Help with hurt duck, formerly in emergencies


Has Fainting Chickens
14 Years
Dec 25, 2007
Chaparral, New Mexico
I originally posted this Dec 6 in the emergency section but have only had 2 or 3 responses, so I moved it over here on suggestion. Hopefully it won't be deleted for being a double post, but I'm willing to risk it, I need help. I can't find a vet in El Paso or Las Cruces who is willing to look at it right now, they all say they have no background in water fowl.

Baby Duck, my White Pekin that hatched in class last year has an injury I'm not sure how she got or what exactly happened. When I left for work Friday she was fine, when I got home she could hardly walk. The way she had her left leg stretched out I was afraid she was trying to lay her first egg and got bound, that is what killed my other White Pekin, Whitey. When I picked her up I saw her left ankle area was slightly swollen and she wouldn't put weight on it. I thought it was just pulled maybe, so I put her and Quack in the small dog pen so she wouldn't try and move around a lot on it. Over the weekend she didn't move around a lot and it looked like it was going back down, but this morning it's a lot bigger. I checked the bottom of her foot for any signs of thorns or anything, and I noticed the rounded area on the bottom is swollen some too but it doesn't seem to have an infection in it like bumblefoot or a core or thorn, etc. She was hatched approx. June 1 - 3, so she just turned 6 months old. She is huge by the way. I've never had to treat any of my birds for anything physical like this so I'm not sure how to handle it or if I just hold on and see what happens.

1) What type of bird , age and weight Duck, White Pekin, 6 months, 12 pounds approx.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. Swollen ankle area, swollen on the bottom of the foot too, directly under the ankle area
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Since Friday Dec. 2.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Happened while I was at work, no idea
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Eats and drinks just fine
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Confined to a smaller area so she wouldn't walk on it. Tried to clean it up to look for injuries, no sign of damage other than swelling.
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I'm not sure about a vet, the visiting vet only comes on weekends, the El Paso vets don't treat ducks...
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. Trying to get that
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Small pen, Dogloo, straw and shavings, dirt.

Top angle:

Side View of odd squishy lumps:

Bottom of injured foot:

Top of good foot for comparison:

Bottom of good for comparison:

She is developing odd calluses on her bad foot from walking crooked on it. There is no sign of infection on the bottom, the ankle was looking so much better then the swelling came back but is more at the bottom of the ankle and the top of the foot. there are two distinct lumps that are soft but with a hard center. The swelling is warm to the touch, but she doesn't fight me poking and probing and looking at it.

12/31/11 Soaked the foot, it definitely has some infection in those lumps I think, but no sign of entry on the bottom of the foot. Nails have been trimmed, she's not happy with me soaking and massaging. No grinding or popping like a joint injury either.
It does look like theres fluid in there, do you think you could try to drain it? what have you soaked it in? Epsom salt is good for that, but if it's been going on this long I'd say you might have to drain the fluid before it gets better.
I'd be giving her as much tepid bath time as possible, getting weight off of the foot.

Other things I'd try:

Vitamins/electrolytes/probiotics as a boost for her system, and add some apple cider vinegar to her water
2 or 3 times a day triple antibiotic cream on leg, and top and bottom of foot
Keep her as quiet as possible
Start thinking about oral antibiotic, in case it's an infection that may get into her system.

She may have injured the foot, something like a sprain or a strain, but she may just as well have - and possibly both are happening at the same time - picked up some infection in the joints.

Those are my gut reactions. Good photos, thanks so much - they are helpful!

Hope someone who may have worked with larger breeds and seen this before can chime in soon.


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