Lame duck?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GoodEgg, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hi all,

    Looking for some help from duck people, if anyone has ever seen anything like this.

    One of my ducks, most likely black swede or mix of, hatched mid-late march 2007, has been laying off and on (off for the past 10 days) for a few months, eats some layer crumbles and forages all day free-range, otherwise healthy, has developed some kind of problem.

    I first noticed several days ago that she had a HUGE bulge out front. It really worried me ... the drake of same breed is shaped somewhat like that, but she seemed to be swollen, and had trouble walking ... the weight of the bulge out front would swing one way while the rest of her body swung the other way, and she walked slowly.

    Well, the next morning the bulge was smooth. I guess it was just a very overfull crop.

    *** gross alert coming up ***

    She has continued this each day, and by afternnon she CANNOT run and will fall if she tries. She can barely walk. I have NO IDEA what she's eating (but we do have a new puppy and while I do see some poo around the yard, I know she ate it at least once, sorry for the UGH). It doesn't seem that she is still doing that, but it's hard to be sure.

    Last night when I went to put them in the coop, she was lying about 3 feet in front of the door. She tried to get up and go in, but she flopped a little and couldn't stand. It took her three tries of falling each time before she could get herself in. I considered bringing her inside, but she really hates to be touched or away from the other ducks, so I thought she'd do better just to be with them.

    This morning she was fine again.

    It seems she is eating to the point she cannot walk??? Has anyone heard of this, or what I should do?

    I feed only about a ten ounce cup of layer crumbles to 4 ducks each morning, and they get in on a few treats that have to be shared with 26 chickens later in the day. They don't normally even finish the crumbles right away. But they DO forage all day. I don't even know what she's eating ... there are almost no bugs and no seed tops on the weeds ... the grass is still green but I don't think they eat it. There are lots of weeds, but they used to eat mostly seed tops. They DID discover ant hills a couple of weeks ago, and while I don't see them eating from them directly, they are always disturbed. The chickens get in them too, so I don't know who's eating how much. Maybe she's filling up on sand from the ant piles or something? But at any rate, her crop is down each morning. (I don't put food in the coop.)

    My daughter is so worried ... they are her pets. Honestly, I don't think any vets around here would see ducks, except possibly the parrot vet, and he is super-expensive. I don't think I could possibly afford a vet visit. It seems more a behavioral thing anyway?

    But has anyone ever seen a duck eat themselves off their feet? And on an acre of fall forage? (No pond, except the pool we fill for them.)

    Thanks for any advice or info!!!

    trish
     
  2. GloriaH

    GloriaH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2007
    Watertown, Tennessee
    Wow, I have never seen that in any of my ducks. Maybe you should repost under emergencys you may get more activity that way.
     
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

    32,381
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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Ducks don't really have "crops" like chickens. She may have a blockage or injury of the esophogus. When the bulge is down, does she walk and act normally? Does she have plenty of water to wash her feed down with?

    You are in NW Florida?
    Please got to http://www.duckrescuenetwork.org/rescuers.html#fj
    and look for a rescuer near you.
    Kendra Addington is, I believe, in NW Florida. She has a good avian vet and can give you advice.

    Good luck and I will move this to Emergencies.
     
  4. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    if you get a nice vet, sometimes if you call and explain the situation, they will give the contact info for someone they know who has a lot of ducks, etc. i think this is mostly the receptionsit trying to be helpful, not policy. but i learned to splint my duck's leg that way.

    good luck.

    mine has never done this. i really have no idea. please let us know what happens and good wishes to your daughter.
     
  5. GloriaH

    GloriaH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2007
    Watertown, Tennessee
    Have you had any luck finding info on your duck? Could you let me know what happens and what you find out.
     
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks everyone. I had thought it probably wasn't serious, but now that I learn that ducks don't have crops I am more worried?

    I did write to Kendra Addington and explain everything. I am waiting to hear back from her. I will check my email soon, in hopes she might have a chance to reply.

    She does move normally when the bulge is down. She's always been the clumsy one of the bunch, and will SOMEtimes fall if she is running. But she was very fine again this morning, and tonight when she went in, she didn't have any problem either.

    I forgot to mention, I do feed them scratch on cold nights, just a handful. I got it for the chickens, but the ducks would steal it if I didn't give them some anyway (they will go into the chickens' coop and get what they want if I don't give them any).

    I do hope that she will be ok. She's one of our favorites ... funny, it seems they are ALL our favorites at different times. She's a very hands-off-no-touch duck, but she's sweet and fairly quiet too, and the best layer until recently.

    Thanks for your concern and the info. I will keep you updated, and hopefully I will get some info soon. I really thought it was nothing if she just had a full crop, but now I am worried.

    Oh, and they have access to a full water trough and I keep the kiddie pool filled (still) because it's not that cold here, so water shouldn't be a problem. The yard is about an acre, and the water is on one end of it, but they make the rounds quite often and stay near the water, so I hope that's not a problem.

    Edited to add: I always feed them right next to the water trough so they only have to take a step or two to drink while eating.

    Thanks again everyone,

    trish
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

    32,381
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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    I guess I wasn't clear in what I posted and i am sorry. They dont' have crops like chickens do. But they have the esphogus where stuff sits until it is digested. But I don't think it should be bulging like that to limit her walking. Ducks don't normally overeat. Kendra rocks and I am sure she will email you soon!
     
  8. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks so much, everyone.

    I did hear from Kendra, and she had some good general information for me; she was very helpful and very nice.

    The good news is that, the problem I posted about was on Friday night. On Saturday night, as well as tonight (Sunday), Kuro has been fine. No bulge bigger than normal, and she can both walk and run. No clumsier than usual. [​IMG]

    I'm so relieved, for now. I don't know what it was, or if she's over it, but I'm so glad to have no more problems at the moment. I'm afraid life is going to take over tomorrow ... I have a court appointment, a full day's work at the store, some work on my own businesses, and a 2-hour dance class in preparation for the Christmas program, but I have someone to watch over the ducks and make sure she's ok.

    Just wanted to update everyone who was interested, and say thanks again!

    (Oh, and I finally got some pics developed, so I'll have to post some, though some of them are old now. But I FINALLY have pics!)

    trish
     

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