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Duck with leg problem

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by anschmidt, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. anschmidt

    anschmidt Hatching

    Jul 22, 2015
    Southeast Nebraska
    Hi everyone! I have a question about a 9-week old Welsh Harlequin duck with a right foot injury.

    I noticed last week (Wednesday or Thursday, I can't quite remember) that one of my female Welshes had a bad limp. I examined her foot and saw that her ankle (I'm not sure what the technical term for that part of the foot is) and pad were quite swollen, so I mixed up a paste of turmeric and bentonite clay and slathered it on her foot, thinking it was an early-caught case of bumblefoot. I separated her from the rest of the flock and she's been resting ever since. I've been checking on her foot every day since, as well as soaking it in warm water and Epsom salts and reapplying the turmeric and clay paste, but the swelling hasn't seemed to go down and I haven't seen the characteristic black bumblefoot scab. Her foot seems warm, but it was also wrapped up, so I'm wondering if that's making it feel warm. But I can't find any kind of scratch or cut on her foot, so I'm wondering if it's maybe a sprain of some kind?

    I guess at this point I'm not sure what I should do. I'm willing to take her to a vet if needed, but I was hoping to maybe treat her at home if at all possible. Is there any way to tell the difference between an infection and a sprain, any tell tale signs to look for?? And what other treatments should I be trying? And if it is a sprain, what can I do for her besides keeping her separated and keeping her off the leg? Should I continue to wrap her foot or should I leave it unwrapped

    Thanks in advance for all your help! I just want my poor duck to get better; she's getting lonely and missing all her other duck friends!

  2. jranee

    jranee In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2015
    its obliesly not bummblefoot if there hasnt been any scab so it is most likely a sprianed ankle like you said
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If it's warm, I would be concerned about infection.

    Check closely for a splinter, it would look perhaps like a tiny little round or oval speck on the foot - it could be in a fold of skin.

    Epsom salt is a good soak for many things - so that's a good thing you are doing. It really sounds to me like maybe there is something in there.

    You could try some triple antibiotic ointment with no painkiller and see if that helps, but I would not let it go more than several more days with no improvement if you can get her to a good duck vet.
  4. anschmidt

    anschmidt Hatching

    Jul 22, 2015
    Southeast Nebraska
    I've been meaning to update this post in case anyone in the future has a problem like this:

    I took my duck to the vet around the beginning of December and the vet gave her 10 days of antibiotics. Her entire right leg was swollen, especially around the ankle and hock area. She didn't do a culture test or anything, but she was thinking it might be a mycoplasma infection. My husband and I gave the duck her 10 days of antibiotics and the swelling went down significantly, but the hock was still warm and swollen, so the vet gave us 2 more weeks of antibiotics, of which we are about a week into giving her. She is doing much, much better! Her ankle is still a little swollen and the hock is slightly warm to the touch, but she is standing and walking (with a little limp) and her leg is no longer as swollen. I'm very, very pleased with the progress she has made!

    I was quite worried at first because I did my own research into mycoplasma in poultry and I read that this duck will be a carrier all her life, she will never get rid of it entirely. I briefly considered having her put down because I was worried about the health and safety of my other 12 ducks and 13 chickens, but I just couldn't do it. Right or wrong, I can't get rid of this duck; we've invested so much time and effort into getting her well and she's made so much progress that it just breaks my heart to even consider it. So the way I'm trying to look at it is if I try to keep my flock's immune system up and keep them happy, then maybe I'll be able to prevent or lessen any future complications. Has anyone ever dealt with mycoplasma or anything related? How did you handle it? Am I being completely irresponsible in continuing to keep this duck knowing full well she can pass this on to other members of the flock?

    However, last night I was cleaning out the sick ducks cage (she's not really sick anymore, but I don't know what else to call her), so I decided to put her with her other flock mates (2 Indian Runners, male and female, and 3 Welsh Harlequins, 1 male and 2 females), thinking they would all like to be reunited after being separated for so long (she's been separated from them since the beginning of December, so roughly 3-4 weeks), but the other ducks started being mean to her. One of the females tried to chase her off and then the male started in too. They didn't hurt her or anything, she has no marks on her at all, but they just tried to chase her off like they didn't know who she was. Can someone explain this behavior to me? She's been separated from them for a long time, so I can understand they might be a little weary of her, but it just made me so sad to see her being chased off by her own flock. These ducks hatched on October 7th and they've been raised together since I got them at 3 days old, and they got along so well up until she got sick. When she is able to be back with them full time, will they accept her back into their flock or will she always be a loner?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or tips that you can offer me!
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    When she is ready to go back out you'll have to put her in a separated area with fencing right next to the others so they all get use to her again, your right they did not recognize her as one of their own.

    As for keeping this one alive after all you have invested in her I would probably do the same thing but I would close my flock in other words no other birds can come in or none can go out until this existing flock is gone and there has been ample time after through disinfecting that the disease isn't there any more. I don't know that much about this disease but seems to me others in your flock would be showing symptoms what did the vet say about that?

    Such wonderful news that she is responding to the antibiotics and is recovering.. Yes keep her and the others immune system in peak shape and be sure once she is through with her meds she gets probiotics to help put back the good bacteria the antibiotics killed off along with the bad. You have done a wonderful job caring for her and getting her to this place..
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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