Maggots on duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Borgia, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Borgia

    Borgia New Egg

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    I let my 4 ducks out this morning and all seemed fine. I went to put them in their coop tonight and one would not go in. I looked closely and its backside was infested w maggots. Maybe someone will tell me I'm wrong but i put it down. I had a cat before with similar maggots and the vet said there was nothing he could do. Anyways I'm wondering if I need to worry about the other 3 and what precautions I can take so this never happens again. I'm not sure how it happened as I didn't see any injuries. The humidity and heat have been out of control so maybe that was it. All 4 ducks stopped laying about a week ago so hopefully they don't all have it? I keep it pretty clean but was out of town for 2 weeks. Anyways any thoughts?
     
  2. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not had maggots on birds because they preen but I have dealt with them on sheep under their heavy wool. Maggots only feed on dead flesh so they will actually clean a wound without eating healthy tissue. You only need to clean the maggots out of a wound and then dress it to keep flies from laying more eggs in the wound. I use hydrogen peroxide to rinse out the maggots and disinfect the wound but it will damage the live tissue if you use it too often.

    Once the maggots are removed you need to focus on helping the tissue heal so it depends on the type of wound you are treating and how well bandages will stick. Ducks will remove bandages if they are not taped securely and they will need to be changed as they get wet and dirty. Open air healing can work on shallow wounds that form scabs to protect the healing tissue but some large wounds may need sutures to hold them together during healing.

    I am guessing your duck must have had an unusually large wound to merit putting it down. The maggots must have been deep in the flesh since the duck did not remove them during preening or bathing. With ducks you can probably give them extended soaks to help dislodge the maggots from a deep puncture wound and then flush it repeatedly with hydrogen peroxide until the wound surface is clean.

    Deep wounds usually need systemic antiobiotics (oral or injectible) rather than topical antibiotics because anything you apply to the surface of a deep puncture can trap dirt and bacteria in the wound instead of allowing the wound to drain. Blood and puss are ways the body has of cleaning wounds naturally so as long as a wound is weeping it will be somewhat self-cleaning.

    The maggots are gross and bothersome but they don't usually cause any longterm tissue damage. Bacteria has the potential to kill, though, so cleaning a wound and killing the bacteria is critical to the body's overall health and ability to heal.

    I read that you did not see any injury on the duck's back but the maggots had to be feeding on dead tissue because that is what they do. The only other way the maggots would be on living tissue is if they somehow were transferred from dead tissue that they were feeding on so the duck would have had to rub against something that was maggot infested to pick up the maggots. In that case the maggots would have crawled around for awhile and then dropped off without anything to feed on so they might have been gone on their own by morning. Hopefully you did not kill a perfectly healthy duck so we can probably assume the duck had a puncture wound deep enough to feed an overflowing number of maggots but small enough that you did not see it.
     
  3. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Normally I might question if they were in fact maggots and not lice or something else but you said you have seen them before so I just went with the assumption that they were certainly maggots. What I did not ask and maybe should have asked is what your ducks have for bathing. They don't need a deep pond but they do need enough water to dunk under in order to be most effective at bathing. If you don't have a water source deep enough for them to fully submerge in as they are splashing in their bath water, you might offer them more water. The more water they have the cooler it will stay and that will also help them beat the heat as well.
     
  4. Borgia

    Borgia New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Thx for the response. I'm not a vet so I'm not 100% sure what they were but they looked like worms or grubs that had burrowed into the flesh or were coming out of the flesh. Lice are little bugs no? I don't think I put down a healthy bird because the bird could not even move, so there was something seriously wrong with it and its feathers were literally falling off on the top back. For bathing they have a small container maybe 2.5 ft x 1.5 ft and about 6 inches deep. I also have a much larger container from home depot which is a circle probably 3 ft circumference and 2 feet deep but they aren't interested in that so I have stopped filling it. At this point I am most concerned about preventing this from happening again? and if this is a communicable type situation where I have to worry about the other ducks. It has been 2 nights now for them with no signs but it's a disgusting and saddening thing so I don't want to see it again.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have seen this on here before there could be poop build up around the vent or a wound then the flies get to it and lay eggs which oif course brings the maggots. I keep close eye on my birds vents for this very reason usually water fowl can keep themselves clean because of the bathing they do but chickens with fluffy butts can have this happen, maybe your duck had an egg bust inside and the leaking cause this to draw the flies then the eggs then the maggots. Very sorry about your duck but most likely if the rest of your birds are laying normal there shouldn't be any problem with maggots just check each birds vent to make sure they are all clean.
     
  6. Borgia

    Borgia New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Good to know and thx. This brings up another issue. My ducks are a little over a year old and since the spring were pretty much laying consistently. I had 4 female ducks (now 3) and was consistently getting 3-4 eggs per day. About a month ago that fell to 1 and I haven't gotten an egg for the past 2 weeks. Not sure if this is somehow connected in all this.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Probably not connected at all the heat will keep them from laying good and then they have breaks also in between laying to rest their bodies. If your experiencing the heat most of us have had this summer I have seen a drop off in eggs being laid too. Just make sure they are getting as good a feed as you can and also put out extra Oyster shell even if you feed layer. and be sure to clean out their house just in case maggots have set up house in their in some poop. Hopefully once the weather starts to cool off more we'll see the eggs come back. Look at your ducks observe how they are acting are they eating good,foraging/ getting exercise? All of these things matter with egg layers. Plenty of good fresh water for drinking and bathing. places to get out of the heat. good ventilation in their house. I have fans in my 2 houses they even run during the day for my egg layers it gets hot trying to lay an egg I see mine panting. Kind of like having a baby. lol
     

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