Funky Duck Feet and Eye Bugs - Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by robinwiththechickens, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was asked by a friend at work if I could babysit her duck over the Winter. She only has one duck, which was raised with her chickens. She is getting rid of the chickens this Fall, and starting a new flock in the Spring, but she doesn't want the duck to be lonely over the Winter. So I offered to add her to my freeranging flock of 9 hens and 1 rooster. I picked up the duck this morning, and she really is a sweet bird, but she has some problems. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT DUCKS, so any advice would be appreciated.

    Firstly, she has bugs on her head, especially around her eyes. They look an awful lot like the ticks I sometimes find on my cat's face. Is that all they are? Can I treat her with something like Advantix? I've used this on my chickens to cure lice once and for all, but is it safe on ducks? Below is the best picture I was able to get of the Eye Bugs. All the black around her eye is tiny little bugs. They can be removed one by one with tweezers, but I'm hoping Advantix will work.

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    Secondly, she has weird feet. One foot seems to be twisted inward, making it hard for her to walk. She steps on her own foot every time she takes a step. Her owner says she's always been that way, but I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to help her. Here are some pictures of her funky feet:

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    Are their legs supposed to be that lumpy? The "knee" on both legs seem huge, is that normal? Here's the bottom of the twisted-in foot:

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    Thanks again for any help or advice! :)
     
  2. iluvsedward

    iluvsedward Overrun With Chickens

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    She could have bumble foot, and maybe some kind of mites or ticks
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    It looks like bumblefoot possibly.

    I would get her into lukewarm water (bath) deep enough for her to float in right away, for at least twice a day, three times if you can.

    I don't know that Advantix would be safe for a duck. Let's hope people with experience with external parasites chime in soon. But a warm bath where she can wash her head may do alot for the situation.

    After her bath, I would massage both feet, toenail to the top of the leg, with triple antibiotic ointment (no painkiller).

    After a few days, I would then put a warm compress of Epsom salts water in a clean rag or paper towel on each leg. Perhaps you could put her on a towel on your lap and wrap both feet and legs in it. Es is a laxative, so you do not want to add it to her bathwater.

    Might VetRX work, on a clean rag wiped over her head? This is a question for others with more experience.
     
  4. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went ahead and tried the Advantix, and it worked great. I figured if it was OK for dogs, cats, and chickens it would probably work on a duck. After 24 hours all the little buggies are dead and gone. I filled up a rubbermaid tub and let her take a bath, she really seemed to enjoy that.

    I guess all I've got to worry about now is whether or not I can do anything to help her poor little funky feet and legs. She doesn't really swim any better than she walks with that twisted foot. She swims in circles.

    As a side note, all of my chickens are completely terrified of her. She quacks and they scatter. Do you think they'll ever get over it? Can they learn to live together?
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    It will take time but they will get over it, just make sure they don't hurt her or vise versa. Glad to hear the bugs are gone. let her swim as much as she wants thats how water fowl keep bugs off. as far as her feet, probably not much you can do since she is an adult, but after she gets settled in you may want to trim her nails. you can see the quick just like in a dogs or cats and only trim to there. I've never seen deformities like that before. Only an avian vet could help you there I am thinking. Do her knees feel hot to the touch like maybe infection? I am so thankful you have her now I don't mean to be rude but it doesn't sound like your friend was taking very good care of her duck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  6. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like she may have had a problem at birth that never was corrected. I have one girl that I got from a lady that limps a bit and the foot kind of comes in, but shes content and happy so theres nothing I can do as an adult at this point.

    As for her appearance your friend doesn't look like she gave enough water to the duck at all to clean herself. You should have enough water for bathing and being able to submerge her whole head this gets rid of bugs fast and prevents them and allows the duck to keep clean!!!!

    IF she was living with chickens its a good possiblity the chickens had lice or some type of mite that go to the duck :( YUCK!!!
    Make sure to watch your flock for lice or mites now since they are easily caught!

    Glad your giving her some love she needs it!
     
  7. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, now I've got a new problem...at least I think it's a problem...I've read that ducks are slobs, but this duck spends quite a bit of her day sitting in her own filth. We've been keeping her inside with our other special needs birds, a one-eyed rooster and a couple cross-beaked hens. They are getting used to her, and are not quite so terrified of the duck as they were at first.

    We do take her, and the rest of the special needs chickens, outside at least once a week, but that is even sadder. The outdoor chickens are completely freaked out by the duck and run for the hills. The duck is so excited to see the chickens she tries to follow them, but with her bum foot she can't keep up and ends up tripping and flailing around the yard which only freaks the chickens out more. She's like that kid on the playground that just doesn't understand that all the other kids don't want to play with her. She keeps trying and they keep running away. It just about breaks my heart. I'm hoping that with time and increased exposure to the duck that the outside chickens will accept her...probably about the time we are supposed to give the duck back to her rightful owner.

    I make sure the duck gets a "bath" at least once a day in the Rubbermaid tub we keep full of water for her. She swims in circles for maybe 5 minutes then jumps out. The majority of the rest of the day she spends in the corner with her head right next to, or in the coffee can we use as an indoor water dish. She just sits there, quacking occasionally, in her own waste. Is this normal duck behavior or is she depressed or something? If she is depressed what can I do?
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    No, she doesn't sound very happy. Ducks really seem to prefer at least one other duck. Could you put a mirror near the spot she usually sits? And if it hurts her to walk, she is not likely to want to move much. What is the bedding like in her corner? Does it get changed out daily?
     
  9. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now the bedding in her corner is an old t-shirt or similar rag. She is always wet or muddy or yucky in someway, so I thought using rags or t-shirts (which we have an abundance of) would be a good way to go since it is easy to rinse them and throw them in the laundry. The bedding gets changed once a day.

    I like the mirror idea, I'll try it. :)
     
  10. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seeing pictures of this duck breaks my heart. I'm glad that you're trying to help her.

    Are you able to bring her to a vet? I know that it's difficult to find a vet that knows a lot about waterfowl and that it might cost more than you want to spend, but this poor duck needs more help than what most people on this forum can offer as advice.

    I think my ducks would be terribly lonely as only ducks. I was given my first duck as an only duck. I got him a mate as soon as I could. His personality changed drastically -- he wasn't lonely anymore and was finally truly happy.

    Since you seem like a person who really cares about animals, you might ask your friend if you can keep this duck. I'd hate to even think that she could go back to living in such an unhealthy state.

    I wish you all the best,
    Amanda
     

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