Loss of our Duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mollyjane, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. mollyjane

    mollyjane Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    27
    Feb 11, 2016
    Oregon
    Today we lost our sweet little Khaki Campbell duck out of the blue. Last night she didn't feel well (everyone is free range during the day and then at sunset I make sure everyone goes into bed in the coop and lock it up). Earlier that day she was acting normally but when I came to put her to bed, we usually have a nightly ritual that I "chase" her all the way around the coop and she runs inside (it was kind of a game for her, I think) but last night she was just under a tree. When I went over to her, she just let me pick her up and put her in bed (very unlike her!). Before I put her in bed she started to fidget because she wanted to be let down, but other than that she was pretty lethargic. I was worried and wondered if I should get her out of the coop and look her over or check her out but she seemed content laying in her bed and I decided I would check on her in the morning.

    This morning when my boyfriend let everyone out he didn't notice her acting weird and thought everything was fine. Then when I came home from work this afternoon, she was dead in the coop where she sleeps.

    She has been acting totally normally, except for last night, and had really starting warming up to us. Eating and drinking was normal, we change all the waters daily, and she was not thin or overweight. After I had calmed down, I sat down and thoroughly checked out her body. No lacerations at all. Nothing at all, until I flipped her over and got to around her vent. There were clumps of what I can only explain as long grain rice. Not just individually, which there was, but in clumps as well. It almost looked like dried tape worm segments, but I worked in a vet for a long time and never saw anything like that. It also smelled foul like infection. There were no lacerations, no wounds, no anything. When I looked at her vent, it seemed mucous-y but not swollen. She did not have fecal matter dried to her feathers, or anything like that. Just these clumps of tape-worm long-grained rice looking things all in her feathers around her vent. When I looked back into her mouth, she also had a clump in her mouth, to the side of her tongue.

    I am so distraught over the loss of my sweet Brown Duck (that was her name because nothing else stuck). Last month we lost 2 hens to a coyote when they were broody in the yard and I couldn't find them. One right after the other. I'm just so stunned I lost Brown Duck, too.

    Were those tapeworms that I saw? Something else? Could that be the cause of such a sudden death? (they were DEFINITELY not maggots, I've helped with that in dogs and this was not it at all!) Any ideas would be helpful because no matter how much googling I do, I can't seem to figure out what it was. I feel so guilty and just devastated. [​IMG]

    Thank you
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,025
    2,026
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Sounds like fly strike. She may have had a wound near her vent and flies laid eggs in it.

    Usually fly strike follows an injury.

    In fact if she had been dead for a while, the flies may have laid eggs on the body - not before she died.

    So it could have been a heart attack, an internal infection (ducks do not let us know when they are sick - they hide it until it's too late, too often). Could have been egg yolk peritonitis - I have lost two ducks to that. If it came on suddenly, it could have been some kind of toxin - a plant, mushroom, metal, or botulism, though usually people report that their duck is acting drunk if it's botulism.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  3. mollyjane

    mollyjane Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    27
    Feb 11, 2016
    Oregon
    Thank you. I also first thought fly strike, but there were no fully developed maggots, just dried white rice things. Not alive. Dried.

    My gut feeling is that it was egg yolk peritonitis and the clumps of dried white whatever is a red herring.

    Thank you so much for your insight! I really appreciate it!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by