muscovy - legs jerking back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KellyandKatie, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. KellyandKatie

    KellyandKatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) What type of bird , age and weight. Muscovy hen- three years old
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. She was FINE today- took a swim in her pool, ate well, hung out with us in the yard as usual- we had a picnic for dinner not two hours ago- she was FINE. Now she is trying to make her way to the coop and keeps falling- her wings splay out the side, her legs shoot straight back. She is strong when I pick her up, has muscle control when I hold her- but when she tries to walk, her legs just keep kicking back and she falls
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? just now
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? no- I have two other muscovies and a dozen chickens
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no- none
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. no idea
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. no, she has been drinking and eating just fine
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.- have not seen a specific new dropping in the last two hours
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? none
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use- coop at night - free range of yard during the day
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Sorry to hear about your muscovy. I had a female that had the EXACT same problem. I noticed it one night when everyone was marching back into the chicken yard from free ranging in the "human yard". One of my girls was lagging far behind and that was very unusual behavior for her. She was always in on time with no problems. I went out to meet her to hurry her back in and then that is when I noticed it. I walked behind her and as I am walking her in, she tries to hurry up and her body hits the ground, wings stretched out to the side and both legs stretch straight backwards behind her. She FROZE!!!! It looked like a spasm. I was speechless when I saw it. The first thing that I thought was that maybe one of the drakes tried to breed with her and broke her leg or injured it badly.

    I immediately picked her up and checked for injuries, cuts or bruises but she had none. I placed her in the infirmary. When picking her up, I noticed that she had lost a LOT of weight. So, she must have been this way for a while but I had not noticed. I had no idea what I was going to do. I researched her problem for DAYS and found NOTHING. There was nothing on BYC or on the internet. Finally, I came upon a website and this is what I found.

    Botulism
    Symptoms: loss of muscular control of legs, wings and neck - hence the term limber-neck. Birds are unable to swallow.
    Cause: toxins produced by bacteria (Clostridia) in decaying animal and vegetable waste. The toxins cause the problem.
    Treatment: avoid problems by keeping ducks out of muddy/dirty areas and stagnant pools, especially in hot weather. The bacteria multiply rapidly in warmer temperatures in anaerobic conditions (where oxygen is excluded). Give affected birds fresh drinking water. If necessary, introduce water into the mouth and throat with a syringe (no needle). A crop tube could be used with the advice of a vet. Add Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate, available from the high street chemist) to the water. This is an old remedy which is still used. Recommended amounts vary from 1 tablespoon in one cup of water to 1 ounce per 50 fluid oz ( two and a half pints) of water.

    I put fresh food (lay crumble) and water in her pen. I tried to feed her but I wasn't able to. All I could do was pray that she would be ok. I did administer Tylan 50 - 2 times a day for 1 week in hopes it would help. I tried not to startle her when I walked into her pen knowing that this would cause the spasms. She was in a pen for about 4 weeks. It was a MIRACLE that today she is back to normal. She re-covered 100%!

    If someone asked me how I did it, I really couldn't tell them. I can't say that the Tylan did it or not. Maybe it was the Epsom salt as stated above.

    I hope that this helps.​
     
  3. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:X3
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    KellyandKatie, how is your duck doing?

    I found some more information and an article on Duck Botulism for future reference for others.

    Duck Botulism
    by Michelle Beaupied

    Every year, many ducks are paralyzed or die after being exposed to the toxin produced by botulinum bacterium. Clotridium Botulinum Type C (also referred to as “Limberneck Disease”) is one of the major disease problems of wild migratory ducks. Type C outbreaks are more common in the western states though they also occur in the east. Humans, cats, and dogs are generally not affected by Type C botulism.


    Clotridium Botulinum Type C causes paralysis by attacking the nervous system. It is a poisoning rather than an infection. As the disease progresses, different levels of paralysis are observed in ducks. An early indication that a duck has been affected is its inability to fly or dive. Diarrhea may also occur. The legs are the next area where paralysis strikes. Once the legs have become paralyzed, ducks are often observed using their wings to propel themselves across the water. Eyelids droop as the inner eyelid becomes paralyzed and eventually, the neck goes limp. At this point, ducks drown due to the inability to hold their heads above water. Affected ducks that do not drown die of respiratory failure.

    Botulism Type C spores exist in lake and pond bottoms and thrive when air temperatures rise and water and oxygen levels drop. A hot dry summer increases the probability of outbreaks. As water levels drop, the bacteria are exposed. The ducks will ingest the bacteria when they feed. They also contract botulism by feeding on invertebrate carcasses that harbor the toxin. The toxin also exists in the live maggots that feed on carcasses. By consuming these maggots, the toxin in turn, poisons the ducks.

    The quick removal of carcasses greatly helps to prevent large outbreaks. Carcasses provide an environment in which the toxin continues to produce and in which maggots develop. Ducks suffering from botulism can be saved if properly cared for. The most helpful thing rehabilitators can do for ducks with botulism in its early stage is provide them with fresh water. Antitoxins are also available but are expensive. Regulating water levels and controlling insect populations also help in the prevention of large outbreaks.

    Article
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/western-leader/4534029/Botulism-outbreak-killing-ducks
     
  6. KellyandKatie

    KellyandKatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! She is still here with us, and we are pushing fluids, and trying to get her to eat and such, I am thinking botulism too- but have not found a lot of good treatment ideas

    It is wonderful to hear that your duck made a complete recovery, we do have tylan here too
    I have been calling around to area vets to see if any of them do poultry care
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:Thank you for letting us know her progress. If she is still alive, then she has a great chance of recovery. There is really not a lot of treatment info out there. That is why I panicked when I couldn't find anything. I had to "make up" things to do for her and treat her in hopes that it worked. There are no waterfowl ducks in my area, so I winged it. That would be great if you can find a vet.

    You are doing the right thing by pushing fluids. That should flush that bacteria out of her. It is a LONG recovery period but with patience, love and care, your duck will be fine.

    Please keep us posted. I am sending good vibes your way that everything works out. [​IMG]
     
  8. KellyandKatie

    KellyandKatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to check back in to update that she is still here with us, and actually showed some improvement yesterday:)

    I feel like I am not doing much for her, but she seems to be wanting to hang around the water pools, so we keeping pushing those fluids and keeping them very clean

    on the bad side, I was watching one of my other ducks, and maybe I am imagining it- but she seemed 'off' - I am hoping there is nothing to it and I was just me becuase i am worried

    My chocolate duck is no longer limping her legs out as much, and is walking in that weird pigeon march

    I keep doing some research, and it does look like if she was going to go into a coma, it would have happened at this point
     
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that she is still alive and showing some improvement. I know how you feel when you say that you feel like you are not doing much for her. I felt the exact same way. I wanted to give her a magic shot or some kinda magic potion that would miraculously heal her but I didn't have any. [​IMG]

    I think with something like this it will just take time. It took 3 weeks for me to see any improvement in my duck and then the 4th week was the JACKPOT week. She was healed on the 4th week. That was a long and agonizing wait for the duck AND for me. Each morning I expected to wake up and find her dead but the universe found fit to keep her alive. [​IMG]

    Just keep the water clean as you are doing and flush with fluids and I think this will help in her recovery. If your other duck seems "off", you may want to start the same regiment that you are doing now with the duck that has botulism. Catch it early before it gets worst. It won't hurt to get those fluids going in duck #2.

    It's better to be safe than sorry.

    I hope all goes well.

    PLEASE keep us posted. I would love to hear about their progress.

    Quote:
     
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Any update?
     

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