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Gosling in trouble- any ideas appreciated.

Discussion in 'Geese' started by duckyfromoz, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Today I spent the afternoon at a friends house- she contacted me a few days ago telling me the gosling she recently purchased is no longer able to stand up. She did try tapping the legs as you would for splay leg- but that has not helped.

    Over the course of the afternoon I went over as much as I could with my friend to try and work out what may be wrong, but was really no closer to working out a single cause and how to fix the problem.

    The gosling is just over 2 weeks old. It was purchased at a Poultry club run auction with a muscovy duckling.

    Both are eating the same feed and housed together - the duckling has no issues at all.

    For the first week the gosling was fine- but then it wouldnt stand up- after a few days of weakness the legs started to splay as the gosling was having difficulty standing up. It can put some weight on the legs- but the feet are curled up- and often it just ends up sitting there with both legs stretched out the back. When lifted the gosling tends to put its head down- almost as if try to balance itself- and at times it will also use its bill to try and help stand up.

    I have treated an extreme case of splay leg in a young goose before but this is very different. The hock joints are very normal- as are the ankles- no swelling or inflammation, the feet are also ok- except for the clenching which has now been fixed by strapping the feet the lightweight cardboard and popsicle stick supported shoes. One leg does seem to twist slightly from the hip though and I am wondering if this may be causing other issues to become more apparent as it grows. The spine is straight and the gosling is in good health and spirits otherwise and is eating .

    The gosling has vitamins added to the water for the last few days - and was taken out onto the grass about an hour after being taken from the brooder and food. It did nibble on the grass a bit- but didnt seem particularly interested- and made no attempt to walk. My current two gosling are little ravenous monsters who never seem to stop eating but this little one- despite a good weight didnt seem particularly excited by the vast supply of food in front of it.

    In the brooder it is kept on a towel for traction rather than shavings that can still slip a little, and it can bear some weight on the legs when supported.

    The goslings owner is going to try some " walking therapy" with it to try and get it walking with the feet supports on but I am hoping someone here may have some more specific experience or suggestions on what else may be able to be done to help this little one.

    If anyone else has ever encountered something similar in a young gosling I would love to hear your experience - what was done and what the outcome for the gosling was.
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It's possible that the hip that is twisted is dislocated or has torn tendons. Geese have very delicate legs and shouldn't be handled by the legs at all.

    I see you are already supplementing niacin, which is always my first recommendation.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Adding: if bedding or footing is even slightly slippery, waterfowl can end up doing the splits and that can possibly damage the hip joint. That's why newspapers aren't used in the brooder with waterfowl.

    Not thinking that your friend might have done that, just adding the information for other readers.
     
  4. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:what do you recommend instead of newspaper? we use a full layer of grass hay over a layer of newspaper (to aid in cleanout). interested in what you find works.
     
  5. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    Quote:what do you recommend instead of newspaper? we use a full layer of grass hay over a layer of newspaper (to aid in cleanout). interested in what you find works.

    I use those non-slip shelf liners: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Duck-12-x-20-Select-Easy-Liner/16456560. I don't need to put anything else down on top of it and I can wash it in warm soapy water and stick it right back in the brooder. I also put this in my hatcher so that when the babies hatch out they have good footing right off the bat. [​IMG]
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    My brooders have rubber "puzzle" mats cut to fit. The first week, I put several layers of paper towel down, so I can clean by rolling up the paper towel. As soon as the hatchlings are old enough to not eat shavings, I use pine shavings directly on top of the rubber mats and clean with an ash shovel.
     
  7. Silver Spring Waterfowl

    Silver Spring Waterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    If anyone else has ever encountered something similar in a young gosling I would love to hear your experience - what was done and what the outcome for the gosling was.

    I have seen this. The eggs incubated from one of my yearling geese last year toward the end of the season gave us 3 with similar symptoms from the same hatch.

    For the first week the gosling was fine- but then wouldn'tdnt stand up- after a few days of weakness the legs started to splay as the gosling was having difficulty standing up. It can put some weight on the legs- but the feet are curled up- and often it just ends up sitting there with both legs stretched out the back. When lifted the gosling tends to put its head down- almost as if try to balance itself- and at times it will also use its bill to try and help stand up.

    I have treated an extreme case of splay leg in a young goose before but this is very different. The hock joints are very normal- as are the ankles- no swelling or inflammation, the feet are also ok- except for the clenching which has now been fixed by strapping the feet the lightweight cardboard and popsicle stick supported shoes. One leg does seem to twist slightly from the hip though and I am wondering if this may be causing other issues to become more apparent as it grows. The spine is straight and the gosling is in good health and spirits otherwise and is eating .

    There is a disorder called curly toe paralysis. This is what my goslings had. I recommend that you look it up on the Merck Online website for yourself. It is caused by a riboflavin (B2) deficiency. What you describe fits the clinical signs. A brewer's yeast powder from a health food store will contain all the B-complex vitamins in a form readily available to the bird (including niacin, so if you try this, additional niacin is unnecessary). Make a paste of about 1/4 teaspoon of the powder and get some into the gosling with an eyedropper or syringe several times a day, but don't force too much too fast. They can aspirate. The brewer's yeast is highly palatable to them and they like it. The types available from the health food store as opposed to the feed store (although not in all cases) usually contain some protein and calcium (whey) as well, which can provide enough nutrition to get the bird through the initial tight spot if the bird is anorexic. Once the bird develops an appetite, the brewer's yeast can be top-dressed onto the feed. The symptoms of deficiency can be reversed if treated quickly. B-complex vitamins are not stored, so overfeeding these is not a problem.

    Edited to add: Calcium, on the other hand, can be overdone, so don't go overboard. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

    I believe that my goose developed a deficiency and that deficiency was passed to the goslings through poorly nourished yolks. This goose is the only one that had this problem and extremely high temperatures may have exacerbated an underlying problem.

    Walking therapy will not reverse this, nor will "special shoes" if, indeed, it is due to a B2 deficiency. There are more facets to this than I am going to go into now, but the impairment will increase over time. It does not clear up overnight, either, but all of mine did eventually get over it within a week or so. Unfortunately, they and their mother were culled due to this. When I last heard from the folks that took them, they were as normal as could be outwardly and in good health, Mama included. The new family continues to top dress all the feed with a little of the brewer's yeast compound. I hope to hear that they have no issues during the next hatching season. We are all aware that there may also be a genetic factor present and are watching to see what success the future brings. It's a blessing to have folks willing to give updates and status on their birds that came from here and information about future hatches!

    The gosling has vitamins added to the water for the last few days - and was taken out onto the grass about an hour after being taken from the brooder and food. It did nibble on the grass a bit- but didnt seem particularly interested- and made no attempt to walk. My current two gosling are little ravenous monsters who never seem to stop eating but this little one- despite a good weight didnt seem particularly excited by the vast supply of food in front of it.

    If anyone else has ever encountered something similar in a young gosling I would love to hear your experience - what was done and what the outcome for the gosling was.

    Good luck!​
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  8. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    I got an email today about the progress- My friend and I have both been missing each other with phone calls- but at least now I have things written down already. Little Gos has been to the Vet and this is the outcome:



    The vet had a good look, & her verdict, written on the receipt was:

    ..."Slipped achilles tendons and calcaneus has bent. Consider trans
    tarsal pinning"...


    I talked to her about possible surgery, & she said maybe an avian vet
    could "consider the trans tarsal pinning" bit, but she wasn't prepared
    to do it, as thought that the right decision was to put him down, as
    having a disabled goose who was only going to get worse, was not a
    good thing, being such a big bird, and would not have quality of life.

    I agree as far as not letting him suffer or have a poor quality of
    life, but wanted to find out more. So I rang the Avian vet
    suggested by my vet, & spoke to her about it all.
    She was lovely, & told me that honestly, it would be extremely
    unlikely that surgery would help. She said they'd tried a similar
    thing on a duck once, & after a lot of discomfort and distress for the
    poor creature, it finally had to be put down anyway. She said she
    wished she'd never agreed to try it. She was very honest about it all
    and said any positive outcome was very unlikely.

    So of course I hung up & had a good bawl. But I kept thinking about
    possible solutions in trying to make a contraption, that supports his
    body underneath, so he's lifted off the ground a bit so he can at
    least kick his legs around, & trying to work out if he could be helped
    to learn to swim (even with some sort of aid/floaty thing), so he
    could spend the majority of his day in the water, & be helped onto
    land at night & put into his bed etc. I don't want to be cruel to him
    & ever leave him in a position where he is distressed, but I also just
    don't want to take the easy option and put him down, without thinking
    about it all. It breaks my heart so much to think about doing that, as
    he just loves me so much & I him!

    This lady was kind enough to take a little duck with a crooked spine a few years ago- and then also took in a blind duck and one with a limp. She truly has a wonderful heart. Sadly while she was on holidays recently- the birds were at a friends house and were not locked up one night- thats all it took and the two girls were gone. She is so sad about the loss of her two ducks and now facing this is so terribly hard on her. The email did continue to tell me news that eggs from the two girls lost have just started hatching and this is at least giving her something positive to concentrate on while she tries to come to terms with little goose.

    I had checked the tendons at the hocks- but didnt think to look further down as i examined the little one. I can only hope that with a little more time- little goose will make some improvement now that the exact cause is known.

    I will post any further news as it comes to hand.

    Thank you all for your input. It has been most appreciated.
     
  9. Chunky duck

    Chunky duck Out Of The Brooder

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    wondering if you had any success here or if the gosling was PTS. I have a 10 week gosling in the same position after breaking a leg andd then the good leg started to fail and bow so I slung him thinking it would help but weather it was the sling or was going to happen anyway it has gotten worse. have started dosing with Brewers yeast and am hoping it is not permanent damage.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Give the gosling a week or more after starting the BY before you might see any change for the good. Hopefully it will improve with the By and your TLC. Can you put the duckling in a nice warm tub of water just enough he can float and move around. With supervision. That is another way to help build up muscle mass. and takes pressure off the legs.
     

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