ceedublu

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Nov 22, 2020
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We adopted two ducklings last spring that turned out to be drakes. We lost one a few weeks ago, and we adopted four young females that I believe were hatched this spring. We noticed yesterday that one of the new females (second from the right in the photo) appears to be sick or injured: she's got a limp, and when I approach her, she flops onto the ground and flaps her wings weakly (she normally just walks away).

Her limp seems very inconsistent: sometimes it's barely noticeable, and sometimes it's very pronounced. She often stands with her right leg off the ground. When I put her in water, she swims, but she lists to one side.

She is still pretty active: she forages, eats, drinks, preens, and poops. There are no visible cuts, sores, swelling, or other signs of injury. No evidence of bumblefoot. I haven't seen any harassment or aggressive behavior among any of the ducks (the drake is really mellow) but we're currently keeping her confined and separate from the others, with her own food and water.

We free-feed Sprout "All Flock," oyster shells for calcium, and supplement with peas and greens twice a day. The ducks have access to good shelter and lots of clean water.

Our plan is to keep her isolated and watch her closely, and hope whatever is bothering her sorts itself out. Does anyone have any other advice, or suggestions for things to look out for? Since these are our first females, I'm wondering if we're missing something.
 

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Miss Lydia

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:welcomeHave they started to lay yet? She could have injured herself, keeping her up where you can keep an eye on her making sure she is eating drinking and pooping is good. Some water for therapy is also good since that takes weight off legs and back. Some B complex vitamins can help with leg injuries since it helps to build up muscles. You could also think of ordering a good antibiotic in case of infection. Of course it's always hard to diagnose with out a vet which most of us haven't any access too. I had just recently a Runner that wasn't walking well and just listless so I brought her inside and started her on a does of Baytril for 7 days also had to tube feed because she wouldn't eat. She is back with her flock now.
Here is a website for meds. Chicken Medications – All Bird Products
Not saying she needs antibiotics but it's always a good idea to have some on hand.
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Good advice from Lydia. Could you try to get a video of the duck walking? To post a video, upload it to a video platform like youtube or Vimeo, and copy/paste the link here.
 

ceedublu

Hatching
Nov 22, 2020
6
2
8
Good advice from Lydia. Could you try to get a video of the duck walking? To post a video, upload it to a video platform like youtube or Vimeo, and copy/paste the link here.
Here's a video of her walking; the limp is variable, but generally worse when we let her out in the morning. Her condition doesn't seem to have changed in the last few days.


I took a closer look at her feet after my original post, and it does appear like she has a mild case of bumblefoot on her left foot. I wonder if that's what's causing her trouble, though, since it seems relatively minor. After I checked her, I found it on our Pekin drake, too: his is much worse, but he's chugging along just fine. I'm treating both with epsom salt soaks and Neosporin.

So, I wonder if she might be dealing with two different things: bumblefoot, and whatever it is that's causing the limp -- unless that's just a result of the bumblefoot.

Do you have any opinions on the effectiveness of the epsom salt/Neosporin treatment vs. tricide neo vs. surgery? I'm open to doing surgery myself, with some reservations about causing the duck undue pain and stress.
 

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ceedublu

Hatching
Nov 22, 2020
6
2
8
:welcomeHave they started to lay yet? She could have injured herself, keeping her up where you can keep an eye on her making sure she is eating drinking and pooping is good. Some water for therapy is also good since that takes weight off legs and back. Some B complex vitamins can help with leg injuries since it helps to build up muscles. You could also think of ordering a good antibiotic in case of infection. Of course it's always hard to diagnose with out a vet which most of us haven't any access too. I had just recently a Runner that wasn't walking well and just listless so I brought her inside and started her on a does of Baytril for 7 days also had to tube feed because she wouldn't eat. She is back with her flock now.
Here is a website for meds. Chicken Medications – All Bird Products
Not saying she needs antibiotics but it's always a good idea to have some on hand.
Thanks! I'm not sure if this particular duck has started laying yet or not; we have gotten a few eggs from the group.

I'm hesitant to give antibiotics without knowing what condition I'm trying to address, if any. It is possible that she injured herself somehow (their house and water are slightly elevated, so they have some shallow ramps to navigate) but I'm a little disheartened that she doesn't seem to have improved in the last few days. She's still foraging, eating, drinking, preening, and pooping, so I don't thinks she's in dire straits, but she appears to be in considerable discomfort, if not pain.
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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The picture is a little blurry, so it's hard to make out the severity of the swelling, but from what I can tell there is no Bumblefoot, with your classic core and necrotic black-filled plug. Instead, it looks like pressure sores from being housed on hard/compacted grounds. Pressure sores do often get infected, due to the flaky/rough skin it allows bacteria to enter fairly easily. Pressure sores on the feet are often a precursor to a bumblefoot infection or Podermatsisis, but the sores as of now, aren't of the severity, In my opinion, to classify them as such.

If the sores are minimal enough, soaking the feet in Epsom salts, and correcting any management errors, like hard/rough substrate, may all be what's needed to reverse the swelling progression of the sores.
 

ceedublu

Hatching
Nov 22, 2020
6
2
8
The picture is a little blurry, so it's hard to make out the severity of the swelling, but from what I can tell there is no Bumblefoot, with your classic core and necrotic black-filled plug. Instead, it looks like pressure sores from being housed on hard/compacted grounds. Pressure sores do often get infected, due to the flaky/rough skin it allows bacteria to enter fairly easily. Pressure sores on the feet are often a precursor to a bumblefoot infection or Podermatsisis, but the sores as of now, aren't of the severity, In my opinion, to classify them as such.

If the sores are minimal enough, soaking the feet in Epsom salts, and correcting any management errors, like hard/rough substrate, may all be what's needed to reverse the swelling progression of the sores.
Thanks, Isaac! I've circled the area that I think is bumblefoot; there is a hard core, but it's more of dark yellow than black. I've also attached a photo of our Pekin drake's foot (also with a yellow core). They both look like bumblefoot to me...?

If she has pressure sores, I think she must have gotten them at the farm where we adopted her; she's been on grass (or straw litter at night) since we got her. If her feet aren't causing her limp, I imagine she suffered an injury, somehow.
 

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Isaac 0

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Thanks for the picture. I really did not see that in the photo, but, yes it looks like you have some mild Bumblefoot going on there. If I were to see that, I would probably start soaking the feet for a few days in Epsom Salts to loosen the core, then once loose, with a pair of sterile tweezers, try to peel it off like e thick scab, and cut any tissue away with a scalpel as needed. If you see any blood, just apply pressure, until it stops and continue on.

Once you've got the whole core out, pack it with an antibacterial ointment, wrap gauze around the foot, and bandage. Change that every few days, but leave it on until the scab has healed or re-infection may occur.
 

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