ISO: Advice on Metal Poisoning in Ducks


5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
ISO: Advice on waterfowl METAL POISONING.
It was suggested that I cross post to get as much information as possible.
I have a year and a half old pet Muscovy duck. A week and a half ago she got sick so I took her to the (most experienced) avian vet and got xrays because she had symptoms of something stuck in her crop. She ended up having a lot of metal in her gizzard. Apparently she has slowly eaten little bits of metal that has accumulated over time. (I'm not sure that I will ever free range my birds after this because I thought I was doing a good job of keeping their area clean of dangerous things.) the vet was honest that he has no experience with waterfowl even though he's been an avian vet for 30 years and doesn't know anybody that does. Having ducks as pets in this area isn't very popular I guess. He gave me my options that I could search out somebody willing to do the surgery to remove the metal in her gizzard. The prognosis is not a good one. Or I can feed her a high fiber diet and hope for the best. Since there is a chance she will pass the metal this is what I have chosen. She is not acting herself. She is picky about what she will eat and in turn is weak. I also think that the metal in her may be toxic because she does have some neuro signs. She just seems a bit unfocused. She is alert, she stands, she talks to the other ducks, doesnt appear to be in pain but just not herself. I have asked for an estimate for chelation therapy. I have done as much research as I can but am hoping to get personal advice. I will list what I am doing or have tried. If you know something that isn't on this list or know of a vet that is good with ducks in Florida PLEASE comment. I will also post pics. Vet said it wasnt necessary but I dissagree so she is on cephalexin 250mg . She will not eat any of her normal foods so I am feeding her crickets and earth worms. I am grinding whole wheat bread, plain greek yogurt and Mazuri waterfowl maintenance mixed with water and syringe feeding her. (I was advised on tube feeding last night so I might start that). I am adding ACV and Metamucil to her water but she isnt drinking very much. I would like to do fluid therapy. I have an unused bag of 9% sodium chloride. Does anyone know if I can use this SUB Q on a duck? I also have liquid prednisoLONE (15mg/5ml) if someone thinks it will help.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Sorry about your duck. I keep a plastic coffee can at my coop door to drop glass and various item into when I see them on the ground. Since I live on an old farm, glass and metal objects work their way up through the soil constantly. I tend to be very careful about dropping screws and nails, but also strings and other objects chickens may grab. Here are a couple of links about hardware disease:

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