Frostbitten Duck foot Help needed ** Pics **


Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers
12 Years
May 7, 2007
My son's dear duck Charlie got her foot stuck overnight and since it was not under her it got frostbitten.
That was on Monday and these pictures are of her today, Saturday. We kept her in the house for 24 hours after we found her, giving her a couple of baths, keeping her quiet and generally coddling her. She was unhappy about the laying accomodations, so we returned her to the coup. She walks around on both feet, but understandably favors the right foot. I don't know what to expect from her feet or how to help her. I brought her into the house and let her swim in the tub for about 20 minutes and now she is drying off in a kennel. I am concerned about infection as well as what I can do to help. If you have any experience with this, please help me out.

This is how the top of her feet look. She has blisters and one on the left toe has broken and she has some sloughed skin.

There is a large blister on the bottom, and I think the lighting makes it look green, but I don't really think it is infected as the blister is still intact and I suspect that is just serous fluid we are seeing there.

So, what do think I should do? I guess I wonder what her prognosis is. She still is alert and relatively active. She comes out of her coup with the others for water and to hang out a bit, but usually stays inside on the hay. She laid the day we found her as well as the next 2 days, but has not laid over the last 3 days. I wouldn't either if I had a hurt foot.
The good news is the foot has a normal pink color. The bad news are the blisters. Not sure, if there is anything that should be done at this point. Opening them is a bad idea, because then you do have bacteria that gets in. All you can hope that it is fluids and that the body will reabsorb it. You do need to keep a close eye on the situation, because the skin can die off in those areas exposing the foot to more trouble. It hasn't done this in the past days, which may be a good sign. Perhaps you can consult with a vet. It may be worse the money to have it looked at. Remember nobody on this list is an expert and we are just giving opinions. This also means that we can be wrong. There is still a good amount of swelling going up the foot. I would give warm water baths to get the circulation stimulated.
there isn't much you can do now but keep an eye on her foot and watch for infection. The blisters mean it is trying to heal. If she is back outside I would put her on deep, clean shavings until it heals. If it starts turning black that means her foot or toes will fall off, but she might adapt and be able to get around.
I had a gosling that developed blisters on her foot, they were also a greenish color but not infected, they eventually went down on their own. The foot does look good besides the blisters though so I would just watch her, the blisters may get opened on their own.
When frostbitten ice crystals will form in the affected tissue and cause damage. Gangrene is something to watch for even now days later. Ducks have a special type of vein/ artery system in the legs and feet which is why they are able to walk around and swim in very cold conditions - but also means that even in normal conditions- they have a small blood supply to the foot if he damage to these blood vessels is severe- the foot may not have enough blood flow to keep the tissue alive. The fact that there is blistering means it likely was only a superficial frostbite but if you can see any blood- which you havent mentioned in your posts- it would indicate deeper damage.

The most important thing right now is ensuring her foot is not allowed to get too cold as further deeper damage may be done to her foot, and watching for infection. She may loose areas of her webbing- especially since it is so thin. If the skin is broken from the blisters- keeping the foot clean is a high priority to avoid infection.
Thanks y'all!! I am letting her stay in tonight as it is going to be really cold. I am also trying to get her interested in a pile of eggs (chicken, that is) and if I can persuade her to go broody, that may be the best way to keep her quiet and out of the others way. She was interested in them and pulled them toward her but I went in to see her a bit ago and she is sleeping beside them. Maybe with more daylight tomorrow they will look more interesting. Hope springs eternal.
OMG... Poor Charlie. Sorry to hear about your duck, I sure hope she gets better soon. It looks painful. That's the stuff I'm always worried about when mine ARE Swimming in Freezing Temp. weather. See now I'm a big baby I would freak out, I can't stand gross things
Good luck...~ Get well soon Charlie~ Julie
We use a cream that you can get from any hardware or farm supply it is called darn hang on let me find hubby and ask lol, Udderbalm, and Roy takes it and mixes a little Neosporin and kept on my duckies feet it helps to prevent and heal hope this helps you

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