EMERGENCY..... Khaki Campbell walks like she's hurt/drunk.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 25, 2009
Port Angeles, Washington
We are getting ready to leave for vacation in the morning. We have just discovered that the one K. Campbell has a problem.

She is a 3 month old Khaki Campbell. I can't find anything wrong with her feet or legs. She is calm and enjoys being held and petted. When she walks she crouches down and eventually drops to her belly. She is very unsteady on her feet.

Last weekend we noticed the same thing, but she had been in the pool too long and was shivering. She had been fine with the pool before, but this time she couldn't get out on her own. We dried her off with towels and kept her warm. She was back to normal within 15 minutes. After about an hour of being in her carte by herself, we let the rest of her crew in with her. She seemed full of energy, playful, crazy... her normal self.

Just a few minutes ago we noticed the walking issue again, only this time she had not been in a pool.

Any idea what's wrong with her? Is there a med I should get for her?

If she is going to die, we would rather she die while with us, so when we head down the road with our camp trailer tomorrow, we will probably take her with us. However... I really don't want to do that.

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Do you give them niacin? Are her legs shaking at all?
Last year one of my runners would show similar behavior. But his legs would start shaking and then he'd plop down. He was less active for a while but everything turned out fine. This went on for about 2 weeks. I was told that it may have just been due to something like a growth spurt. If it is only that, I wouldn't worry to much. If you are not going to take her with you, I would not leave her unsupervised with the pool. They can drown if they get exhausted/waterlogged. If she had trouble getting out, I would worry about that.
She gets niacin that comes in her food. BUT, yes, her legs are shaky.

I called Metzer where we bought her and while she doesn't know what the problems might be, she suggested using a antibiotic, Baytril. Our feed-store doesn't have it but they do sell duramycin. Another feed-store has tetracycline.

I do not know what is better and I am now concerned about all my other birds.

We had a 3 month old African Brown Goose die about 3 weeks ago. It was unsteady one night, then seemed fine. The next day we found her dead. Should I be worried about a common disease that could be attacking them all??? They all seem very happy, healthy, friendly and loving life.

We have decided to take Frosty with us on vacation. LOL.... If she makes it, it could be fun. A German Shepherd Dog and a duck in our Airstream trailer should certainly turn heads. LOL
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If she's showing these signs, she may not do well unsupervised. Some things it could be:

she ate something toxic (metal, plant material, something with botulism toxin, feed)
she's got a nutritional deficiency
she has a systemic infection

Things to try: vitamins/electrolytes/probiotics to support her system, loads of fresh water with activated charcoal (not briquettes which are poison - you can get charcoal capsules at the drugstore)

If you have a vet, you might call the vet and see what they suggest

If it's an infection, the only way to deal with it, IMO, would be to give her antibiotics. This is where a vet or rehabilitator may help - determining what's going on. Some duck people just go with their instincts and give the antibiotic. There are topics on BYC about how to do that.

Perhaps you could check her for being egg bound. Go gently - don't want to crush an egg inside her. A swim in lukewarm water can help. I am told that sometimes you can see or feel the egg. Has she been laying?
Thank you.

No, she's 3 months old and not laying eggs. She will now be supervised on everything until she makes it or dies.... I am not sure how well ducks travel, but if she gets well during our month of travels, she is going to have a wonderful and luxurious vacation. LOL
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Double check her feed. Is it a waterfowl feed? Many don't have enough niacin.
If you suspect poisoning, you can do a laxative. Per Storey's guide, 1 pint molasses or 1 lb epsom salt to 5 gallons water.\\
I don't know if duramycin is safe for ducks. It is for chickens.
Thank you.

We have been feeding all-purpose poultry food, that the feed store guy said would be fine. I did check the ingredients and it does include niacin, but the % is not listed. We feed the babies chick starter and the adults all-purpose and have been doing this for about a year. My wife just checked with another feed-store and all-purpose is what they sell to the other duck people around here unless the birds are game birds.

So far I have: 17 chickens, 7 geese-- 3 Toulouse and 3 African browns, 7 adult Muscovies, 24 two week old Muscovies, 3 K. Campbell ducks, 4 Runners. I would go crazy if I came home after vacation and found that I had lost them all.
We just double checked the feed and there are no signs of mold. About a month ago we went to storing the various feeds, in their sacks, closed within new galvanized garbage cans. This allowed us to make feeding far less effort and more organized.... one stop shopping. This also helped to lesson the chance of rain or rodents getting into the feed.
I'd still give some vitamins/electrolytes - from anything I've read, ducks have a wide variety of sensitivity to nutrition. Some just seem to need more of some vitamins or minerals. Go figure. Some of my ducks are having a calcium imbalance. Most of them are just fine. Same feed, same routine, same supplements.
I am sorry for being so ignorant on this, but could you please tell me exactly what vitamins/electrolytes I should ask my wife to buy at the store? I need all of the details or I'll screw it up.

Thank you and BTW, although I have her isolated, she is still alive, but there are no signs of improvement yet. I gave he an antibiotic.

I'll check back later for any additional advice when we get to a campsite, as we leave for vacation in about 30 minutes. We are taking her with us. ;>)


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