HELP! Duck is losing claws...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ducklover15, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. About a week ago I noticed that one of my ducks was limping. When I picked him up I saw that he was completely missing his very back claw. When I checked on him today I noticed that another claw on the same foot was cracked at the top and had turned a dark color. His claws are suppose to be white.

    I just happened to glance at the other foot and he was missing a claw on that foot!

    What's going on?? I checked on all my other ducks and they have all of their claws...

    I'm about to buy booties for him until his claws grow back... What can I put on the wounds to keep infection away?

    What should I do? [​IMG]
  2. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    Use neosporin ointment, and get him some shoes from Nettie. Meanwhile bandage his feet w/gauze & Vetwrap. [​IMG]
  3. Alright two pairs of duckies shoes ordered! =]

    And his feet are all wrapped. Let's see how long this lasts...

    Does anyone have any ideas as to why he's losing his claws?
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    The most common reasons critters lose extremities are nutrition or parasites. There's also the possibility of disease (although I couldn't tell you which), or environment (like cold or dirty bedding which can cause small scrapes to become infected). You have not given any information that would help to identify any of these causes.

    What are you feeding? How/where do they get their water? Do they free range? Have you checked your yard for something it may have gotten into and eaten to cause this?
    What are they housed in? Bedding/environment?
    Have you checked them for mites? A few years ago we had a huge mite infestation in our feeder mice (had come in with a recent addition from a pet store) and they were big on eating flesh. Ate ears, tails, paws... anything they could access. I've seen mites on other birds and have no doubt they could cause this sort of trauma to their flesh too.
    Have you wormed your bird? Not sure if people worm ducks but with the crap they eat I assume there's a way to do so.
    Are there any other marks anyplace else on the duck?
    Is its behavior consistent with behavior seen previously?
    Have you cleaned the wound sites? What are you cleaning it with? Of course adding neosporin is a good step but the wounds have to be cleaned first.
  5. I'm feeding Dumor Grower/Finisher with some Dumor Layer Feed mixed in. They also get peas everyday.

    They get water from two waterers in their pen. One is plastic and one is metal. I clean and scrub the waterers everyday. They also get water from their pool which I scrub and clean every four days.

    They are housed in a large outdoor pen. The pen is all grass except for the area where their food is which is just mud. The grass is getting long and I plan on mowing it this week. They also have a large metal shed they can go into for shelter. The bedding in there is wood shavings. Well it's actually pretty much wood powder. I get it from tractor supply. That gets cleaned out once a week. I let them roam in the yard for a few hours each day and they're always under super vision.

    How do you tell if they have mites?

    I have not wormed any of my birds but I have been wanting to. If anyone can fill me in on how to do that much would be appreciated! =]

    He is mark free other than his claws.

    His behavior is the exact same from when I first got him. He's hyper and a big pain in the butt. He still runs across the yard when the ducks are let out. He'll trip over the foot he's limping on sometimes, but he gets right back up and keeps going.

    I soaked his feet and put neosporin on his wounds then wrapped them. I've been cleaning his feet everyday since I noticed he was missing a claw, but I haven't started wrapping until yesterday.

    I have two broody females in the pen right now. Well one is broody and the other has two ducklings. Maybe he's been getting too close to the girls? I've seen them chase other ducks away but I haven't seen any biting.

    I hope this information helps!
  6. LuckyDuck411

    LuckyDuck411 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    I also have a Pekin with a missing claw on the hallux (back digit). Up until today it was hanging on, but now it is gone. The area where the claw was, is blackish, but doesn't look necrotic. I've just been using an antiseptic wash and neosporin. I never thought much about it and though maybe it snagged on something or one of the others bit him/her. I'm guessing it will grow back just like a human nail would if it got ripped off.
  7. I wouldn't really be worried if it was just one claw, but it's three now. [​IMG] I just hope he's not doing it himself. There's not much he could snag his claws on.
  8. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    I'm surprised no one has suggested it was a niacin deficiency.

    Anyway, just how old is your duck?
  9. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    Quote:If she's been feeding them peas and duck grower, I doubt that it is niacin but wouldn't rule it out. However, with no other symptoms, it would be hard to say this is the case.


    You check for mites by picking them up and restraining them (gently) so that you can look at places where skin folds- ie, under the wings or at the wing joints, where the legs meet the body on the inside of the legs. This is where they will gather the most because this is where they are best protected from getting scraped or picked off. There are several sorts of mites and either eat feathers (you would be able to see these on the bird, they would crawl off onto your hands when you pick up the bird- they can't survive on you, but they don't know that yet) or flesh. I would think if you did not notice any at the claws, they are not the likely suspect, but since the birds rest at night with their feet close to their chests, it's possible the mites feed overnight and retreat to the 'safe zones' during sunlight hours. They are very tiny and hard to see ( and mostly you would see evidence of them in bumpy flesh.

    As for worming, here is some information on that: If the bird has worms, it's quite possible that they've been getting the nutrition your duck should have been.

    How does the skin around the wounds look? What color are the feet normally and does it differ from the color of the skin around the claws or where they used to be? Are the feet more scaly than your other ducks? A picture might help. If the skin is pink (under the normal scales), it's possibly just an injury and what you're doing should be fine. You may try adding in some vitamins and electrolytes to his water for a few days. If it's white, green, or red, it's possibly infection and you may have to acquire antibiotics of some sort. If it is grey or black (and the skin isn't normally black), then the skin is necrotic and there may be something worse going on.
  10. Red Maple Farms: He was hatched sometime in April so I'm guessing he's about 4 months old.

    Kedreeva: I'll take some good pictures of his feet when I get home from work later.

    His feet are bright orange and his claws are usually pure white. Before one of his claws broke off you could see the crack at the top and the nail was gray/black but the skin looked the same. The skin around the areas still looks orange from what I can tell but when I take pictures I'll get a couple views. =]

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