In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 28, 2014
My duck just got attacked by something and she has a big gash/slash on her back between her wings. She has blood in her mouth and was breathing heavy... I fear she will die so I gave her a small dose of metacam to ease the pain... I'm worried to flush the gash (read gluconate but not sold in Canada) as I don't want to do more harm than good... I put her in a crate with straw in my spare bedroom with a big blanket over it. It's quiet and dark there and I gave her food and water. I feel sick and have no idea what to do next. How long do I wait I don't want her to suffer if she is going to die... Her breathing is no longer heavy and she had a sip of water. Any help/encouragement appreciated.
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Do you have other ducks? Secure them right away. Predators return.

For her, I would get some electrolytes into her water. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per pint of water would be a help.

Ducks have a very strong will to live, and can recover from horrible injury. So I would suggest first that you take a deep breath and accept that while she may not make it, she very well might especially with TLC from you. I would talk to her a little bit, too, to make you both feel better.

The two of you can probably make this work, I feel, though we don't know the extent of internal injury at this point.

If you can, get her into a tub of lukewarm water deep enough to float in and look closely at her. Check for any injuries - there could be puncture wounds around the vent, the belly, under the wings. Let her wash up.

Then rinse the wounds with saline solution. I would do this four times a day for a few days.

Vetericyn spray is a handy thing to have, and some use BluKote (it stains).

I would get a poultry vitamin with electrolytes for her water, and give those twice a week for a month.

Clip the feathers around the wounds about half to three quarters of an inch away from the edge of the wounds.

Keep her in, away from where flies could lay eggs in the wound - they will if they can.


Please keep us posted. I will be going to bed in a while, but will try to keep an eye on this thread and check back in the morning, at least.
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Thank you for the speedy response! She's all tucked in for the night should I get her up and do Epsom salt bath right now?

Also no other ducks (2 babies I just got as company for my Ellie Bean... But they are already inside until they grow.
As much as I think rest is good, getting her cleaned up will help keep ahead of germs.

And I would not put her in a tub with Epsom salt water, because as wonderful as Epsom salt is - and you may want to use Epsom salt solution to rinse the wound - it is a laxative. We don't want to add to her troubles right now. As you know, ducks drink the bathwater. So Epsom salt rinse would be better, I feel, than a bath in Epsom salt water.

So, lukewarm bath, no soap, look her over, you may want to wait till tomorrow to trim feathers, but get her wounds rinsed. And locate them all. I have read that around the vent and under the wings are often where there are puncture wounds.

It is okay if you can, to take photo's and upload them so people get a better idea what you are dealing with. I am praying for you both.


If her internal injuries are minor, I feel she has a good chance. But she'll need her wounds cleaned frequently especially at first, and you may want to start thinking about oral or injectable antibiotics if she does get an infection from her wounds. But one step at a time - for now, clean up, rinse, let her rest.
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Okay so she had a bath and drank lots of water (thanks for the tip about Epsom salts!!!). The gash on her back isn't as bad as previously thought (I was able to trim away feathers (do I worry about them being pokey now?). There is just as you suspected a bite mark under her right wing. When I flushed it it started bleeding underneath her (I think a good sign?). The blood in her beak SEEMS (let's hope so chances of internal injury is less) to be from trying to clean her wound previous to finding her way back to me. I will pick up some blukote tomorrow. Her eyes seem bright still I didn't take any pics because I didn't want to startle her (I will try in the morning or tomorrow night). She's all bundled up with food and water again and I will rinse her again in the morning before work... What a tough little bean she is... If she passes or not she is taking this like a trooper. Ducks are amazing little things.
She needs her wounds rinsed with salt water four times a day startingvright away...

Fabulous news, glad you checked under the wing.

She will need lots of care at first - this is key to saving her.
Flushed again this morning and I think the pain meds I gave her wore off a bit but she can only have a dose every 24 hours. Laboured breathing again and no eating but some drinking. Put some dog food in her water for protein? Treats like spinach and peas in there with her food in case she feels like eating...

Will also pick up some ACV at lunch today for her water.

Poor girl still laid an egg this morning.

Thanks Amiga for walking me through this.
I am a fellow worrier and as such I soak the dry kibble in water and it gets all smushey.

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