Duckling having seizures?!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Scovies16, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Scovies16

    Scovies16 New Egg

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    Jul 7, 2016
    Hello all,

    I am brand new to ducks and have a question for the group. I have ten 5 week old muscovies who are all growing like weeds. We got them when they were 3 days old, fed them chick starter with brewers yeast supplemented and gave kale for treats. We had one we named gimpers right away because he was more lopsided and a little more bowlegged than the rest. He has been this way ever since the day we got him. As he grew he was slower than the rest and can't keep up while running through the yard. He also is very unstable (it seems like his right leg is weaker) and flips on his back often. Most of the time he can right himself but more than a few times I need to flip him back over. When in the brooder laying he would also kick his left leg out to the side while keeping his right leg tucked. This week I added sav-a-chick electrolytes and probiotics to their water hoping this would help perk him up and strengthen his legs. His legs do seems to be stronger than they were and he is keeping both legs beneath him when he lays down. He has always eaten, drank, and pooped just fine. Now today he had what appeared to be a seizure. The stood straight up (looked like a runner duck!) with his neck stretched and was stomping his feet up and down. Did this for about 5 minutes then kind of collapsed to the ground looking exhausted and disoriented. This passed after about another 5 minutes and now he seems back to his goofy self. Has anyone ever experienced this before??? Any help is appreciated! thank you!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What was going on around him at the time, do you recall? Might he have been alarmed about the presence of something nearby?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Scovies16

    Scovies16 New Egg

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    Jul 7, 2016

    They were all just hanging out in the yard together, the other 9 were calmly laying down just watching him. It was almost as though he wanted to be walking forward but couldn't do it looked like he was marching in place. Couldn't snap him out of it either.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Mercy. You know, I think this is the fourth duckling with seizures in the last week....

    What is going on?

    One person took her duckling to the vet, and the vet diagnosed epilepsy. I had not heard, before this week, that ducks could have that. I don't see why they wouldn't, actually, but I had not heard of it. So the duckling is being treated for that.

    Sometimes bacterial infections can affect the nervous system. I think that's called ataxia. Without some testing, I don't know how you would be sure of that.

    You might consider giving antibiotics but there are a couple of problems with that approach. One is the overuse of antibiotics in the first place. The other is that some germs are not affected by some antibiotics....

    This next thought is a bit of a reach, but I'll toss it out there for consideration... epileptics are encouraged by some to eat fewer carbs, more protein and fat. It affects the metabolism in a way that reduces seizures. Perhaps try giving this one some protein treats, like dry cat kibble, mealworms, or such. That would reduce the proportion of carbs and increase protein. After a few weeks, see if it seems to have helped.

    And, hopefully, perhaps it is mild enough that once the nervous system is fully developed, it will go away or be very infrequent. I would just hate for a duck to have a seizure while in the swim pan.
     
  5. Scovies16

    Scovies16 New Egg

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    Jul 7, 2016
    Thank you @Amiga

    I am going to skip the anibiotics for now, I agree on the overuse and continue supplementing with niacin, probiotics, and electrolytes. I feel like the track I am on has at least gotten him stronger and more stable on his feet so hopefully he is working through whatever deficiency he may have had. I'll be keeping a close eye on him to avoid any scares in the pool but he loves being with the group so I don't want to stress him out more by separating him either. I'll try giving him extra mealworms too. Do you know around what age the nervous system is fully developed?
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Generally by a year of age or so. I read that they reach 95% of their adult size by seven months (this is Runners, so larger breeds would be later, I suspect). But that development of internal systems continues for months after that.
     

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