Mangled duck bill

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    My friend called this morning and one of his ducks was attacked last night and her bill mangled. Just fyi, this is a GREAT duck owner, and they keep the ducks locked up every night and only free range them when they can be outside with them. But last night their pre-teen son, who is usually incredibly responsible, got distracted and forgot to put them up. He is the one who went outside this morning to take care of them and found one of them in bad shape. Poor kid! And poor duck!

    Anyway, the duck appears undamaged except around her mouth (isn't that weird? What would do that?). I haven't seen her yet, but he's going to email me a picture and I'll post it when I have it. I'm also going over there later this morning to see what I can do to help. He brought her inside into the bathtub to keep her clean. He says she bled a lot but the bleeding has stopped. Now she is just resting in the water and not drinking or talking or eating.

    I told him to keep her there, but give her company from another duck, and give her the option to come out of the water if possible. I believe the greatest dangers to the duck are dehydration and infection. So I'm going to look up antibiotic use for ducks (I've never done it myself, so I don't know dosages or types or anything--please post here if you have that info, otherwise I'll find it in another thread), and I told him to keep an eye and make sure she starts drinking within the next few hours. When she does, I suggested that he offer her a soft paste of mixed food and water to eat/drink.

    A vet is probably out of the question. For one thing, I don't know that there are any in our area that would have a clue--I have trouble finding one to treat my goats, let alone ducks. Secondly, like many folks, they're having trouble in this economy and probably can't manage the bills.

    So, here are my questions:

    * Is there any other basic care he should be providing?
    * Should we try to clean up the bill? She doesn't like it to be touched, so he hasn't even washed it, and she's not drinking so it's not getting clean. She he force her to wet it? Should he try to gently wipe it clean? Or can we assume that since she bled a lot, it more or less cleaned itself and now should be left alone to heal?
    * Should we try to trim the mangled parts of the bill? Do ducks have a lot of nerve endings in their bills? The tongue is damaged too, and I know better than to try and "operate" on the tongue (that would be a vet's job if we had a decent one), but would it be beneficial to try and trim the mangled parts of the bill in order give it cleaner edges for better healing?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. They really love their ducks and will appreciate the assistance! Thanks!
     
  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Wow, sounds horrid!

    I wonder if superglue would work on the bill until it could grow back a bit? We use it on box turtles that have damaged shells. If the tongue is dry enough then the glue may help too.
    Having never worked on ducks I really can't say what will work but a long winter in the house sounds like it for this ducklie. A lot of soft food in a syringe for a week or so. Science Diet makes a wonderful transition food that helps the stressed animals. I forget the name of it but it comes in a can and is pudding consistency. We often would mix it with water for tubing dogs and cats with broken jaws. I also offered it to the turtles while they were mending.

    Good luck to your friend's duck.[​IMG]
     
  3. Hattiegun

    Hattiegun Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all very much. I am over here with the duck and have pasted some pictures below. It is pretty bad. Ducks are tough and I have good hope that if she can avoid infection that she may well recover nicely with plenty of time. But we are grateful for any tips you all can offer. Here is what I am suggesting so far, and please provide input:

    1. Give her a dose of baby aspirin for the pain, and wait 20 minutes to an hour for it to kick in.

    2. Wash her bill thoroughly in diluted salt water for disinfection and in order to get a better look at it.

    3. Treat bill with honey--this will give her some quick energy while also being a good topical antibiotic.

    4. Perhaps treat her with agramycin or baytril?

    5. Keep her warm and dry with access to water

    6. Infant vitamins in the water and possibly an optional bowl of water with apple cider vinegar in it.

    7. Feed offered as a very wet mush. Force feed if she doesn't begin to eat within 24 hours.

    Does that sound about right? Am I missing anything?

    Pictures in the next entry...
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Help?
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Two more questions:

    What is the dosage of aspirin?
    And should we try trimming the bill where bits of it are hanging off?

    Thank you!
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    This is really bad. There is no way of fixing this and it will not regrow. If it would have just been the tip then the duck can live with it. Half of her face is chewed up and honey does not have enough antibacterial properties to take care of it. Even injectable antibiotics are hard to use, because it will not go all the way into the bill. Even the nostrils are damaged, which means she probably has some bad bacteria in the nasal passage. Some specialty vets can fix this with the kind of plastic used for tooth filling, but that is very expensive and still does not guarantee a thing. I think even for that the damage is way to far up the bill. I would suggest to put her down. It hate putting down animals and it may sound cruel, but it is the best thing you can do for her. I can't even imagine the pain she must be in. I think it is the humane thing to do.
     
  8. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    [​IMG] there is no fixing that.... culling is the humane thing to do in this situation, poor duck!
     
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a solution for you, but this is so sad. I don't think a duck can live with a bill that badly damaged. It also looks like something happend to her head, too. She looks miserable.
     
  10. Hattiegun

    Hattiegun Chillin' With My Peeps

    OMG ! pooooooooooooor baby.... I agree with the others... [​IMG]
     

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