Duck puncture wound - lower mandible

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amiga, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Fellow duck lovers,

    I think we are doing as well as we can, but here is a report for your comments.

    One of my black female runners (15 weeks old) was playing with a clip that hangs from the playpen. (The clip is for fastening the whole lot together when it is folded. It has been there since day one, but I digress.)

    The clip is made of heavy wire - like the wire in the playpen. Somehow while she was playing with the clip as it dangled from the fence, she must have become startled, jerked her head down hard, and rammed the end of the clip (which is bent into a tight U at the end) through the soft tissue at the edge of the mandible, about a third of the way from the tip of her bill.

    I won't go into traumatic details. I was able to hold Ein, she calmed down a little, and between the two of us we got her unstuck without breaking anything that wasn't already damaged. It appears that what was wounded was the soft tissue just inside the edge of the mandible.

    I took her into the house, held her, let her calm down (I needed the timeout, too).

    Then I put her in a wire dog crate with towels in the bottom, and gave her a bowl of clean water with a little ACV, to rinse her mouth and kill a few germs. I wiped her bill with clean gauze dipped in the ACV water. There were several drops of blood, nothing profuse. I smeared triple antibiotic all over the underneath of her bill.

    She has rinsed her bill with the water and has been drinking a bit of it. I brought in Drei, who was the most vocal calling for her (we have eleven), for company. They are now both in the crate (it can hold all eleven - it is for medium sized dogs. The crate is in the guest room. They seem pretty calm, and have been chatting with each other and occasionally calling back to the rest of the flock.

    I used a bright pen light and checked the outside underneath her bill. There is no sign of blood and if I did not know where the wound was I would not be able to see it. She is drinking the water just fine, the set of the jaw looks normal. She is moving it normally. She yawned and her tongue looks fine.

    My plan is to keep her inside overnight, where it is clean and warmer. I don't think I am going to feed them tonight. In the morning I plan to check again, and offer pellets that have been moistened to mush, and probably mashed peas. I will give them some vitamins in water.

    Any other ideas for me to consider?
     
  2. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Sounds like you have it covered. [​IMG] I might go ahead and give them some lettuce/greens depending on how long they will be with out food. The ACV in the water along with the greens would be about as sterile food to give that I can think of if your worry is getting food debris in the wound.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, I was concerned that we give the tissue time to at least begin to knit together before putting something in her bill that could leave debris in the wound. Greens would make sense. Maybe I will chop up a few leaves later and put them in the water. It will be a little messy, but my primary concern is to give her a boost toward healing quickly. I also plan to dab another blob of triple antibiotic under her chin before bedtime.

    Drei, the duck who is keeping Eins company, is being a real trooper. They both are. They get gold ducky stars.

    And, thanks so much for checking in. We do what we must do, but that was scary and awful to see.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  4. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Yes, we do. And it seems like if there is a freak accident that hasn't been thought of yet, leave it to a critter to lay it on us. [​IMG]
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What is the likelihood of infection following this? Do I need to consider a preventive approach and get some antibiotics? I have amprolium, but that is only for coccidiosis. Antibiotics are on my "need to get" list. But I don't have anything right now. Tomorrow the feed stores will be open. They probably have something.
     
  6. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    I don't know. I personally feel that it is best to wait and see if you see signs of an infection first before giving antibiotics. How dirty was the clip and how throughly do you feel you were able to flush it out? Punture wounds have a higher likely hood of infection, but from the sound of it, it doesn't seem like a huge wound (realitively speaking). Can you get a pic, so I know if I am picturing it right? Not to say that giving antibiotics is bad, and I am sure a lot of people would go the preventitive route. But I hate the idea of what it does to the rest of their system and I think for most things it is un-nessecery. If you do give them, I would definantly make sure she had probiotics of some kind to help reballance her body. Hoped this helped, it is kind of a grey area. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    The clip was fairly clean, but a duck's mouth ? ! [​IMG]

    Still, she was good about rinsing her mouth out with the ACV water and drinking soon afterward. I gave them shredded salad for breakfast. That went down pretty well.

    I decided to keep putting triple antibiotic on her lower mandible on the outside, and watch her. As I mentioned, I got right up to her with a bright pen light an hour or so after the injury and I could not see more than a tiny scratch on the side of her upper mandible as evidence that anything had happened.

    I gave her a velcro bracelet (a lovely blue, which goes so well with her iridescence) so I can be sure who needs to be medicated and watched. We also gave Drei a bracelet, just because she was in the sick bay as company for Eins. We chose yellow. Looks good on a chocolate.[​IMG] We turned them back in with the rest of the flock. I feel that a happy duck can be a healthier duck, all things considered.

    Thanks, chickboss, for your help. I am not a fan of unnecessary medication for me or my critters, but I know infections can be fatal. We will stick with topical antibiotics for now and see.

    I did order some agramycin (or as close as I can get) to have on hand. So often things come up nights, weekends, holidays.

    Everyone is resting now, in a row, along the fenceline. By the way, right after I had Eins settled in, cleaned up and in the house, I grabbed my new bolt cutters and removed the offending clip.

    Sheesh. [​IMG]
     
  8. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Where do you get velcro bracelets? I am glad she is doing well, and I think you are right, happy and relaxed animals tend to heal better. And I know what you mean. It is sometimes hard to call it in terms of to medicate or not to medicate. I mean, I think most people get the whole overused thing when it comes to antibiotics, but then again, who wants to be at the other end of that saying "Gee, if only I treated them with something." I usually choose to wait, but watch which ever critter it is like a hawk.... You're doing exactly what I would do, and from your previous posts, I know you keep a nice clean duckie enviroment so hopefully, there won't be any need to worry...[​IMG]
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I go to an office supply store and get multicolored Velcro Wraps.

    I put them on the ducks' legs with the soft side in. There is still color, though a little less bright, on the scratchy "hook" side that is enough to see. I can adjust the bracelet to the individual leg. I am fascinated with the difference in leg thickness among my flock. Some have very slender legs, some have rather thick and sturdy legs.

    We give them the wraps when they need special attention and leave them on to help with identification. With browns and blacks, it is not always easy to identify individuals (I am getting better at it, but the differences are subtle). So, now, Elf, Vier, Drei and Eins have wraps. We will eventually wrap all but two (due to the number of colors available versus the number of ducks).

    Thanks again for the feedback and support.
    [​IMG]
     

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