HELP! Duckling can't walk, no balance, had injury.

Crazy4Fowl

Songster
6 Years
Nov 20, 2014
618
84
166
My duck coop
One of our Welsh Harlequin ducklings has been unable to walk properly and has been losing balance and bobbing it heads, like she can't hold it. It seems to only have started once she swam in the tub. They are more than a month old. I am usually reluctant to let them swim young but I figured they were old enough now and we dried them off as soon as they were done. She is the only one with balancing issues.

However this morning it got worse. I found her stuck between the cinder block holding up the waterer and the wall. It was a tiny little gap she somehow managed to get stuck in. She was all bloody and a mess. We took her and washed off her feet and cleaned her up. Her feet are all scrapped up. We have her in a brooder by herself but she doesn't seem to be doing well. She is just lying down and won't get up. She is breathing with her mouth open. She already wasn't walking much and now she won't at all.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
How is your duckling doing now? Is a vet an option? Do you have a few pictures of her?

Ideally, due to her current dyspneic state, you'll want to give her some time to acclimate to her surrounding before handling her much, as that could send her over the edge. If you get to the point where she's breathing at a decent rate, do an overall body check for injuries. Any large injuries you see, flush with some saline, or an antiseptic like chlorhexidine. Once flushed, you can apply a small coating of an antibacterial ointment or cream, like Neosporin, Preparation H, or Silver Silvadene.

Sometimes with birds in such a state, it's best to have them in a dimly lit area. You can use a secure heat lamp, or a heating pad to warm the area up well which may also be good.

The problem she's having with her neck/legs could be due to a wide variety of issues. A thiamine and vitamin E deficiency can cause paralysis and weakness of the anterior neck muscles, as well as overall altered motor movement so you may consider starting her on B vitamins, and vitamin E soft gel capsules. In addition, a broad poultry vitamin would be good to offer for some more coverage. If she hit her head hard when/if she was bathing, and playing in the bathtub that could cause similar issues. Bacterial, metabolic, parasitic, viral, and toxicosis-related problems are possibilities as well.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
Could her back be broken? When we try to stand her up she goes right up and falls on her back. And her tail seems to be crooked :(

Off the internet, I'm unable to tell you if her back is broken or not. There are some conditions such as scoliosis the can cause an irreuglar shaped body. If you we're witnessing the same irregularities in several birds, I would find that rather unlikely, unless all birds derived from very poor stock. If you wish, you could post a few pictures, or. a video of the duckling.
 

Crazy4Fowl

Songster
6 Years
Nov 20, 2014
618
84
166
My duck coop
Off the internet, I'm unable to tell you if her back is broken or not. There are some conditions such as scoliosis the can cause an irreuglar shaped body. If you we're witnessing the same irregularities in several birds, I would find that rather unlikely, unless all birds derived from very poor stock. If you wish, you could post a few pictures, or. a video of the duckling.

This is from yesterday when it first happened. She is a tiny bit better but just has laid in the same spot in the hay all day.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
It's only her. No one else is affected at all.

Excuse my recent questions, I had you confused with another member.

Looking at the video it's obvious she's having some problems staying balanced; along with the involuntary muscular movements, which suggests there is likely something directly affecting her neurological sytem. Please refer to some of my posts above regarding which diseases may affect the nervous sytem.

You have not provided any clarification on what you have done so far as treatment, but for now, I would try getting her started on some vitamins, and provide overall supportive care, along the lines of making sure she's getting plenty of feed and water inside her, and is being housed in a calm, stress, free environment. I am unable to directly identify what the underlying cause may be; for that, you would need to get in contact with an avian veterinarian, so a physical exam, and diagnostic tests can be performed. If not an option, continue to provide supportive care. Often times supportive care alone is enough to get these birds back in good shape.

If you post a few pictures of her poop, that may offer some clues on what's going on. Please continue to update us, on her condition.
 

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