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Duckling might lose leg (help!)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hollyann, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. hollyann

    hollyann Hatching

    Nov 1, 2013
    Hi there. My mother and I are looking after eight orphan Mallard ducklings until they can be released into the wild and health wise they are going really well. HOWEVER, one duckling has only been using one leg for the past 3 days. Now we know why :( We have just discovered a tiny price of string wrapped around his leg just above where his foot begins. We just tried to remove it but he has grown so much that it is embedded to far into his skin. We are really worried about him possibly losing it. Any ideas on how to remove it???

  2. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

    Jun 13, 2009
    Diamond, Ohio

    you have to try and get that off, it's probably cutting the circulation off and the foot may end up falling off.

    Get some tweezers or a needle start digging that string off or if you can at least slice it so that is no longer tangled

    You can't grab a piece of it and try to pull it away from her skin?? It will bleed but then again that's a good thing.

    Could try soaking it see if the water will loosing it up enough for you to yank that puppy off. Warm water will actually soften her skin up perhaps try soaking it in water water then bend the area if you can just enough to get your tweezers to get to it. I would be trying anything to get that off..
  3. hollyann

    hollyann Hatching

    Nov 1, 2013
    We can barely see the string it is so far in her skin, let alone pick it off :( We have used a razor to horizontally slice across the area of the skin and are praying for the best :'(
  4. DeckDuck

    DeckDuck Chirping

    Jan 13, 2013
    It's not unheard of for chicken chicks to lose toes and feet from growing into a piece of string or hair. It happens fast so I think that you should try to be as thorough as possible in fixing this while you still can. Baby ducks grow so quickly that the string will likely be very tight at this point. Would taking the duckling to a vet be a possibility? A vet would probably be able to perform the kind of 'surgery' necessary to get the string removed, and would have the tools to do it. This seems like a job for a steady hand and some forceps.

    Don't feel bad, though! Something like this would be tough to notice before it became a problem.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If you can get a vet's help, do so. If there are two of you, get someone to hold the duckling, get a magnifying glass and try to find the ends of the strands and get it off.

    I would start looking into oral antibiotics if I were you - due to the string problem and having to cut the skin, bacteria have been introduced into her bloodstream.

    After pulling the string off, I would soak the leg in Epsom salt solution using a compress, and I would then rinse the leg three or four times a day with saline solution or Vetericyn. Then I would coat the leg with antibiotic cream (not ointment), that has no painkiller in it, because some painkillers are toxic to ducks.
  6. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Songster

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    What's going on with the leg today?

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