Help please- Duckling Can't Walk???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KARy408, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finally just picked up the Welsh Harlequin babies I've been coveting from Metzer's yesterday. !!!

    Of the four girls I got, one has a noticeably darker head than the others. I soon as I transferred them into their "portable brooder" for the ride home, I noticed the dark headed girl was having issues standing/walking. I picked her up again and inspected her legs and feet; everything seemed fine, except for maybe a bit of liquid around her nostril, so I figured I just needed to get her home and get some nutrients in her body.

    Once home, she eats and drinks voraciously (we have her on nutritional yeast for the extra niacin, and a calming vita-mix in the water). But the problem only seems to have gotten worse. I don't think I've ever seen her take more than a step or two before she totally topples over. More often, it's like the second she gets the mental inclination to stand or walk, she just splays out to the side instead (left or right, there's no rhyme or reason). We had to raise the water dish so she'd stop falling in and once last night, I noticed she bumped her head on the Brinsea as she went down! To top it off, she often then ends up stuck on her back and proceeds to flail about, totally freaked, until this can be corrected. Again, my husband and I have examined her closely and we don't see any physical deformity. We have noticed that her legs seem to shake quite a bit - almost vibrate even - right after she falls.

    Could this be a neurological issue? Or just bad genes? Can anyone think of anything we can do to fix this? If not…how long do we let this go on? She seems quite willful-- no matter how often we push her back under the Brinsea to keep her warm, she pops right back out again to get to the food & water. But once she starts growing…if she really can't walk…I worry about the quality life she'll have...

    Would really appreciate any help or ideas!
     
  2. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try holding her in some water well hold her nd put her feet in the water and see if she moves, she may just need some therapy
     
  3. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you tried isolating her and giving her some sugar water and niacin? Is she eating, drinking normally?
     
  4. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We haven't isolated her, as the others aren't really picking on her, and she seems to be attached to them. I put her on the dry, wood floor for a bit yesterday, thinking maybe it was just a surface issue-- but her actions were exactly the same.

    She eats and drinks non-stop. Starter, with a ton of nutritional yeast mixed in (I think my husband even gave her some straight up). Vitamins in the water, but I hadn't tried sugar….is that good for them?
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have only seen sugar mentioned when duckling have been shipped and when they first arrive. I'd go with the vitamins, Poultry Nutri drench is a vitamin that can be given straight into the mouth, just inside the bill not down the throat. I can't say anything bad about it, directions on the bottle, and TSC carries it. I give it to all hatchlings. You can try making a donut out of a towel and places the duckling down into to keep her up right, close to water and food. Hopefully a few days of extra vits will take care of the problem,Nutritional yeast is also another good one glad you've already started that. Old clean towels work good for one that's having issues with walking.
     
  6. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the help and suggestions everyone!

    When I called Metzer yesterday, they seemed to think this duckling was doomed and didn't offer up much help. It really doesn't look like spraddle leg or a tendon issue to me. So I guess I'll keep up with the nutrition and may try some physical therapy as well.
     
  7. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope she is feeling better and it will correct itself. I got a welsh Harliquin from Metzer last week and she is tiny compared to my runners and the layer I got but she picks on everyone else. I'm rooting for her!
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes physical therapy is great, she can be in some nice warm water with supervision and that will help strengthen her muscles. That along with vitamin therapy hopefully will take care of it. We don't give up that easily do we. Keep us updated.
     
  9. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uggg! I don't know WHAT is wrong with this little girl!

    Last night after spending some time with her, I was convinced it was spraddle leg after all. Both legs appear to diagonal out from her body, especially when she's fallen on her back. However, when we made a brace and put it on her, the results were horrific! All she could do is fall flat onto her stomach with her legs/feet straight out behind her. Really strange. Even if I place her standing up straight, with the brace on and perfectly situated, as soon as I let go, she just falls and pretty much goes lame.

    I noticed that her sisters are starting to do the two-part sit down motion (where they bend down to just their hocks first, and then sit completely down). But this girl doesn't appear to have developed that far yet.

    I'll try the warm water therapy tonight! Should I put her in a shallow pan and just hold her there, or would actual swimming be helpful? I would think swimming would do wonders to build leg strength, but she is still so teensy…we don't usually lead our ducklings to water until there around 3 weeks old.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Put her in the sink and put warm water deep enough she can float and user her legs. Mama ducks take their babies in right away so you can too. Just watch how she moves her legs in the water, you could put another one in with her to see the difference. but yes moving those legs in the water will build muscle and strengthen. can you bend her legs at the knee. range of motion okay ?
     

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