duck w/swelling on foot


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 25, 2009
I'm hoping you can help me--I've got a 1 year old hatchery mallard hen who's been limping slightly the past couple of days. Last night I caught her and looked--she's got a swelling on the bottom of her foot right in the middle where her 3 toes meet. She was much much worse yesterday. I could see no cut or injury. Anyone know what this might be and how to help?
That's definitely bumblefoot. It can be treated with topical/oral antibiotics by your vet!
Bumblefoot can be caused by even the tiniest scratch to your ducks foot/feet!
They're so sensitive when it comes to their feet!
You can also soak the foot in epsom salt water.
Just make sure she doesn't drink it lol!
Ditto jessiduck, if it is early on, application of topical antibiotic ointment twice a day for several weeks (I kid you not, but it works).

If it is already causing her to limp, then a warm compress with epsom salt water (I use a shallow dish with a rag in it, someone else holds the duck and I hold the dish and the foot) twice a day followed by antibiotic ointment.

Romy is having a problem this week. Took her to a vet who somehow found and worked out a tiny, tiny splinter. If anything is still in the foot it won't heal completely until that is removed.

Cutting the foot is a LAST RESORT in my mind, because then you must keep the foot clean and dry (this is a duck, remember) until the wound is completely sealed up, or risk much worse trouble.

Still, sometimes surgery is needed, especially when things have gotten bad enough to need to do that and get the duck on oral antibiotics.
Thank you-- Her foot is much more swollen this AM--and unfortunately I don't have time before work right now to deal w/it. She doesn't even want it touching the ground. I feel terrible, but I have to get to work--tonight I'll catch her, work on her foot, and put her in a dog crate so she can have peace and quiet and not move around too much. What about painkiller for ducks? Can you give them aspirin--or not to even bother with worrying about that and just get her foot healed? I truly appreciate everyone on this forum--the wealth of information is astounding--thank you all!
There are painkillers that work for ducks but don't use aspirin or the ointments with painkillers in them, they make things worse.

I can only repeat what I said before. Time is not on your side, so tonight start treating her and I would definitely get oral antibiotics at this point. And vitamins, electrolytes and probiotics, as well as some sips of apple cider vinegar in water (a few tablespoons in a quart of water) for a tonic.

It is tough, having a sick little one and needing to keep a roof over everyone's head.
OK--Thanks so much! I did manage to catch her this AM. She is fairly wild, so that in itself was traumatic--but she's caught and resting comfortably--as much as possible w/a hurt foot--in a nest of straw in a dog crate. She's got plenty of food and water. I've got oral antibiotics in the pantry. I also have ACV. I didn't know about the antibiotic ointment w/painkiller making things worse--so I'll pick up some new stuff on the way home. I've got horses, and thus have furacin. Any thoughts on furacin instead of/along w/neosporin or the generic equivalent? I did see what looked like a scratch on her pad--that could be the problem. Thanks for the help and support. I realize that time is of the essence, and will get going on her foot this afternoon when I return home. I'm thankful at least that she's in a small enclosed area and not trying to move around too much.
Sounds like you are doing great with the time and resources you have. I don't know about furacin, it may be fine. And I need to dash out soon to go to work.

Good to have her sequestered, and though it is anxiety provoking for them to be segregated, long term I feel it is her best opportunity to begin healing. I may have mentioned we are dealing with a foot problem this week that just felt, in my gut, was more than a minor bumblefoot. So far epsom salts soaks with ointment, after a trip to a friendly vet who was able to dislodge a tiny splinter, seem to be helping her.

Oh, look, Achtie and Funfie are nomming at the edge of the chrysanthemum planter. sigh. Gotta go.
<sigh> I'm not really sure what to do w/her.... She's in the dog crate, her foot is swollen and she doesn't even want it to touch the ground....and when I soaked it yesterday, I couldn't get anything out.... I didn't want to squeeze too hard, and as much as I looked and looked, I couldn't find anything that looked "suspicious" on her pad. There *might* be a tiny scratch, but I need a magnifying glass (which I don't have) to be sure. I didn't wrap her foot--I'm clueless how to go about doing that--so she's going to have to wait for me again. (And she has to wait again b/c I came home to a beef calf w/pneumonia and a 103.6 temp last night as well....It never rains but it pours....)So I feel like a terrible duck owner, but at this point I'm just trying to keep my head above water w/everything else going on around here.... How do I wrap her foot? I saw somewhere that someone used the plastic top on a margarine cover to make a template/pad for under her webs--do I need to do that as well? I don't have any thin plastic like that....
I am struggling with one of my Pekin drakes. Vet said it looked like a turtle my have got to his foot. She gave him an Antiflamatory and antibiotic. It's been several days of meds and soaking feet. I am not seeing much improvement? Can I put liquid bandaids on the Cuts? Or should I call the vet again?

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