OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
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Hi everyone,

I could really do with some advice.
Two weeks ago my lovely little drake Frankie passed away just short of his 12th birthday. He had been getting a bit run down in his last month or two and was looking a little scruffy with a case of wet feather, and then one morning I noticed he’d developed an eye/sinus infection. I took him straight to the bird Vet and he was prescribed some antibiotics and eye drops for the infection, and also some oral Moxidectin (similar to Ivermectin) in case his wet feather had been caused by mites or parasites.

After a day or two his eye had cleared up and he seemed to be improving, but in the days that followed he went rapidly downhill... He started to become a little wobbly when walking, and over the next few days slowed right down to the point where he couldn’t keep up with his flock mates and they started to leave him behind when foraging. One week after he was given the Moxidectin he was resting all the time and barely getting up unless he had to, and by that evening he seemed to be in pain so I made the tough decision to have him put to sleep.

In the 12 years I’ve owned my ducks they’ve never had mites before, and I’ve never de-wormed them. Until recently, they’ve always seemed completely healthy, and whenever they’ve had reason to go to the vet he’s taken a little poo sample and checked for anything unusual as part of the check up. The results have always been clear, and the vet (my previous bird vet) never suggested giving worming treatments so I never saw any need.

Although Frankie was an old boy, who had lived a long healthy life, I was really confused as to why he went downhill so suddenly, so I looked up info on de-worming and found a few different web sites saying that ducks can die from worming treatments if they have a high load of worms.

https://www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/the-importance-of-worming-ducks.html
“Another serious consideration is that if a duck is carrying loads of worms and they are treated, the toxins the worms release into a duck's system as they die can and will kill birds which all adds up to how important it is to regularly worm your ducks and this needs to be at least twice a year.”

I feel so awful that I haven’t been de-worming my ducks all their lives and want to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy, but after reading this I’m really terrified to treat my other 6 older ducks with Moxidectin in case it harms them. I love them so much. It would break my heart if I caused them any harm.

Has anyone here have experience with this kind of thing?
Did the worming treatment kill my poor Frankie boy?
 

Miss Lydia

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@casportpony maybe able to give some advise about this. I am very sorry for your loss. It could have been his age and this infection was just too much to fight off. I too lost my oldest drake pretty fast at one month to 12 yrs old. I have also read about high load of worms causing death when treated. But I am hoping casportpony can enlighten us about it.
 

casportpony

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I am very sorry for your loss. It's true that a massive die off of worms can cause death, though I don't know of anyone the has happened too.

Did your vet suggest doing a fecal float before prescribing the moxitectin?
 

OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
@casportpony maybe able to give some advise about this. I am very sorry for your loss. It could have been his age and this infection was just too much to fight off. I too lost my oldest drake pretty fast at one month to 12 yrs old. I have also read about high load of worms causing death when treated. But I am hoping casportpony can enlighten us about it.

@Miss Lydia
Thanks Miss Lydia. Poor little fellow. He was such a loyal friend and dogged guardian to his flock mates. I’m still getting used to the idea that he’s gone.

Can I ask what you use to treat your flock?
 

OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
I am very sorry for your loss. It's true that a massive die off of worms can cause death, though I don't know of anyone the has happened too.

Did your vet suggest doing a fecal float before prescribing the moxitectin?

Thanks @casportpony.
I’m pretty sure the vet had a quick look at his poop under the microscope when we visited and didn’t mention that he saw anything unusual...
The Moxidectin was recommended in case mites were causing Frankie’s wet feather, but it does treat internal parasites too.
 
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OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
I am so sorry you lost your sweet friend.:(

Wondering if a necropsy would answer your question. Would a large worm die off be evident?


Thanks @fatcatx He was a sweet little boy. I feel sorry I couldn’t do more for him. He and his friend Albert were such an inseparable duo... always doing their drakey parade dance together. It’s very sad he’s gone now. :(

I buried him in the garden the next day so it’s too late to find out more that way now, but I never saw any worms in his droppings (would they be visible anyway I wonder??)
I did notice his tummy was making some strange gurgling sounds in the days before he died... almost like a pooping sound, but then there was a delay before he actually pooped. I’m sure this was a symptom of whatever killed him in the end, but I wish I knew more about what the cause was.
I’d hate to lose any of my other ducks the same way.:hmm

His last poop was a very bright fluorescent green. I’ve heard that’s not a good sign, but I don’t know what it means?
 
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OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
@casportpony
His last poop was a really bright minty green colour. I’ve heard that’s not good, but I don’t know what it’s a sign of? Do you know what it means?

Do you think it’s safe to go ahead and de-worm the rest of my older birds? They’ve never been treated before and they’re 12 years old, 11&1/2, 10&1/2, and about 6 years old.
 

casportpony

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@casportpony
His last poop was a really bright minty green colour. I’ve heard that’s not good, but I don’t know what it’s a sign of? Do you know what it means?

Do you think it’s safe to go ahead and de-worm the rest of my older birds? They’ve never been treated before and they’re 12 years old, 11&1/2, 10&1/2, and about 6 years old.
Green can mean so many things... It can be from the, not eating, bacterial infection, or viral infection. Are the rest of them looking well? Call your vet and ask about having a fecal done. If you don't want to do that, you could use a dewormer like albendazole or fenbedazole.
 

OliveGreen

Chirping
Jun 2, 2018
32
92
69
Melbourne, Australia
Green can mean so many things... It can be from the, not eating, bacterial infection, or viral infection. Are the rest of them looking well? Call your vet and ask about having a fecal done. If you don't want to do that, you could use a dewormer like albendazole or fenbedazole.

Thanks for your help @casportpony!! I really appreciate the advice! I feel so guilty that I haven’t wormed my ducks before. It sounds silly, but I didn’t realise it was necessary.:confused:

Most of the flock are looking healthy and well, but two of them are slightly messy and have some broken feathers around their vent area. One of them also has some feathers broken off around the breast/belly area (I can take photos tomorrow if that helps?).
All their pooping seems normal.

With the fecal test, does that mean the bird vet just has a quick peek under the microscope in the office, or should the sample be sent away for testing?

..and are these other worm treatments more gentle or better than the Moxidectin in some way?
 
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