Duck with eye injury, feather loss, head shaking, neuro?

Have you found it hard to find a vet who has a lot of experience with poultry?

  • Yes, sometimes i feel like I have had more experience with poultry than they have

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Yes, even the vets with bird experience often cant tell me more than I already figured out myself

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No I have a vet who is a bird expert

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I have a great bird vet but he/she is the ONLY vet who I have found that I

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


7 Years
Nov 16, 2015
I discovered one of my ducks with a swollen infected looking eye last week, so caught her and flushed it with colloidal silver. As i did that I noticed she had what looked like a very small tear in the eyelid. While flushing a small bit of debris came out of the eye, which might have been tissue from the 'third' eyelid or something else.
I put some antibiotic ointment in the eye as well and let her go. When I saw her that evening she appeared to be fine, so I assumed that she had maybe scratched her eye or something, and the white debris in the eye was the cause of the swelling and so on, and now the debris had been flushed out she appeared to be fine.
A couple of days later I found the same duck behaving a little oddly. Not eating, and kind of flicking/shaking her head (short hard flicks as if trying to dislodge something). Her head also seemed swollen but her eye was fine. I gave her some prednisone as her symptoms seemed neurological and put her in isolation. I checked her mucus membranes round the eyes and tongue, to make sure she wasnt anemic, as I was worried she might have eaten something toxic. Tongue and eyelids were normal, not pale (I have seen anemia in ducks and know what it looks like)
The next morning her eye was swollen again, so I flushed it again, put antibiotic ointment in. Then repeated that evening.
The following morning she seemed i proved, no more head shaking, and the eye was not swollen. So I again rinsed with colloidal silver then put ointment in.
A day later, and she was flicking/shaking her head again, and some foam in the eye, but not swollen, lookednormal except for a tiny bit of foam. She was also VERY easily spooked and freaked out, seemed almost hyperactive,and had not really touched any food. There were also a lot of down feathers in the cage, and she is not laying. Its early spring here in NZ and almost all my ducks even the older ones, are laying, and they dont molt here till mid-late december, so I am sure the down feathers and her not laying are a symptom of whateve is wrong, not a normal annual molt. I was concerned she had some sort of infectiqon that was more than just the eye, maybe respiratory, given the bubbles in the eye. So put her on oxytetracycline via her drinking water.

A day later, she seems no better or worse. For a while last night her mate was sitting beide her outside the cage she is in, and she was settled while he was there, but this morning she was flicking her head again, very easily startled more down feathers in the cage and her poop was green, not grass green, but maybe liver damage green. And shes hardly touched her food.

Oh, she has no symptoms of being egg bound, no swelling, def no shelled egg stuck in there, no messy/dirty vent.

No indication that I can see, of any parasites, I have considered giving her some ivermecton just in case, but concerned about e load on her liver, given the green poop, and the fact shes on antibiotics and had prednisone a couple of days ago.
Her symptoms also dont seem to fit with lead poisoning, which I have unfortunately seen before in ducks - she doesnt have any incoordination, or the anemia.
Her diet is a combination of layer pellets, game bird crumbles, mixed grains, sprouted barley, blood and bone, plus a poultry premix suppliment which contains vitamins incl all their b vitamins, minerals, plus oyster shell. Their diet should cover all their requirements, and is approved by my vet.

So i have this duck with what looks like a very very minor eyelid injury, and eye infection that responded quickly to topical eye ointment, with unexplained head shaking, overly excitable, off her food, out of season molting of down feathers and slightly metallic green poop (poop looks to be a new symptom).

Anyone have any ideas?

There are no bird vets near me, and any i could take her to over the weekend, I can just about guarantee, wont have any more idea than me what is wrong and will just hope its an infection and prescribe antibiotics, or tell me they dont know what is wrong. So i am hoping someone on this forum might have had a bird with this strange collection of symptoms and can help..
Ignore my poll, stoopid ipad submitted my post and poll before i was finished!

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