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HELP! Can I still save my duck? :(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SirQuacksalot, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. SirQuacksalot

    SirQuacksalot New Egg

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    Hello I'm new from Australia, I've been reading and learning a lot from these forums but recently one of my duckling's health suddenly declined.
    I have two pekins, roughly 9 weeks old now but i got them when they were 3 weeks. When I got them, Archer is the strong one, running around and peeping all the time and Rex is the one that eats and sits down a lot. At first I thought this was normal and some ducks can be lazy or heavier. I give them the right feed, niacin in water, clean pen everyday, bath every morning and making sure they are dry...

    Rex was taking a few steps and sitting at 6 weeks. I was letting them forage in my yard and we don't use any chemicals/pesticides etc. then at 7 weeks it started to just walk on its hocks like it can't keep its weight up, feeling a bit lethargic, panting and just gives up and sits in the shade. I thought it was a weight issue but i looked at Archer and he seems fine...

    At week 8, Rex stopped paddling in the water...he just floats and dunk its head now and then. I've also noticed it stopped preening and he sinks easily so I only give him a bath for 8 mins or so. He won't walk at all and I checked his feet and body for any sign of bumblefeet or mites etc...but nothing. He stopped eating but was still drinking so then I thought it was botulism and I used the activated charcoal flush https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700526/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal and some TLC tips from https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/444164/sick-weak-duck-what-is-wrong-what-treatment (Thank you so much!). It was working with a bit of garlic, yogurt and honey, apple cider and water. He had a bit of movement back in his legs but not much.

    Until the next week, I got home and Rex is so much worse all of a sudden :( His beak had some discoloured spots, a bit slimey, it looks bloody, some of his neck feathers fell/pulled out, watery eyes, laboured breathing, bad diarrhea, wings kinda shaky, not eating but still drinking and peeps when I'm around. So now I think I've narrowed it down to aspergillosis and gave it some fluconazole last night, changed bedding, did a epsom salts wash because of the diarrhea, diluted some iodine and wiped his bill etc. This morning he kinda looks the same but the bill is a little better...I read "It is one of the toughest avian diseases to diagnose and successfully treat, Since fungal organisms grow very slowly, usually by the time a bird has clinical symptoms, in most cases the disease is in an advanced stage, so you're working from a disadvantaged position" and this site has been very useful: http://www.veterinarypracticenews.c...ept/avian-respiratory-problem-treatments.aspx

    Ducks are so good at hiding their symptoms! I don't know if it's too late, I was thinking of taking it to the vets today...I also found a moldy yellow papaya leaf where they were foraging :( I wish i had seen this earlier! arghh ><
    Do you think he'll make it? I'm being hopeful but his symptoms are bad.
    How long does it take to treat this?
    Sorry for the long post, I can upload some pics if you want to see how bad it is.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    You are right to be concerned, I would get him to a vet. Fungal infections - if that is what it is - can take quite a while to treat successfully. Ducks can be resilient, it sounds like it's touch and go right now.

    I haven't had to deal with these symptoms, I hope someone with more direct experience can check in.

    Meanwhile, you seem to be doing as well by him as you can. Get him to a vet as soon as you can, though.

    The losing feathers sounds like a toxin. Might he have hardware disease? If that is the case, that's rough - sometimes surgery can be performed and I have read of people using chelating supplements to help them through.

    The charcoal absorbs toxins - and at the same time, if you are sure it is fungal, then I think charcoal might interfere with the fluconazole.

    Aside from what you are doing, just spend some time telling him how much you care. I think that will help you both.

    Prayers for you all.

    edited to add

    Looking through Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, it sounds like he could have a bacterial infection.

    While it may be aspergillosis (and this is why a vet is needed), aspergillosis affects "primarily … young ducklings." Although there are always exceptions to the generalities. I just don't know.

    Staph infections can get out of hand, and can be treated with Gallimycin, Terramycin, novobiocin, or penicillin, depending on the strain (again - need help with determining this)

    There is also something called Pasteurella anatipestifer. It is most common in 2 to 9 week old ducklings. But mostly it is seen in ducklings raised in dense populations. What was the place he came from like? Lots and lots of ducks, not very clean environment?

    If caught early, Storey's Guide says, a single injection of a combination of penicillin and streptomycin or sulfaquinoxaline in the feed or water normally reduces losses. However, streptomycin is toxic to some strains of birds, so it is a good idea to inject only one or two rids and then observe for 30 minutes. If they are sensitive, they will get droopy and stagger. A good poultry vitamin mix added to the drinking water may help boost their immune system.

    (the above paragraph is almost verbatim from the book).

    That is what I can offer. Please keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  3. canard

    canard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An avian vet is the best bet, like Amiga said.

    They are trained to diagnose symptoms & can prescribe meds *civilians* may not be able to get otherwise. They can also check for microscopic worms/parasites/blood in their poop smear on a slide & can do bloodwork to help get specific answers.

    When a pet is especially weak & run down, time is of the essence. Also, little *treatments*, though they may be good-intentioned, might do more harm than good & further stress a very frail animal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. canard

    canard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks hide illness so well that by the time a duck looks very sick it may be in a very precarious situation.
     
  5. SirQuacksalot

    SirQuacksalot New Egg

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    Thank you all,
    My local vet had to refer me to a specialist so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

    I stopped using the charcoal when i gave the fluconazole and I got the ducklings from a place with hay (seems fairly clean) and a mix of 6 other ducks in a small pen...It didn't seem like the big ones were picking on the ducklings though..but who knows [​IMG]

     
  6. chickyscratch

    chickyscratch Out Of The Brooder

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    freind.. any animal that is sick,, you should be carefull in what you give them, their immune system is down and i suggest looking up on the internet for diatomaceous earth, it has many trace minerals that are benificial in healing as well as being sensitive to their illness. it is a natural wormer that is slow to work and does not harm them. keep him under some heat lamps and away from drafts use electrolite powder or gatoraid in his water as well. go to wolfcreek farms for information
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Poultry vitamins with electrolytes and probiotics have been helpful for us, and for many others. Praying for you.
     
  8. SirQuacksalot

    SirQuacksalot New Egg

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    Update: Sadly I had to ask the vets to put him down :/ He was born smaller with an inability to absorb all the nutrients. It was most likely that he had a calcium deficiency when I got him. I fixed his legs because they were a little bit splayed plus gave multivitamins but still, after a while the bones in legs and ribs continued to deteriorate with no external signs which gave him pneumonia and infections...all odds were against him :(

    The vets were tube feeding him and gave antibiotic and fluid injections but there was little improvement. Even if the infections etc cleared, Rex might not be able to walk or breathe properly again..so yeah, i think i did the right thing.

    On the other hand, Archer is very healthy and happy with almost all her feathers in. Weird, she has moved on quicker than I did and didn't make a sound when I took Rex away.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a shame, sorry to hear that. Glad the other is doing well however. Sounds like you did everything you could.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, very rough. You have been generous to share the details - it may help someone else.

    [​IMG]
     

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