonight, it just breaks my heart.

Do you have any recommended antibiotic cream? I haven't found the sharp edge just yet but I've been keeping my flock away from the general area where I found him just to make sure no one else gets hurt.

I can't see too deep into it, I'm not sure why but there seems to be like a blood clot or tissue blocking it or something.

I'd love to take him to a vet but unfortunately there isn't one relatively close and at this moment we can afford it.
hit.gif


Thank you for all your help!
bow.gif
If you can keep him for drinking the saline solution then soak. warm water and either salt of Epsom salt should help to heal. Then use either tripe antibiotic slave or neosporin nothing with pain relief in it.
 

barberfamducks

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
43
0
22
Colorado
So I gave him a saline solution soak and then put some Neosporin on it and wrapped it up nicely. He seems to be doing better given the circumstances but he just doesn't want to walk on that foot. Most of the time he lays on his belly with his hurt leg stretched out. I try to let him stand on it just to see if he uses it and he won't. Do you think he might have broken it too? If so how do I tell and what do I do?
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
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Southern New England
You will need to carefully feel the leg, look for irregularities, swelling, heat.

I need to look up the dosage for Advil I saw on the forum last year….

Okay, here are my notes

A note on pain killers for ducks. Straight from the vets mouth, ducks can have Advil.
For ducks 6-8 lbs 25-40mg twice daily adult tablets cut up or children's liquid Advil 1.5ml twice daily, orally.

Amiga arithmetic – 8 pounds 40 mg is 5 mg per pound
6 pounds 25 mg, is just over 4 mg per pound

so, 4 to 5 mg per pound of duck
 
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,509
133,687
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
So I gave him a saline solution soak and then put some Neosporin on it and wrapped it up nicely. He seems to be doing better given the circumstances but he just doesn't want to walk on that foot. Most of the time he lays on his belly with his hurt leg stretched out. I try to let him stand on it just to see if he uses it and he won't. Do you think he might have broken it too? If so how do I tell and what do I do?
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First check both legs feel both legs that way if the one injured is out of joint or broken you'll know more by comparing them both, it maybe just really sore and that is why he doesn't want to use it. Is there swelling around the injury? If it's broken hopefully it isn't most can heal with rest. as long as the bone isn't sticking out that would require a vet, any brake should require a vet but most of us don't have that option. So rest and keep an eye out for flies you don't want flies to get to the wound, maggots isn't something you want to deal with. After tomorrow I would leave the bandage off so air can get to it soak and let it air out, if it starts looking like there is pus then you may want to consider an antibiotic. But hopefully just keeping it soaked and clean will be all that's needed. I wouldn't have him where he feels he has to keep up with everyone though can you keep him separated in a smaller area maybe with a good buddy? just to give him time to heal?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,814
551
Southern New England
If he was stuck for a while, he could have pulled the dickens out of his leg muscles, and that is painful and takes a while to heal, but it's much less serious than a bone break. Give him a few days - watch closely, please keep us posted.
 

barberfamducks

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
43
0
22
Colorado
First check both legs feel both legs that way if the one injured is out of joint or broken you'll know more by comparing them both, it maybe just really sore and that is why he doesn't want to use it. Is there swelling around the injury? If it's broken hopefully it isn't most can heal with rest. as long as the bone isn't sticking out that would require a vet, any brake should require a vet but most of us don't have that option. So rest and keep an eye out for flies you don't want flies to get to the wound, maggots isn't something you want to deal with. After tomorrow I would leave the bandage off so air can get to it soak and let it air out, if it starts looking like there is pus then you may want to consider an antibiotic. But hopefully just keeping it soaked and clean will be all that's needed. I wouldn't have him where he feels he has to keep up with everyone though can you keep him separated in a smaller area maybe with a good buddy? just to give him time to heal?
I will do that tonight when I do his final soak. It does seem swollen, but not majorly. There is no bone sticking out thankfully. I've been taking off the bandage, soaking the leg, putting Neosporin on, and then wrapping it back up. Not a tight wrap, just some bandage gauge with medical tape securing it. I have him in a wooden box we made for our broody hens to raise their offspring. It has windows on the side with small mesh and one of our other ducks (his best friend) lays right by the mesh next to him. I'm afraid to put them together because she is quite a wild and rowdy duck and I'd be afraid of her hurting him more.


If he was stuck for a while, he could have pulled the dickens out of his leg muscles, and that is painful and takes a while to heal, but it's much less serious than a bone break. Give him a few days - watch closely, please keep us posted.
When I first soaked him I noticed some stringy bloodied stuff in the water but I didn't think anything of it. I hope he can tough it out and I will most definitely keep posted! You all have been such a help!
 
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barberfamducks

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
43
0
22
Colorado
Update on our little duck! He is doing much better! It's healed up really nicely and I decided to integrate him back into the flock! Our grown female duck didn't like the bandage on his leg at all! Every time we turned our backs she would try to rip it off! It was quite funny to watch (she stopped luckily)! He doesn't like to put too much weight on it but everyday still he is improving! We still haven't found the injury culprit but so far we have not had any more injuries, but I will continue to keep an eye out!
Quite amazing little animals ducks are! So thankful for everyone's help!
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