Duckling swallowed earring

ajafrique

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 4, 2014
8
0
7
Hi all. This may sound odd, but Lill the buff duckling plucked a gold stud earring from my ear two days ago when I leaned down to put something on the floor. She swallowed it before I could grab her to take it away. She seemed perfectly fine (her usual mischievous self), so I hoped that it would pass out of her system uneventfully (you know you're a duck mama when you search through droppings for a gold earring!).

Today, she started opening her bill, making a slight cough, and trying to swallow lots of water. She's stopped doing that now, but I'm wondering if the earring is stuck in her crop (?--Don't know duck physiology very well yet). Is there something I can do to get it out? I really don't have the money for expensive procedures at the vet.

Thanks.
 

Ren2014

Blessed Beyond Hope
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
3,355
617
296
Texas
Hi all. This may sound odd, but Lill the buff duckling plucked a gold stud earring from my ear two days ago when I leaned down to put something on the floor. She swallowed it before I could grab her to take it away. She seemed perfectly fine (her usual mischievous self), so I hoped that it would pass out of her system uneventfully (you know you're a duck mama when you search through droppings for a gold earring!).

Today, she started opening her bill, making a slight cough, and trying to swallow lots of water. She's stopped doing that now, but I'm wondering if the earring is stuck in her crop (?--Don't know duck physiology very well yet). Is there something I can do to get it out? I really don't have the money for expensive procedures at the vet.

Thanks.
Welcome to BYC! Gosh, I've never experienced this but my first thought is, are you giving her grit? How old is she?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Hi all. This may sound odd, but Lill the buff duckling plucked a gold stud earring from my ear two days ago when I leaned down to put something on the floor. She swallowed it before I could grab her to take it away. She seemed perfectly fine (her usual mischievous self), so I hoped that it would pass out of her system uneventfully (you know you're a duck mama when you search through droppings for a gold earring!).

Today, she started opening her bill, making a slight cough, and trying to swallow lots of water. She's stopped doing that now, but I'm wondering if the earring is stuck in her crop (?--Don't know duck physiology very well yet). Is there something I can do to get it out? I really don't have the money for expensive procedures at the vet.

Thanks.
Could be stuck and metal poisoning is a big risk also. Can you try giving this lil one a bit of olive oil or coconut oil not down the throat too easy for it to go into the lungs but just inside the mouth where it will be able to swallow, this may help move it along but being a stud there is the risk of it piercing through some where and getting stuck. Lots of fresh water too.
 

Ren2014

Blessed Beyond Hope
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
3,355
617
296
Texas
Purple Martins have been known to feed metal objects to their nestlings. I know we are talking ducks here but it might help to know that in the wild they can be fed all kinds of things as grit
hu.gif
Good luck.
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
56
193
S.E. AZ
Hi all. This may sound odd, but Lill the buff duckling plucked a gold stud earring from my ear two days ago when I leaned down to put something on the floor. She swallowed it before I could grab her to take it away. She seemed perfectly fine (her usual mischievous self), so I hoped that it would pass out of her system uneventfully (you know you're a duck mama when you search through droppings for a gold earring!).

Today, she started opening her bill, making a slight cough, and trying to swallow lots of water. She's stopped doing that now, but I'm wondering if the earring is stuck in her crop (?--Don't know duck physiology very well yet). Is there something I can do to get it out? I really don't have the money for expensive procedures at the vet.

Thanks.

I don't think it will pass through. Most likely, it will get ground up by the stones in the gizzard. From what I have read, there is a possibility it could be regurgitated. I guess you could wait and see.
I have no idea, how long this would take.
I understand the reluctance to spend for a vet. I guess you need to decide how much this duck means to you.

I have a long time friend, that is a veterinarian. He was called out for a traffic accident, where a horse was partially out the side door of a horse trailer. The horse had just been purchased, at a BLM wild horse auction, for the $150 adoption fee. The horse was struggling and had injuries, but it was not possible to fully diagnose it, while it was trapped half way out the trailer door.
He asked the owners a hard question: "How much does this new horse mean to you? How much is your trailer worth?"
The only way to free the horse, would to be by cutting apart the trailer to get it out. The fire department was on scene and ready to get started. Horse extraction was going to pretty much destroy the trailer, according to the crew on scene. The only other option, was to euthanize the horse and cut it up, instead of the trailer.
The trailer was new, with no damage from the accident.
The owners decided to cut up the trailer.
Doug tranquilized the horse, to keep it from sustaining more injury, while the fire crew went to work.
The horse was successfully freed from the trailer.
So, now they have a destroyed $4000 horse trailer, an injured horse and upcoming vet bills.
The horse had too many injuries, to be saved.

Sorry to be cold, but how much is the ear ring worth?
.
How much does the duck mean to you?

An X-ray would be the first step, to see if the ear ring is actually in the duck.

Good luck to you.
 

TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
39
138
Northern Colorado
I don't think it will pass through. Most likely, it will get ground up by the stones in the gizzard. From what I have read, there is a possibility it could be regurgitated. I guess you could wait and see.
I have no idea, how long this would take.
I understand the reluctance to spend for a vet. I guess you need to decide how much this duck means to you.

I have a long time friend, that is a veterinarian. He was called out for a traffic accident, where a horse was partially out the side door of a horse trailer. The horse had just been purchased, at a BLM wild horse auction, for the $150 adoption fee. The horse was struggling and had injuries, but it was not possible to fully diagnose it, while it was trapped half way out the trailer door.
He asked the owners a hard question: "How much does this new horse mean to you? How much is your trailer worth?"
The only way to free the horse, would to be by cutting apart the trailer to get it out. The fire department was on scene and ready to get started. Horse extraction was going to pretty much destroy the trailer, according to the crew on scene. The only other option, was to euthanize the horse and cut it up, instead of the trailer.
The trailer was new, with no damage from the accident.
The owners decided to cut up the trailer.
Doug tranquilized the horse, to keep it from sustaining more injury, while the fire crew went to work.
The horse was successfully freed from the trailer.
So, now they have a destroyed $4000 horse trailer, an injured horse and upcoming vet bills.
The horse had too many injuries, to be saved.

Sorry to be cold, but how much is the ear ring worth?
.
How much does the duck mean to you?

An X-ray would be the first step, to see if the ear ring is actually in the duck.

Good luck to you.

I don't think the OP wants to get the earring out just to have the value of the earring back. I think she wants to make sure the earring passes so that it does not injure her duck. Interesting story about the horse, but unrelated maybe?
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
56
193
S.E. AZ
I don't think the OP wants to get the earring out just to have the value of the earring back. I think she wants to make sure the earring passes so that it does not injure her duck. Interesting story about the horse, but unrelated maybe?
The point I was trying to make, is that you need to make the decision based on emotional value, or, monetary value.
 

TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
39
138
Northern Colorado
Hi all. This may sound odd, but Lill the buff duckling plucked a gold stud earring from my ear two days ago when I leaned down to put something on the floor. She swallowed it before I could grab her to take it away. She seemed perfectly fine (her usual mischievous self), so I hoped that it would pass out of her system uneventfully (you know you're a duck mama when you search through droppings for a gold earring!).

Today, she started opening her bill, making a slight cough, and trying to swallow lots of water. She's stopped doing that now, but I'm wondering if the earring is stuck in her crop (?--Don't know duck physiology very well yet). Is there something I can do to get it out? I really don't have the money for expensive procedures at the vet.

Thanks.

Hi ajafrique, I had a similar scare last week. I spotted some old pieces of glass in the duck barn. They were small and a bit weathered. As I was picking them up, my sweet little runner duckling (5-6 weeks old) snatched a piece of the glass out of my hand. It was completely my mistake for not keeping my hand closed
sad.png
, but it was a good lesson learned as a new duck owner. Anyways, I was so worried about her, but it hasn't seemed to cause problems (I also fingered through some of her poops to ensure the glass had passed, but I have yet to find it).

Luckily, it was a weathered piece of thick glass so I'm really hoping it went in and came right out. My doctor friend said to also make sure she got enough roughage (food... silly doctor's terms) to kind of create padding around the glass... So I made sure to hand feed and water her a little extra.

I think ducks' digestive systems are rugged and robust. Maybe your duck will pass the earring
fl.gif
. They eat rocks after all, sharp ones at that! So I would suggest you continue observing the duck and hopefully she will be alright!

The main difference between my story and yours is that your duck consumed metal. So that might introduce more risk, but I'm very unfamiliar with metal poisoning.

P.S. Ms. Lydia in this thread suggested feeding her some oil to lube everything up. Unrelated to the glass event, I wanted to let you know that I successfully fed my duckling coconut oil by mixing it with some crumble (I added one teaspoon of coconut oil to 3 tablespoons of crumble and mixed them together with my fingers). Might help to also add water to that mixture and make a bit of a mash.

GOOD LUCK!
 
Last edited:

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,218
2,824
551
Southern New England
I wish I could recall what is used, but there are chelating agents that help prevent absorption of metals.

If the earring was gold through and through, gold is inert and I would not think it would hurt. But most all gold jewelry has other metal in it, sometimes quite a bit.

I think @Speceider may know of chelating agents.
 

ajafrique

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 4, 2014
8
0
7
Thanks, all. She seems to be fine again, but maybe I will try a little oil with food. As for the metal poisoning issue, the earrings were supposed to be 14k gold from Piercing Pagoda, but I really don't know how they were constructed. I'm not concerned about getting the earring back (although I'd be happy if I did manage to find it)--I just didn't want her to choke or end up with perforated interior tissues (or have one of the others find it in the droppings and decide to try it) if there was something I could do to avoid it.

Ren, she's going to be ~4 weeks old this week. I haven't been feeding grit--just the starter feed (Purina Flock Raiser), small amounts of cut lettuce/kale and green beans, and letting them forage outside on warm days. Do I need to put them on grit yet?
 

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