Duck leg -- sprained or broken?


12 Years
Oct 6, 2008
Hi all. I have a 4-mo Runner drake who suddenly can't walk upright. He is literally walking on his elbows with his lower leg underneath him, not out behind. When I picked him up, it appeared that his right leg was actually ok, had strength, would push back on my hand w/his full foot and toes. But the left leg is either broken or badly sprained. I can't feel an actual break anywhere on the leg, from top to bottom and there is no swelling.Initially, it just dangled, but last night he seemed to have a tiny bit of strength in it. He's in a cage now where he can stand if he wants to, but that's it.

I've picked up and delivered a lot of injured waterfowl to my wildlife rehabber friend, plenty with broken legs. This doesn't seem like those.

Could his leg just be severely sprained or strained?

Thanks for any ideas!



8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
Hey there! I've had something very similar happen to my Rouen when she was around six months old. (We also have a runner male and he's the clumsiest of the bunch.). It was the same thing. No apparent break, she did not flinch when applying pressure to her leg. It was warm, not swollen, but she heavily favored it and would lay down most of the day, or drag it along with her. My suggestion is to keep him quiet like your doing, and even let him swim in a kiddie pool if you have one. It will allow him to rest and he can use his injured leg in the water to build up strength. (That's where our Rouen seemed most comfortable) ducks bones (if broken) heal very fast, and if it is broken, he will still be able to live a normal life. If it is just a bad sprain, keep in mind that he will probably sprain it again.....(our Rouen periodically has a limp, if she jumps out of the pool the wrong way or runs to fast ect.) maybe throw him some extra niacin rich foods to help healing (if it is a break). I'm sure he wouldn't mind some spinach:). Good luck!!!


Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
I agree with Glorydownsfarm. I would be letting him swim in lukewarm water three times a day if possible, making sure he gets extra vitamins, giving him Epsom salt compresses (it is a laxative, so don't just put it in the swim water) or hold him with his legs in a small bucket with Epsom salt in water. Also if you can get Traumeel, I would rub that on both legs.

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