Muscovy drake unable to stand

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mystkblu, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2011
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    Howdy folks! Been a long time chicken and duck owner. I am a vet tech but specialized in equine and exotic so I'm really rusty when it comes to poultry. I have a muscovy drake who is about 4 months old. I got him with 3 welsh harlequins and a muscovy hen in late May.

    They have all thrived and grown beautifully and have acclimated to our farm just fine. They interact with our chickens, dwarf and pygmy goats and horses without any issues. They have been fed clean scratch grain, a duck crumble and veggies, forage and crawdads from the ponds and ditches. They also raid the chicken layer crumbles and sweet feed for the goats and horses. All food on our farm is unmedicated.

    Two days ago I noticed the muscovy was lame. Weight bearing but definitely favoring his left leg. I figured he may have been stepped on by the pygmy goat and decided to watch him. The next day he was down and didn't want to move. When I encouraged him to walk he was able to get around on the right leg but refused to use the left. I checked him for wounds or breaks and found nothing out of the ordinary. I put him in his own pen with clean water and grain and left him to rest. Tonight he is unable to stand. I took him to the pond for some "hydrotherapy" and to see if he had any use of his legs. While he wasn't paddling strongly he does have range of motion in both legs, albeit limited. And he was able to push/pull himself from the pond using his wings and feet. I checked his legs again and he does have good circulation, no edema, no broken bones, no crepitus or dislocation in any joints and is able to curl his toes on his own. It seems that he has lost the strength and is unable to support himself.

    I've been through my Mercks manual and have found similar symptoms in turkeys that are kept in wet litter conditions, but nothing about the same symptoms in ducks. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Thanks very much for taking the time to respond!

    Edit - he is eating heartily and drinking and his attitude is as good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  2. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's a picture. IF this forum is like any other you all want lots of pix. [​IMG] His name is Stefano. And of all the ducks I've had he's become my favorite which, I'm sure, is why this is happening. We never ever call any of our critters The Favorite because they always come to some horrible end. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Could it be a slipped tendon? I have no idea what to look for. I hope someone helps soon.
     
  4. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the response Diana. I wouldn't expect the intermediate lameness with a slipped tendon followed by immediate non-mobility with both legs. I'm stumped. And I suspect we'll be eating him soon if he doesn't improve. I know turkeys can see improvement once bone growth slows down, but he hasn't been feed heavily to produce meat mass. But he has far outstripped his peers in weight and mass, so maybe....... I just don't know. All I can do is keep him quite, do hydrotherapy and supplement with vitamins, and keep his protein intake lower. We live in a wilderness interface on the edge of FS/BLM/NPS land so we know we'll have predation. It happens and we deal and cry but when a healthy animal goes down in 24 hours you feel like you've failed them and you NEED to know what happened. These animals are components of my farm and ecological management, as well as providing food for my family. The goats, ducks, chickens and horses are all part of the ecological and sustainable maintenance of our homestead and when they get ill it's like loosing a family member. They all have their duties and they all have their personalities. It's like working in a factory and you know everyone and their quirks. When someone gets sick you feel the laps in the duties. And when they get sick you what to get them well - not just because they are a cog in the machine but because they are family.
     
  5. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    SW Colorado
    47 views and nobody has a suggestion? Nobody has has this happen before? Nobody has a link to an article that might provide an inkling of help?

    OK - how about somebody has a link to a forum that deals with waterfowl diseases and skeletal and muscular disorders?

    I live in an extremely rural area that is cattle ranch oriented. Vets won't even talk to me about a bird. If it ain't a cow, a sheep or a horse good luck. It was suggested this forum would help. I raise, slaughter and eat my own meat on a regular basis because that's how we live out here. But I have no desire for Peking Duck especially if I don't know why it's dead.

    I especially don't want to kill a bird if I might be able to help it survive. I seriously doubt it's Parvo as I don't think it'd been found in the US yet. Anyone seen this, has it been diagnosed, treatment?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have storey's guide to duck raising? it covers some medical issues. I would doubt given it's age it would be due to diet at this point. Possibly just an injury.. sorry i really don't know. Hopefully others will chime in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  7. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Seperate him in a clean area and start Durramycin in his water. You can also get some brewers yeast and add it to his food, for extra niacin while he's not able to free range.


    I have had this happen to 2 of my Muscovy Boys and they both pulled through, one was 1yr old when it happened and it was HARD on him but he made it. He also didn't breed for nearly a year afterwards but did continue to reproduce after that time. My other boy was about the age of your guy & it took him about 2 weeks to get through it. He lived in a short, flat tub in my bedroom during this time and got warm baths everyday to help with his legs. After a few days he finally started making his way back to the bedroom from the bathroom, but i kept him inside until he was fully mobile.

    I have no idea what caused it in either one but the antibiotics & yeast seemed to really help. I lost my older guy early this year but the young one is now my flock daddy... Very healthy and has made tons of babies this year!
     
  8. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't sound like slipped tendon because your exam would have noticed the enlarged hock. Possibly low niacin, but I'm not convinced because the diet looks good and should be providing the 55 mg/kg recommended unless he's avoiding the duck crumble. One possibility if he has been 'tramautized" by something would be capture myopathy. I have seen it in wild birds, and a pair of black-bellied whistling ducks I bought. CM is thought be influenced by an imbalance in the Vit E:selenium ratio. In the black-bellies diagnosis was based upon CPK levels.

    Clint
     
  9. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2011
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    Thank you both!! I will probably be bringing him in the house to keep him cleaner and more comfortable (hubby is gonna love that). I will try meds and supplements and make sure he's getting a complete and balanced diet. I did consider capture myopothy, but the onset was so gradual. I do recall issues with some meat birds that got too much protein too fast and had similar symptoms with bone growth and tendon development - once their diets were corrected and the bone growth slowed the birds recovered. I'm wondering if he's been hitting the layer crumbles heavily and it's altered his nutritional balance?

    Thanks again. It really sucks to see your boys and girls sick. Please keep comments and suggestions coming. [​IMG]
     
  10. mystkblu

    mystkblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2011
    SW Colorado
    No improvement as yet. He still is eating and drinking with gusto and grooming and playing when I put him in the tub.

    He's started on Duramycin and a nutritional niacin supplement as of today (had to trek to another town to find the meds and supps - love living in the middle of nowhere but it's frustrating when you need something ASAP).

    Spent half the day digging through my old vet tech boxes of papers and texts. Wondering if I could have thrown his calcium/phosphates out of whack? His lameness onset shortly after I gave the hens their oyster shell which the ducks have not had access to before. I know the odds are slim but once I start digging for info I become compulsive in tracking clues. [​IMG]

    Anyhoodle, I just thought I'd update and maybe jog some more ideas from you fine folks!
     

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