Duckling walking on its ankle

thatgirlmaude

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
31
27
36
I hatched out some welsh harlequins almost a week ago and noticed not long after they all hatched that one of them had a curled foot and was walking on its ankle. I’m new to ducks so I searched and saw that a lot of people suggested using painters tape to flatten the foot out, sort of like a little shoe, and it would probably correct itself after a few days. So, I did that, but instead of walking on the foot, it continued to walk on its ankle. At first I thought maybe the shoe was just an adjustment, but it’s still walking on its ankle and the foot sort of to side (inward, not backward or outward.) I can move the leg just fine, but the ankle joint is stiff and won’t fully straighten like the other ankle. It actually gets around pretty fast and doesn’t seem to be in any pain when I try to move the leg/foot. I’ve tried to cover it up with gauze to give it a little cushion so it doesn’t form any pressure sores, but it manages to get everything off. I tried to give some b complex and cut up some peas, the peas were more of a success than the b complex. Is there anything I could or should be doing/trying at this point? I’d like to understand what’s going on with the little thing.
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Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,072
1,331
Iowa
There are several muscular-skeletal deformities that frequently affect waterfowl, including deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as B/niacin, or vitamin D (rickets). Slipped tendon, tibial Dyschondroplasia (TB), Varus-valgus, Degenerative joint disease, and angular limb deformity are also a few conditions that you may see.

It is possible for nutritional deficiencies in certain vitamins to pass down from the parent stock, but I find it unlikely niacin would be the problem here, especially given her age, and the nonresponse to the treatment you did. In addition, you really don't see ankylosis of the tarsometatarsus. That sounds rather like the other conditions previously mentioned. Genetics can play a big role, as well as a deficiency in certain minerals, sometimes problems may arise due to malposition inside the egg, or trauma that happened to the egg early on, that set it off for proper development.

Looking at that joint, I find it hard to believe you're going to be able to properly fix that on your own. The best prognosis would be achieved by seeing an avian vet in your area, and asking about have some sort of surgery performed. That would be best done sooner rather than later as birds age their bones tend to become stronger, and harder to work with. Correction of the angulation before it develops into serious problems would be a smart idea.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to keep the duckling more comfortable. One being to ensure the bedding in which she's housed is very soft, has traction, and is padded; that is important as especially as the bird ages, and more weight is applied to the joint, as calluses tend to develop which allows bacteria penetrate inside the bone. I would continue on supplying her with B vitamins and think about adding a poultry vitamin to her diet in case she's lacking some sort of mineral you're not covering. Letting her swim in water to relieve some of the weight off her ankle would be good too, most importantly as she gets older.

Here are some links you may find helpful :

http://www.poultrypedia.com/poultry-podiatry

https://www.metzerfarms.com/Veterinarians.cfm?CustID=27622815
 

thatgirlmaude

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
31
27
36
There are several muscular-skeletal deformities that frequently affect waterfowl, including deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as B/niacin, or vitamin D (rickets). Slipped tendon, tibial Dyschondroplasia (TB), Varus-valgus, Degenerative joint disease, and angular limb deformity are also a few conditions that you may see.

It is possible for nutritional deficiencies in certain vitamins to pass down from the parent stock, but I find it unlikely niacin would be the problem here, especially given her age, and the nonresponse to the treatment you did. In addition, you really don't see ankylosis of the tarsometatarsus. That sounds rather like the other conditions previously mentioned. Genetics can play a big role, as well as a deficiency in certain minerals, sometimes problems may arise due to malposition inside the egg, or trauma that happened to the egg early on, that set it off for proper development.

Looking at that joint, I find it hard to believe you're going to be able to properly fix that on your own. The best prognosis would be achieved by seeing an avian vet in your area, and asking about have some sort of surgery performed. That would be best done sooner rather than later as birds age their bones tend to become stronger, and harder to work with. Correction of the angulation before it develops into serious problems would be a smart idea.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to keep the duckling more comfortable. One being to ensure the bedding in which she's housed is very soft, has traction, and is padded; that is important as especially as the bird ages, and more weight is applied to the joint, as calluses tend to develop which allows bacteria penetrate inside the bone. I would continue on supplying her with B vitamins and think about adding a poultry vitamin to her diet in case she's lacking some sort of mineral you're not covering. Letting her swim in water to relieve some of the weight off her ankle would be good too, most importantly as she gets older.

Here are some links you may find helpful :

http://www.poultrypedia.com/poultry-podiatry

https://www.metzerfarms.com/Veterinarians.cfm?CustID=27622815
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I will keep doing what I’m doing and try the other things you mentioned while I look for an avian vet, we are a bit rural so none on the metzer farms list are close by. Thank you again, I really appreciate it.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,072
1,331
Iowa
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I will keep doing what I’m doing and try the other things you mentioned while I look for an avian vet, we are a bit rural so none on the metzer farms list are close by. Thank you again, I really appreciate it.

You're welcome, keep us posted on how she does.
 

Ratchnick

Crowing
Oct 13, 2019
2,217
2,501
278
Anchorage Alaska
This happens in quail when the humidity was to high during incubation. It can be fixed by splitting but it has to be splinted within about 48hours from hatch. Right after hatch you can move it back to its normal position, if you wait to long it will set crooked.
 

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