1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Duckling with a history of health problems just had a seizure

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by vanillachai, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    My 6 1/2 week old female Welsh Harlequin had a seizure today. Since seizures are difficult to solve and as far as I know I don't have a vet I can take her to, I'll give as much info as I can.

    It started with the shipment of ducklings and chicks I ordered from a supply store. The shipment didn't go well for whatever reason and that store as well as another feed store were shipped hundreds of dead chicks. Only a few survived for both, including my chicks and ducklings. I'm worried this is where my Welsh duckling's health problems originated. I don't know if they were left out in the cold or what. The other two ducks and all of the chicks I received have been in great health since I got them.

    The first day they arrived I noticed the Welsh duckling would shake her head wildly back and forth at random times. After a week or so she stopped doing that. As she grew she would lay down more often than the other two, and often near the heater.

    I don't know if this is just something that ducks do or part of her breed habits, but she also tends to walk, even now, with with her stomach sucked inward. Not sure how to explain, but she doesn't have her stomach rounded like the other ducks do when they walk. For a long time I also noticed she walked strangely and recently discovered she was in fact pigeon toed, sometimes stepping on her own feet. Her stomach feathers also didn't seem to grow in well in the center, hardly at all from front to back on the bottom middle, even though she's otherwise fully feathered in, including her chest and sides. It just seems the be the very middle line of her stomach feathers that hardly grew in. For a long time, she's had a habit of hanging her mouth open and breathing kind of heavy, but I've heard other people's ducks did that for a while when they were little, and my other two ducklings do it occasionally too, even when it isn't hot.

    I've been feeding the ducklings non-medicated 18% chick food the whole time. When they started getting older I began to add a little bit of steamed crimped oats as well, along with small grit. As recommended I've been supplementing their water with niacin. 100mg per gallon since almost a week old I think. They've been moved to a brand new outdoor pen for a few days with plenty of shelter, food and water full time and cleaned daily or more. They also get to run around and free range on plenty of land along with my older chickens, who don't bother the ducks aside from scratching around in their pen. It has been pretty stormy lately, but not cold, and I've gotten them into their pen before each storm. Otherwise it's been pretty hot with temps in the 80's or 90's some days. Even before they were permanently moved outside, I've been letting them out for a while into a pen with a kiddie pool for them to play in. The Welsh would go in less often, but still swam with the others just fine and could get in herself when she wanted to.

    When I noticed she was pigeon toed yesterday while watching them, I tried adding supplements to their water in hopes it would help. I still added the same amount of niacin as usual along with the supplement mix. The supplement mix is Durvet Vitamins and Electrolytes for all classes of livestock and poultry. It's a water soluble powder, and I'll attach a photo of the label for info on what it contains along with the chick feed label if it helps. They were drinking the supplement water for almost a full day.

    She had the seizure just a few minutes ago. I heard a loud duck noise and ran over to find her flopping around until she stopped and I worried she had suddenly died. When I picked her up, her neck was limp and she wasn't responding to my voice or touch at all. She slowly started getting her senses back, but I had to carry her with her neck resting on my arm since she still wouldn't lift her head. She eventually started to become responsive and when I put her in my indoor pen she could stand and hold her neck up. She's been normal since, quacking for the other ducks and drinking water.

    Could she be having a reaction to something in the supplements? Or has her poor shipping and health issues since she was a baby come to this? Something else entirely? And if it is something in the supplements, should I get a different supplement for her pigeon-toe or just stop the supplement mix and stick with niacin and hope for the best, maybe increasing niacin a bit?

    Thank you for any help or info you can give me. Hoping I can get this resolved alright.

    Here are the label pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    And here are a couple of pics of her. They aren't great photos, but the first is her standing what I feel like is more normal, and the second is what it kind of looks like when she walks with her stomach sucked in. Wish I could have gotten a better angle to show it more.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I am beginning to get concerned that there is possibly a larger issue going on. This is the third duck or duckling with seizures thread that I am aware of within the last few days.....

    Is there some kind of genetic drift? Is there something in feedstocks?

    [​IMG]

    For now, if a vet is not a possibility, I would try to reduce stressors as much as possible, keep up with the good food and fresh water, and let's see if between us we can find some kind of common thread if there is one. It could just be coincidence.....
     
  3. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    I noticed there have been some other recent seizure threads. That is a little creepy. I did very recently get a new bag of food as well. I certainly hope it's nothing to do with that.

    Thank you. [​IMG] I'll do my best to keep them comfortable. Do you think I should keep the supplements out of the water since they were so close to the incident? I don't even have niacin in their water right now. I'm worried about her inward turned feet though, and the niacin at least has been in the water for a long time. So maybe just niacin for now?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Go with the niacin - she may have multiple problems....[​IMG]
     
  5. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    Just wanted to update. The ducks are twelve and a half weeks old now. I don't know if she's had any other seizures since because I can't be around her 24/7, but no more that I've noticed. She finally grew in stomach feathers and her feet have straightened out quite a bit. I'm pretty sure she's still a little pigeon-toed though. I stopped the niacin around 10 weeks. They're all working on their adult feathers and in great health as far as I can tell! [​IMG] Also, we've named her Lucy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by