Help/advice for a severly savaged duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by WatchTower, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. WatchTower

    WatchTower In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2010
    I have a severly savaged duck. I had five ducks when I went to work . I got a frantic phone call as my work day was ending from my roommate. two of my ducks were dead and a third was injured. The remaining two are ok, just upset and shook up.

    The injured duck was attacked by a racoon. much of the skin and some of the muscle was stripped off of the back of the ducks neck and the back of it's head. Other than the injury the duck is in good spirits and is talking to me. As long as it is alive and in good spirits I really don't want to have to euthanize this duck. Buit it may take a very long time for the wound to close (if it ever does fully close). I have got the bleeding stopped for now, but it is really ugly. I have had birds in the past that had gaping wounds like this (a guinea fowl cock who was injured by another guinea cock). It took a long time to heal but then again the wound was half this size and on the guineas back and not the back of the head/neck like this poor duck.

    Has anyone else had any similar experiences?

    I know some of you will say euthanize it and others will tell me to take it to a vet. First off, would you want to be euthanized if you were injured? And second, the vets in our area are large animal vets or deal with canines/felines and I know from past experience that this is outside their scope of experience and even if they were willing to help they would charge a couple hundred dollars or recommend euthanasia.

  2. Freakmonger

    Freakmonger In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2013
    Woodinville Washington
    I worked at a vet for a while as a tech. The best thing you can do is keep her confined and rest, and try to dress the wound with a good bandage and an antibiotic ointment, basic first aid. My fingers are crossed for you, sorry to hear about your little buddies.
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Your biggest worries with an open wound are going to be infection. It does not sound like there is any way that you could close the wounds as you could with a gash. An antibiotic will be helpful. You need to clean the wound thoroughly apply an antibiotic ointment, without a pain killer in it and keep it covered.

    You need to keep it clean and quiet. You need to watch for flies, which will result in maggots in the wound.

    Keep in mind that while ducks are very resiliant, they are prey animals so they do not show their pain when they are injured. Euthanasia may be the best option if you can 't take it to a vet. It is your duck, you are the one that is seeing the injury and only you are able to monitor the duck and how it's acting. You will need to decide if it is suffering.
  4. Nigellas

    Nigellas Songster

    Jun 14, 2008
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Can you take her to a vet? At the very least to get some pain meds for her? That must be so painful for her. :(

  5. WatchTower

    WatchTower In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2010
    Ok, The wound has been cleaned to the best of my ability. There is a fair amount of damage to this duck. As I said in my first post, the skin was ripped from the back of the ducks neck from about the shoulder to the back of it's head. There also apears to be some damage to the musculature as the duck is having issues lifting it's head (specifically lifting it's beak very far away from it's neck). With the large number of small capilaries that were damaged, there was a weaping of blood all along the area of the wound. The area was far too large to use one of the quick stop bleed sticks and I sure wasn't going to try to heat carterize such a large area, especially considering the exposed muscles and vertebret. So I powdered the back of the head and neck with fresh powdered corn starch and that has stopped the weeping of blood/bleeding.

    The ducks body temp is normal at this time. It is standing and moving around the small enclosure I have it in. And it did eat a little bit , although it is having some difficulties eating normally. As to whether that has to do with severed muscles or just the amount of damage will have to be seen as time goes by.

    I am checking on it regularly and hopefully it will recover enough that someday I will be able to release it back out with the other two surviving ducks. I guess time will tell.

    I too have worked as a vet tech but I usually work with exotics. I have worked in the past with large animals and the usual canines/felines. I just found that when it comes to exotics, the vets are few and far between so you have to educate yourself and jump in when a supposedly "qualified" vet isn't available.I was just hoping that maybe someone else here on this site might have gone through similar experiences and might have a lil advice. Although I do honestly appreciate any advice and the well wishes of those who care.Of

    ten you cannot help but develope some form of emotional attachment to the animals you care for and live with.Now I just have to figure out a way to protect my other ducks and the rest of my animals from this racoon since it now knows that there is food (my animals) around here. I will probably use the remains of one of my ducks to bait a live trap and hopefully it will be big enough to catch this lil masked killer.
  6. WatchTower

    WatchTower In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2010
    As I said previously, a vet just isn't an option around here. The only thing the vet can do that I can't is prescribe medications.More often than not I am the one who ends up doing any surgery or putting in stitches. I've stitched up horses, dogs, wallabies, and myself.

    As for trying to keep the wound covered, well have you ever tried bandaging a bird? I was looking at the duck after bandaging was mentioned and to try vet wrapping the wound would leave me with a duck who looked like the mummy. And feathers just doing allow for bandaides. From past experience with the guinea fowl with an open gash on it's back. I found that if I can keep the wound clean and let it scab up then the bird will have a chance. Flies like dead flesh to lay maggots in unless you encounter screw flies. And believe it or not maggots are sometimes used to clean up dead tissue from certain types of surface flesh wounds. They eat the dead flesh and keep the wound from going septic. The problem occurs when the dead tissue spreads and the waste products from the maggots are not properly cleaned from the wounds. Look up medical maggots some time as long as you don't have a weak stomach.

    If the duck shows sign of suffering then I will euthanize it but for right now it wants to live so I am going to do what I can. It just tears at my heart when I have to euthanize any of the animals that are not meant for food. Unfortunately my roommate is incapable of euthanizing any of the animals so I am the one who has to do it.
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I don't know if you have ever used Veterycin spray but it is for wounds and infection can be spray safely around all parts of the body. It might be good to use, I sure hope your duck makes it, they can be amazing what they come back from. please keep us posted on recovery.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  9. Baylor

    Baylor Chirping

    Nov 25, 2011
    My duck was attacked very similar to the sounds of yours by a raccoon and she couldnt lift her neck for over a week. Look at my post and all the things I did recommended from the awesome people on this page and hopefully you can nurse her back to health like I was able to. She was knocking on death's door and we got her back!

  10. Kmoreau

    Kmoreau Chirping

    Jun 28, 2011
    My duck was attacked last week by my new puppy.. It was for sure my fault and I shouldn't have left hi, outside with out checking. It sounds like a similar injury except it was her lower back/tail. She was completely plucked and skin was torn and she was in shock when we found her. We took her to the vet cause the shock was setting in I was certain she was going to die...

    The vet cleaned it, gave her antibiotics and pain meds.

    Per my vet, you can dissolve an aspirin their water to help with pain... Be sure you are keeping the area clean... Do not bandage or cover because you want the area clean.

    I also highly recommend the vetricyn, it is amazing and it is perfectly safe it should burn or anything... After the week of doing everything above most of her skin has started healing and she even hAs some new feather growth peeking through (no pun intended....she is a Pekin lol)

    Good luck it can Beverly scary

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