Help! Goose keeps falling over.

Ducks and geese7

Chirping
Nov 20, 2018
77
59
91
Gallup, New Mexico
Hello. I need help with my adopted gander Gus. The last post I made I believe he was getting dizzy and thats the reason for him falling over. Now I think it is somthing more, possibly a seizure. Yesterday he was cleaning his feathers and he started walking backwards and fell over again. He is not able to control his head and neck. When he fell over he got back up and fell over again. I was able to catch him before he fell again. I held him against my body so he wouldn't hit his head. While holding him he tried to walk backwards again, pushing against me. His head and neck were moving different in different directions and he couldn't control himself. After holding him for a while he got out of it. I am not sure what it is. I don't believe he is just getting dizzy anymore. Today it happened again. I picked him up, which he usually doesn't mind. But when I did this time he was okay but after a couple seconds he got it again. His legs went stiff and straight back and he opened his wings. This one only lasted a couple seconds and wasn't as bad. Please help, I'm worried he'll hurt himself very soon.
A little backstory to when I got him. When I first seen him he had a horrible owner that said they would feed him bread and pasta which is very bad for geese. They also kept him in a cage with no other geese and they never let him out of the cage he was in. They hardly gave him water and very little food. He didn't have a pool to bathe in. When I first seen him he had fallen over in the cage like I said before. He was also eating handfuls of dirt. Now he has a pool, lots of geese friends and food. He still falls over and I'm very worried for him. Please help if you know whats happening to him
 

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Ducks and geese7

Chirping
Nov 20, 2018
77
59
91
Gallup, New Mexico
Could you goose gotten into something toxic or eaten metal like picked up a nail or screw? If possible something toxic like stagnant water or something dead there are flushes.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal.700526/
Can you please give a run down on what your feeding and is he eating an drinking? and how old is he?
I don't believe he has ate anything poisonous, not sure if he did before I adopted him. I believe he is a year old. I give him scratch grains, peas, mealworms as a treat and sometimes watermelon. He also has a large area of grass to eat too. He is eating and drinking fine.
 

Isaac 0

Waterfowl Fanatic
Jul 19, 2016
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Scratch grains arent a nutritionally balanced feed either, I would suggest switching him to a feed intended for all fowl, like All Flock Feed, or Purina Flock Raiser, or a feed intended for waterfowl specifically like Mazuri.

Is he eating and drinking well this evening? How do his poops look, could you post a picture? Do you have any pictures of their setup, how often do you clean their water source? Could you post a video of him? To post a video you'll need to upload the video to a video platform like Yotube or Vimeo, then copy/paste the link here. Any more information you have about his recent past history, or some of the signs he's displaying, please tell us.

There are several reasons a goose might abruptly start showing signs of ataxia, to name a few, dehydration, metabolic diseases, bacterial infection, toxicosis, neurological damage, heatstroke, nutritional issues, and probably a few more that I can't remember. Taking time, to evaluate the bird's past history, and current condition will ultimately aid in narrowing down the problem.

I believe I helped you earlier this spring, it may have been this goose, and he had a case of mites, am I correct? Have you checked him over for ectoparasites? An over infestation of mites can cause anemia in birds which can result in some of the symptoms you're seeing.

Since you're unable to see a vet, and this goose is looking and acting very poorly. My first suggestion would be for you to bring him inside into an area that's stressful free, soft padded, with feed and water provided. If he has a hard time keeping his head up you may consider adding rocks into the water dish so he doesn't accidentally aspirate. In addition, I would add some vitamins and electrolytes to his water, specifically thiamine, and vitamin E in case it is nutritional related, although that seems unlikely given his age.

In conjunction with the vitamins, I might try putting some activated charcoal in their, or directly dropping it into his beak, and that's if his problem is toxicosis related. Administering activated charcoal will not hurt even if the problem isn't toxin-related.

As with adding anything into their water, it's vital you provide a separate plain clean water source in case they don't like the taste of the medicated water.

I would start weighing him on a gram scale each morning, and see if he is losing any weight. At any point time, if he loses 5 - 10% of that weight, I would start tube feeding.

If his poops begin to look disclosed, or abnormal, I may start him on antibiotics, simply to rule out the possibility of some sort of bacterial infection.
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
598
824
146
Pica “eating dirt” is often a sign of nutrient deficiency or some sort of gastrointestinal upset, which can be caused by any number of problems.

This is something a vet should look at but I understand that isn’t an option for many, myself included.

If it’s nutrient related changing his diet can only do so much at this point, he’ll need to be given vitamin supplements to boost his intake.

Another possibility is that this could be an ongoing chronic illnesss from how he was being treated that’s now manifesting, renal or liver disease.


I’m hoping the best for your sweet boy, all geese deserve the best, but with what he came from he deserves it all the more.
 

Ducks and geese7

Chirping
Nov 20, 2018
77
59
91
Gallup, New Mexico
Scratch grains arent a nutritionally balanced feed either, I would suggest switching him to a feed intended for all fowl, like All Flock Feed, or Purina Flock Raiser, or a feed intended for waterfowl specifically like Mazuri.

Is he eating and drinking well this evening? How do his poops look, could you post a picture? Do you have any pictures of their setup, how often do you clean their water source? Could you post a video of him? To post a video you'll need to upload the video to a video platform like Yotube or Vimeo, then copy/paste the link here. Any more information you have about his recent past history, or some of the signs he's displaying, please tell us.

There are several reasons a goose might abruptly start showing signs of ataxia, to name a few, dehydration, metabolic diseases, bacterial infection, toxicosis, neurological damage, heatstroke, nutritional issues, and probably a few more that I can't remember. Taking time, to evaluate the bird's past history, and current condition will ultimately aid in narrowing down the problem.

I believe I helped you earlier this spring, it may have been this goose, and he had a case of mites, am I correct? Have you checked him over for ectoparasites? An over infestation of mites can cause anemia in birds which can result in some of the symptoms you're seeing.

Since you're unable to see a vet, and this goose is looking and acting very poorly. My first suggestion would be for you to bring him inside into an area that's stressful free, soft padded, with feed and water provided. If he has a hard time keeping his head up you may consider adding rocks into the water dish so he doesn't accidentally aspirate. In addition, I would add some vitamins and electrolytes to his water, specifically thiamine, and vitamin E in case it is nutritional related, although that seems unlikely given his age.

In conjunction with the vitamins, I might try putting some activated charcoal in their, or directly dropping it into his beak, and that's if his problem is toxicosis related. Administering activated charcoal will not hurt even if the problem isn't toxin-related.

As with adding anything into their water, it's vital you provide a separate plain clean water source in case they don't like the taste of the medicated water.

I would start weighing him on a gram scale each morning, and see if he is losing any weight. At any point time, if he loses 5 - 10% of that weight, I would start tube feeding.

If his poops begin to look disclosed, or abnormal, I may start him on antibiotics, simply to rule out the possibility of some sort of bacterial infection.
Sorry for the late reply, he drinks water and eats perfectly fine. He has no trouble with that. I will try to switch him to different food soon. I change their pools everyday, I also change their water buckets twice everyday. He lives with 10 other geese and 18 ducks. He is kept in a separate pen for the time being. He is allowed to free range everyday and acts like a normal goose most of the time. I found out that his past owners said he use to fall over when he was a baby, they also said as he got older he would fall over more often. I'm not sure what they fed him, all I know is they said they fed him bread and pasta and gave his cracked corn or scratch grain. He use to live in a small cage. The pen was very dirty and dusty, and the cage was never opened and they hardly went there to feed them. When I first saw him they gave him only half a cup of food and poured it in the dirt. They also had a small wide pan they put water in which was very little water that was dirty. He tried to eat the food but was swallowing lots of dirt. After that he went to the other side of the pen and just starting eating handfuls of dirt. His eyesight is not very good. He tends to put his head close to the ground while eating. I don't think he is blind but I believe he has problems with his eyesight. After he tried to take a shower in the little water he had. That's when he fell backwards in the pen. That's when I asked if I could take him. When I took him out of the pen he was extremely light and weighed less than my two month old goslings. When I brought him home he seemed dizzy and fell over a couple times. I also noticed a dark patch of feathers underneath his wings. I believe it was dirt, but I'm not sure. But now he no longer has that dark patch of feathers. His feathers were not in the best condition, they looked damaged. He now has gained much more weight, and his feathers are healthy. I have had him for almost 3 months. He is not the goose that had possible mites. Also the previous owners mentioned they would only let him bathe when it rained. They would let him out to bathe in a small ditch that filled with water from the rain.
 
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