Leg Injury - Help needed

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kleonaptra, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello all.

    A week ago my flock was attacked by fox. All birds that survived are recovering well except for Varia.

    Varia is large pekin cross. Her only visible injury was a nasty tooth gouge in her back which is healing well. The vet gave her a few days of metcam and antibiotics.Her left leg was sore but examined by vet. Even though he x rayed one of the others, he said hers didnt need it and it would heal.

    For a week now Ive moved her from place to place because she cant move herself, she cant stand on the injured leg. A couple of days ago she started 'clawing' around, prying herself forward with her beak, balancing on her wings and right foot, then clawing forward. She can move herself quite well like this, and if her leg is in a forward position, she can kind of use it like a crutch, just balancing on the first joint. However, once the left leg is in backward position, toes/claws pointing her tail, it stays there. She cant move it forward on her own.

    We thought this might just be pain and inflammation but Im now getting concerned. This afternoon I did a little physio, holding her and making sure all the bones and joints work (they do) that nothing was obviouslly broken (nothing is) and seeing if the leg would function normally. Yes, it does, with my support, she was able to stand on both feet. She wagged her tail in happiness, then bit the hell out of me - it must have hurt. Once unsupported, she sagged back to creeping again. Occasionally, I can hear a possible creaking, and Im not sure the top joint is in.

    My biggest worry right now is that I can feel an egg near her vent. I have no idea if shes going to be able to lay it. She hasnt swum in the pond since the accident and I dont know how she'll go in warm water.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Pics will follow, thankyou
  2. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some pics of Varia





    I wanted to try and show how it looks when she moves, so she is trying to claw her way out of her bed in the top pics. She really hates to be handled. Since our 'physio' earlier she's making a real effort.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I'm so sorry for this attack. Poor duck must have something going on that isn't visible to naked eye. Might have to try the vet again, in the mean time I'd put her in some nice warm water to float [stay with her at all times] This should help her and take pressure off and maybe help her get that egg out which is extremely important right now. Warm water therapy helps relieve pressure and can help her get mobility back in her legs as long as there isn't something serious going on..
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Miss Lydia I'll try that today. Our little physio yesterday really seemed to help too. She seems to have more trouble with the second joint than the highest body joint - she can move the whole leg when she wants to but its harder to move the individual joints.

    I will take her back if she needs it but I really cant afford another x ray. The little duck who had the x ray is almost back to normal - its Stormy the daughter of Leelu (in my avatar) who I lost in the attack. I found a couple of her little eggs, they are progressing well in an incubator.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    was it just one fox , we had one on the game camera the other night so far haven't seen it during the day. How about the egg did she lay it?

    So sorry for your loss
  6. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes just one fox, in the middle of the day. I was sick on saturday afternoon and that was when my little black drake disappeared. I hadnt got to breed from him yet. I was so angry I went out tracking it the next morning, found the den. Rubbish everywhere, not like the last fox we had who was very shy and clean. When I arrived back it was in the pen just slaughtering. I never imagined it would actually get into the pen, and even worse, I had locked them in and not let them free range, thinking I was keeping them safe, and instead they were caught in a death trap. Big Syanne was dead, and Gertrude my old chook. Her body was on top of my little call girls, Leelu and Stormy, I think she saved their lives. We rushed Regina, Stormy, Varia and Leelu to the vet, Leelu died on the way. My best drake AND my best, most favourite little girl.

    So I went around all Leelus hiding spots, and found 3 tiny eggs. 2 are live, I cant believe my luck, Im having serious anxiety keeping incubator conditions perfect! I know they might not make it, may not even be hers, but I can hope. Ive also put in a few other call eggs hoping little black drake might be the father.

    I havnt fully examined Varia for the egg, she certainly hasnt laid one. I put her in some warm water which she really enjoyed, I then filled up the pond and she had a real swim which was great. She was much more mobile in the water even though it was obvious she's having trouble with the leg.

    I'm thinking of taking her into the vet on sunday morning. If its something that needs to be 'popped' back in we are losing time. I really wish I could do it myself. I still have plenty of metcam, should I give her another course maybe?

    We are looking into electric fence for fox protection, I used to have it for the horses I just need a new charger. This fox is a goner one way or the other.
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    You might consider a sling or walker for a while - people have made them with small-diameter plastic pipe and wheels and either mesh or fabric with holes for legs and vent. I am not well-versed with metacam, but you may want to do another course - I hope someone more familiar with it can share their knowledge about it.
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I'd ask the vet about the metacam but I don't see where it would hurt as long as she is eating so she doesn't get stomach upset.

    What a horrible thing to witness. I am so sad that it all happened but relieved you didn't lose them all. An electric fence charger and fence sounds like the way to go even if you take care of this fox there will always be more.
  9. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ive made the appointment for Sunday morning. I cant stand to see her struggling like this. I really cant afford expensive surgery for her, I hope this isnt the end for her. She was my little Wist's favourite so I feel I have to look after her now he is no longer with me.

    It was awful to witness but think if I had been even 2 minutes later. I also had my ducklings out in a nursery pen. Old Gertrude, she caused quite a bit of trouble for him and those extra few seconds were enough for me to get there. Dear tough old bird she was. Always spoiling for a fight. "not in my pen bucko"

    My darling Regina who I think, survived just because she was too heavy for him to pick up and shake, no longer likes being picked up. She was very special in how tame she was, and is now very traumatized. The cat grabbed a bird (which got away) and Regina went and cried over the pile of feathers.

    Little Stormy is recovering well but because she is little and fat she sometimes 'turtles' from her leg injury, gets flipped on her back and cant right herself. Then she sits there frowning until you come along and roll her over. I call her my little turtle duck.


    Good idea about the walker. Got my mind turning.
  10. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay Ive made her a splint and sling.

    I found a very light, strong piece of wood, I wrapped her leg to cushion it and then vetwrapped the splint to it.
    I know the long bone isnt broken, I think the issue is higher up, but I rested her foot carefully on the end of the stick so her claw has something to grip. The length of the splint also goes past the 'hock' joint, giving her stability when she tries to use it. The issue is, once it gets locked in a backward position, she cant get it forward again. Im hoping that this will help her use it as a crutch.
    I then used elastic crepe bandage to lightly strap the splinted limb against her body. This is its natural position - I should have done this days ago I feel so dumb. She waggled her tail all happy as I was doing it and sat quiet even though she is not easily handled.


    She really, really cant move now. Before she was kind of 'clawing' about, now she cant even do that but it might be a good thing. This is her sister Ephinny, who was uninjured but had severe shock the next morning. One sister dead and one disappeared! She wandered around honking doing her best goose impersonation until I put her in for visiting hours.

    Im thinking of taking the sling off when I put her away at night just to give her a break from it and change the splint every morning. Just play it by ear and see how she goes. Still booked for vet Sunday morning

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