Duck running in circles tilting it's neck.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Maru440, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Maru440

    Maru440 New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    I've got this sweet duck, I believe it's a crested mallard(?) who starts walking in circles while jerking it's neck usually left.

    This happened twice, last year. But I had thought it was because he had been fighting with the other ducks and got knocked for a loop. He got over it fairly quickly. We've then had to get rid of the ducks because of the aggression.

    Now for the last two months, it's been happening every other week. The first time it lasted a couple of minutes. After going in circles, he would sit down and quack before getting up and running off like he was scared. We caught him and tried to calm him, he eventually returned to normal like it never happened. After that, he would calm himself and sit down after going in circles for a little bit.

    But yesterday and today, he's been having a bit more of a problem. He's had them about five times today, but they never last longer than a minute then he'd go back to doing whatever he was doing. But he definitely seems to not be eating, we've even tried feeding him some meal worms but he won't even come (he usually loves to eat out of the bucket we put it in). And it seems like it only happens every time we come out to fill up their feed or check up on him.

    I've read online that maybe adding brewers yeast to their food should help, I've added that for about a week now. And before, I want to say a couple of months we started adding some Poultry Cell Rooster Booster to their food for extra vitamins as I believe our chickens are going through fowl pox right now.

    We're kinda new to owning chickens and ducks, been two years now. And wow, never knew they had so many problems! I feel like I've been scrounging through more BYC posts than I do YouTube videos now haha. Never thought I'd had to sign up though!

    Any help would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
     
  2. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes crested ducks can have neurological defects. I don't know if there is anything you can do for him, but before you can say it's a defect, you should rule out other problems. Have you ever checked him for worms? Could he have something wrong with his ear that is bothering him? Do you have a picture of him, or a video you could post showing his behavior?

    I re-read your post, and I am leaning more on neurological problems. I had a duck that would have seizures then bolt out run, then drop with fatigue. He wouldn't move for about 5 minutes after, like it tuckered him out. Do you think it could be something like that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
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  3. Maru440

    Maru440 New Egg

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    Thank you so much for your quick post!

    Now that I actually want to record him doing it, he doesn't want to do it. [​IMG] - I'll keep taking my phone out there and see if he does it again, or wait til tomorrow and try again. I think he's really tuckered out form it.

    The first time it happened, it sounds like exactly like you said. He definitely looks tuckered out after doing it, at least after I go inside. If I remain outside, he still seems pretty active, but he keeps his distance from me. I've tried to hold him to keep him from running into something while doing his circles, he and his brother seem to not like that at all. They're pretty protective of each other, it's cute but also really annoying at the same time, haha.

    I read that brewers yeast could help with neurological problems? Or something with niacin?

    I've used Wazine 17 a couple of months ago for worming. I may use it again and see if it helps.

    Also, I wanted to add, it also seems his neck is a little bent at an angle to the left. I'll try to get a clear picture and post it when I can, he's hiding in the bushes now cause of the heat. I don't know if that maybe is causing the problem as well, or is an effect of the problem?
     
  4. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a vet you could take him to? I would do a fecal test before worming if you can. I just found out Wazine 17 only treats one type of worms, and other kids treat 3 or more in one dose. There is a thread about it somewhere... What exactly are you feeding them? What kind of pellet, and what treats and supplements are you giving daily? Is he your only crested duck? Is it a rather large crest?
     
  5. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC, Maru. It's sweet of you to do what you can. I just want to expand a little on what @jducour said, and I hope it doesn't upset you more than you already are.

    A crest in a duck is cause by a genetic (I call it) defect. It's not considered a "defect" in the people who are trying for crested ducks, but it's a lethal gene in some circumstances. In others, it can cause neurological problems and can also cause spinal deformities, most often the way you're seeing it in the neck.

    What you're seeing in your drake is probably simple partial seizures, but the more recent ones might be complex partial seizures. Hard to say without a video. Seizures are caused by, to put it simply, misfiring in the brain, and they can't be corrected with supplements unless the cause of the seizures is environmental. In crested ducks, it's often caused by physical neurological abnormalities that can take months or even years to manifest. That's one reason he would be so tired afterward. If you know a human who has a seizure disorder, they would tell you that even a very brief seizure leaves them feeling like they've run a marathon.

    Supplements like poultry vitamins in the water aren't going to hurt him. I wouldn't recommend multiple courses of a dewormer in absence of a reason to believe he has worms. He's likely hiding in the bushes because he knows something is wrong. Ducks will do that for self-preservation because they don't have many defense mechanisms.

    My very best [​IMG]
     
  6. Maru440

    Maru440 New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    @jducour - Yes, he is our only crested duck, and I'd say it's large? I'm not quite sure, I'll try to get a picture tomorrow! And no, there isn't a vet in our area that we can take him too. I'll be checking for some out of our area and see if they do though. I've also asked a local feed store and they gave me a place to call and ask, so hopefully they'll have some information. Are there any other wormers you'd recommend?? I've only treated with Wazine in the last 2 years, so I hope they haven't gotten any other worms!

    @JadeComputerGal - Thank you very much! :D
    I'm just curious, can this be the case in a non-crested duck as well? Or is this more common in crested? Also, is it commonly lethal or are ducks able to live with seizures?
    Another question, sorry for so many - I don't know much about seizures either in humans or in ducks haha - but are there certain things that can cause seizures? He seems to be fine most of the day, at least for today, but the second I step out to check on him he begins to have them. I continuously peeked on him through the window throughout the day to see if he has them, and he seemed perfectly fine.

    Thank you both so much for the help!
     
  7. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't worm him until you can have a test run to make sure he has worms. I actually just tested a duck that I added to my flock - I called around to the dog and cat vets in my area, and found one that would do a fecal test on a bird. One was happy to do it, and for $24 I had peace of mind, and a negative worm test within 2 hours of dropping it off. I am so glad I didn't worm unnecessarily. My duck that had seizures seemed to be triggered by stress. If he was startled, or if someone got too close too fast, he would convulse. He wouldn't run in circles like yours, but sometimes he would run straight, then fall, the flap on the ground for 1 or two minutes. It was heart breaking. After, I would hold him, and it seemed like he was going to die. He had suck little strength he couldn't hold up his head. I don't know if they got better, I found him a good home after I realized I had 5 drakes, and had to narrow it down so I could safely add females to the flock. From what I understand, though, it doesn't get better with age - it is more likely to get worse. Neurological defects are more common in crested, I think - but my duck was not crested. Poor little guy!
     
  8. kilby

    kilby Chillin' With My Peeps

    You stress him out sounds like. Only you might know why. Or maybe it's because of another human. I thought he could have injured his neck and it never got healed totally. Could be both neurological and running into things when he has a seizure. I had a lovebird with an injured neck and they do walk around in circles because they can't see straight. I was also thinking is there some kind of support collar you can find for his neck so it has support without choking him during daily activities.
     
  9. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a cockatiel that had a neurological problem, and he was having seizures. He started really hurting himself during these seizures, and after about 2 years, I had to have him put down. It was the most compassionate thing I could have done. He started having them so many times a day he was exhausted. It was no way for him to live. That was over 20 years ago, and I still think about him all the time. He was such a little sweetie!
     
  10. Maru440

    Maru440 New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    @jducour - I thought you were supposed to worm them every 6 months??
    Your poor duck!! D: That is heartbreaking. My baby never seemed to mind us coming out before, maybe got a little excited for food. I may have to limit us going out there.

    @kilby - I believe he's either stressed or gets too excited when we come out. Luckily, we're the only people he comes in contact with and we try to put as little stress on the birds as possible. It could also be a neck injury? He did get quite a few fights with the other ducks to protect his brother (which was why we had to get rid of the other ducks - it was just too much fighting). It was during the fights that he first started doing the seizures, but we had thought it was because he had gotten hit pretty hard. The aggressive ducks also liked to bite and pull on their necks, so we constantly had to separate them all.
    His neck is still straight up, just at an angle. So far, it doesn't look like it's affecting him while he's doing anything. Only the seizures.
     

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