Duckling with twisting neck--very concerned, please help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SilverPhoenix, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Hello all,

    I have an older duckling, born on April 21st, who has some concerning symptoms and I'm hoping I can get some help. Unfortunately I can't provide photos for at least a couple of days, but I'll do my best to describe all of his symptoms and situation.

    I hatched this guy, Pen-Pen, from my incubator. He is a black swedish/rouen mix from my own birds. He has grown fairly well for the most part and been pretty healthy, and he had no physical symptoms or deformities when he was young. I have been raising him on Flock Raiser, which I have always used on ducklings with no problem. He did live inside for much of the beginning of his life, as he is imprinted to me, but as he got bigger he started spending more time outside and now he lives in the coop with my chickens, ducks, chukar, and guinea fowl.

    When he was around four weeks or so, I noticed he was limping, seemed a bit weak, and had weepy eyes. His appetite also went down. His father had chlamydia psitacci when I rescued him and I successfully treated him for that, but I decided to wait a little while longer and see if the symptoms persisted before going through all the difficulty to get the medication for him. He has days where he's great and days where he seems worse.

    He seems to be weak, limp, and not have much appetite at random. Most of the time he walks around fine and eats well. His voice seems a little low/hoarse, but other than that he was doing great.

    Then I noticed his neck was curving strangely off to the side. It was just slight for a little while, but now I left for six days and came back and it's gotten a bit worse. He still eats well, has clear eyes, is alert, and walks fine, but his neck is definitely crooked off to one side. I'm afraid it's going to get even worse and cripple him. I've massaged the neck and it doesn't seem sore or swollen or anything, just twisted off to one side abnormally.

    Could this be a result of chlamydia psitacci, or does it sound like something else? Could it be some sort of deficiency? I love this sweet little fellow, I really want him to get better. If it is chlamydia, I know how to treat him, but I don't want to give him the wrong medication if these symptoms match better to something else. The other symptoms he exhibited made it seem like it could be chlamydia (though he doesn't have all of the right symptoms--his poop isn't extremely watery, and his dad got so weak he couldn't stand after a little while and this guy is still fine to walk and eats well) but the whole neck twisting thing is really concerning to me and is unlike anything his dad had.

    Anyone have ideas as to what this could be, and how to treat it? I'll go to the vet with him if I need to because I care deeply for Pen-Pen, though I would rather not if I can avoid it. I would really appreciate some input from you duck experts--I am really hoping there's a decent prognosis! I can and will take care of him if this curvature of the neck can't be fixed, I'm just afraid it's going to get worse.
     
  2. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    The Chlamydia Psittaci would have come from the Parrotlets.
    I had a duckling with the same thing, never figured out what caused it, and he died. I tried everything I could think of but nothing helped. Here are pics, does yours look like this?

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  3. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    My guy thankfully isn't that bad yet--but it's really helpful to know something like that can be caused by the chlamydia. This is more a twisting of the neck off to the side, though, none of the extreme weakness or anything. I'm thinking more and more that starting him on doxycycline is the way to go, though, and switching to something else if he doesn't improve.

    Actually, the parrotlets are at a separate house entirely and don't have it anyway, so it's not from them. His father, Tux, was found at a lake and already had a severe case of it when I got him, to where he couldn't stand up at all, would barely eat, had extremely watery feces (to where he was constantly dehydrated), and had to just sit in a tub all day. With forty-five days of doxycycline twice a day, he gradually improved and now is perfectly healthy. He looks and acts like nothing ever happened at all! It's entirely possible Pen-Pen could've gotten it from left over remnants of feather dander from Tux even though I sanitized the area with bleach solution quite well.

    I just hope I'll be able to start Pen-Pen on medication soon enough that he'll be able to recover...
     
  4. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    I don't know what caused it in my duckie. People thought toxic poisoning, Botulism, Wry Neck, etc... So it may be the Chlamydia or not. Guess it wouldn't hurt to try the Doxycycline. Vitamins would be a good idea too. Esp. Vits. A, B, E. [​IMG]
     
  5. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a young pheasant that was doing the same thing.... Like the pictures of your duck. He was fine for the first 3 or 4 weeks, then started twisting his head upside-down more and more, over a period of a few days (pheasants are smaller, maybe it goes faster then in ducks???). He was on the same food as the others, who didn't show any symptoms.

    I force-fed him a few drops of water that I mixed with a multi-vitamin..... at a much heavier dose then they recommend for normal drinking water, and by the next day he was up and around like normal! Two weeks later he showed the same symptoms, and I administered the same cure. Now I mix a small amount of vitamins in with their drinking water, and haven't had any more problems.

    Good luck.......
     
  6. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry you're duck's not well [​IMG] Hope he gets better [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  7. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Thank you for the advice, everyone! I'm going to try out doxycycline (or tetracycline if I can't get the doxycycline, though I prefer the doxy) and vitamins and hope that makes a difference. If it doesn't, I'll take him to the vet soon. I can't just let this guy get worse and worse, he's my baby!
     
  8. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Odd idea but do you think a sort of splint or something would work if it carries on getting worse despite medicine? Probably wouldn't but just thought I'd suggest it anyway, you never know! [​IMG]
     
  9. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    Nah, splint won't work, but you may have to hand feed & water him until he gets better. [​IMG]
     
  10. survivalarms

    survivalarms New Egg

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    Quote:Hi...I have a baby pheasant and has the same twisted neck.just want to ask what vitamins you gave him. I have been giving him calcium till now .hope you can help.
     

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