Injured Pekin Leg - Upper Joint

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RuralWriter, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. RuralWriter

    RuralWriter Out Of The Brooder

    28
    4
    31
    Jun 5, 2014
    Hi there. It's been a while since I have visited, but I need advice on caring for my injured duck.

    She's around 6 months old and starting limping about a month ago. I'm not sure if she hurt her leg when she hopped off the side porch or jumped out of her bath, but I kept her confined for two weeks indoors with very little room to walk around, then outside in a pen with more room and lots of social interaction with her hen-buddies. Quackerton thinks she is a chicken!

    At the time there was no swelling that I noticed, but I was focused on her feet and mid-leg joint. She can move the leg, will bear weight on it, and swims. Just when she uses it more she starts limping worse. Lately she's started plopping down and not moving for a while - I assume resting. I noticed today that she was limping even more than usual- I had let her out to walk around the yard. When I picked her up I felt a large, soft swelling at the top of her leg, never thought to check there.

    I've raised plenty of chickens, never a duck. Forgive me for being an idiot and not realizing my girl could have a sore joint up there. It just didn't occur to me, was never large enough to feel when I carried her around.

    She and my chickens are free-range. There's tons of forage from berries to snails to frogs to grain. All sorts of bugs and she really likes to dabble in the ground under the apple tree where the earthworms come up. They get cracked corn and oats as supplement, she also eats table scraps every day which are fresh each meal, no saving until it's mushy. I give her and the chickens calcium in water one a week or so and dried/ground egg shells for grit.

    What am I doing wrong? A vet isn't an option as they all treat large farm animals or cats/dogs here. I have some experience with animal medical care, I worked with a vet in the 90's, but not on ducks. No bones feel broken, as I said she can walk on it and doesn't act to be in distress when I move the joint. She doesn't like me to push on it to gauge the swelling, but it is soft and warm, not hard/hot. I have amoxillin and baby aspirin (80 mg). Would that help?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If you aren't going to offer some balanced ration, then I would give something with a bit more nutrients than corn and oats. Oats are pretty good, corn is mostly calories. Can you get wheat or amaranth or millet? Hard to know based on her diet what she is getting - so some poultry vitamins once or twice a week in the water might be good.

    Take a really close look at the top of the leg - is anything wrapped around it? I would make an Epsom salt compress and wrap the top of the leg. You might also stand her in a shallow bucket of warm water and Epsom salt - but don't let her drink it, it is a laxative and she could get dehydrated, and her electrolytes out of balance.

    I am not a vet nor a medicine expert. She may need antibiotics, but then this could be a fatty tumor or something else. I would go with the Epsom salt two to three times a day for a week and see how she does. And I would put her in a lukewarm tub and let her float around - this would take weight off the leg and improve circulation.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. RuralWriter

    RuralWriter Out Of The Brooder

    28
    4
    31
    Jun 5, 2014
    I'm not sure what you mean by "if you're not going to offer some balanced ration'. I apologize if you're not saying that as some sort of insult, it's just not coming across nicely in text.

    I'm very sure of what my flock eats - just didn't want to make my post any longer than I'd already went on.

    100 pounds of oats per month is offered.
    100 pounds of cracked corn every two months, the doves, deer, skunks, and other critters join in on that.(I encourage the skunks since there's a pack of coyotes that den back behind the property. Been here for 2 1/2 years and we've had 1 coyote sighting on the property while the guy 1/4 mile from us lost his entire flock. He runs off skunks, we feed them and keep our flock penned up in a solid house at night to avoid skunk-related bird loss). I know that corn isn't really for anything more than a tasty treat. I kept the corn up when I saw how many doves were hanging out.


    Table scraps every meal from a family of 7. (we don't do processed food often at all. If I wouldn't eat it, my flock doesn't, either.)

    The field by the house is full of strawberries(June), raspberries(July), blackberries(August), apples fall in from our trees(now), crickets, grasshoppers, spiders of all sorts, frogs from our duck's wet area, duck-weed, and a bunch of other insects that I'm not sure on. There's an insane amount of these tiny orange, thin shelled snails that the duck just loves.

    I gave up on my garden after they kept trampling down the fence or hopping out of the apple tree into the plots. From there they have eaten all the beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and scratched up lots of earthworms.

    I do place vitamins in their water a few times a week. The calcium is less often since one hen laid a seriously hard shelled egg when I went overboard with it.




    Good grief. Looking at that I just realized they eat better than my family. No wonder that one rooster made such good dumplings.

    She seems fine, except after walking or hopping. She started hopping over the enclosure and freaks out when penned up now. She flaps her wings and will quack non-stop until we let her out or she busts out.

    Nothing is wrapped around, I checked after reading. Just swollen and warm. BAH! I am wondering if the Ag Farm down the road might know of a duck vet. I will check into the millet and amaranth. The chickens loved the oats that grew from what they didn't eat. The other grains would be a great permaculture addition to their foraging.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Sounds like they have access to a great variety of food and regular vitamin supplements.

    Some folks are told that oats and corn are sufficient food for ducks and they do not get the variety and quality of food yours have.

    So I ask about that[​IMG]

    At the same time some ducks seem to need more of certain minerals or vitamins - making it tricky to meet everyone's optimal nutrient level.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. RuralWriter

    RuralWriter Out Of The Brooder

    28
    4
    31
    Jun 5, 2014
    No, I get it. I'm shocked at the number of people I come across keeping their flock in tiny, stuffy houses and giving them just corn. I free range to avoid any nutritional deficits and keep my guys/gals organic if possible. Thank you for the advice, I might try amoxicillin for a week to be safe.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If the area is getting warm that often is a clue to infection and I get concerned - I do not advocate antibiotics for little things, but systemic infection - that has me reaching for something strong.

    Ducks will hide signs of illness till it is quite advanced. But I think you know that.
     
  7. RuralWriter

    RuralWriter Out Of The Brooder

    28
    4
    31
    Jun 5, 2014
    Update- dissolved baby aspirin in a bit of water, added 1 ml of amoxicillin, then squirted it down my girls gullet. Neither of us enjoyed it, but late this afternoon she was way out in the field with everyone else! Had been just chilling on the hill, watching the rest wander around and making little mournful noises. YAY! Crossing my fingers that she keeps feeling good.

    Coincidentally, I didn't mention that she hasn't laid any eggs in a week.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    So, you know about egg-binding? I would consider that a possibility also, give some extra calcium and some lukewarm float-in-the-tub time to relax her a bit. I like tub time - aside from the extra work - because I can just concentrate on one duck, really see how she moves, sounds, reacts . . .
     
  9. mikeru

    mikeru Out Of The Brooder

    78
    4
    31
    Sep 11, 2013
    My pekin duck has had the same problem, she has been put on baytril anitibiotic, and an antiflamatory for 2 weeks walking better, the heat in the leg can cause infection . a vet for chicken knows fowl . best of luck R
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by