DUCK with broken wing? Necrotic tissue? Not sure!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Master Cat, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Master Cat

    Master Cat In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2015
    Burnsville, NC
    New poster, here. We have a flock of Welsh Harlequin ducks, 5 hens and a drake. The hens are about 6 mo. old.
    One of the hens was injured two weeks ago (possibly by the drake pulling out her feathers), and I've been keeping her mostly separated and have been administering an oral antibiotic. A few days later, she knocked her wing and bled from the wound somewhat heavily. I stopped administering the antibiotic, not wanting to hurt her worse. Now, two weeks later, the wing injury looks worse than it first did: possibly necrotic, possibly broken, and likely infected (wound smells slightly sweet and is hot). But, the duck is active, flaps her wings, and has continued eating and drinking.

    I'm not sure what to do. It seems like a good idea to wrap the wing, but I don't want to restrict air flow. Is there a common splint I can make, or should I leave it alone? Can anyone tell what's going on with the injured site (skin color, heat, smell, and breakage)? I am hoping hard that someone will tell me it looks fine, and that new feathers will emerge soon, but I do doubt that's what I'll hear.

    Also: the day after I first noticed her wing injury, the leg on the same side became lame. I assume she injured it because the hurt wing put her off balance, but, two weeks later, the foot is still hot (like the wing) and she continues to limp. There is no noticeable injury or swelling of the foot. What could be going on, here?

    I live 35 minutes NE of Asheville, NC, and I cannot find an avian vet. I already went to one vet who knew next to nothing about ducks, and then charged me eighty dollars. If I can do this myself, that would be most practical.

    Thank you for any help,

    Photo 1: See gash in the dark center of the wound: Is it broken? necrotic? infected?
    Photo 2: Wing spread.



  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It may need to be cleaned out with some diluted betadine or Hibiclens (chlorhexadene.) Hydrogen peroxide would work, but only use it once or twice--it is very good for debriding an infected wound, but may prevent healing if used repeatedly. Apply some antibiotic ointment such as Triple Antibiotic or plain Neosporin twice a day. Below are 2 good links on splinting wings. Here is a link for posting on the duck thread too, since more people there will be familiar with ducks:
    1 person likes this.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would consider a different antibiotic. If we could the best thing would be to run a sensitivity test, which is dropping samples of the infected tissue onto dishes of medium that contain a different antibiotic in each dish, and see which one keeps the bacteria from growing.

    So, what we usually have to do is make a guess. That's why I would try something different.

    I would also want air to get to the wound. So topical antibiotic cream rather than ointment is something I would use, and I would irrigate the wound four or five times a day with saline solution, or Vetericyn if you have that. Saline is really good at helping with topical infections, but it must be used several times a day at least at first.

    The lameness could be related to the initial wounding incident…Wrap the leg in Epsom salt compress two or three times a day. Or if you prefer, have the duck stand in a small flat-bottomed bucket or large bowl with Epsom salt solution. Make sure the bucket or bowl is small enough that the duck cannot reach to drink out of it, since E.s. is a laxative.

    Not sure if you have flies out and about where you are - keep her away from flies - they'll lay eggs in any open wound they can reach.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015

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