Neck wound from mystery predator overnight - how serious?

wooded acres

Chirping
Mar 1, 2015
29
11
67
north country NY
We awoke this morning to find one of our ducks in the pen with a gash on her neck. The pen is lined with electric fence and even hardware cloth along the bottom, except at the door, where we found feathers outside... It looks as though her neck skin has been torn apart, she wasn't bleeding too bad, it looks deepest at the bottom... We flushed the wound with betadine and wrapped it with some gauze to stop the bleeding and had her in a box with a heating pad and water in a dark room as she was understandably upset. She is not used to being held though and its difficult to keep her still and calm while trying to hold her. We ended up putting some water in the tub and putting her in as she wasn't drinking at all. She immediately splashed about, cleaning her face and drinking! The bath helped clean out the wound so I could see it better, it seems to be just the skin/ muscle at the top, which I'm hopeful is a good thing? I grabbed some vetercyn from TS along with some electrolyte powder for her water. She has been drinking and snacking on salad greens, and she's able to move around and hold up her head just fine. She was laying down earlier when I had her in a box with straw, but now in the tub (lined with towels) she only stands, I tried to move her onto the towels but she only wants to stand by the water bowl on the bare floor... I want her to rest but she won't lay down 😔... I have placed food by her water and she ate a bit. Here are some pics of the wound, I'm wondering if we continue to keep the wound clean if its likely to heal up? Any advice would be helpful! Also, if there is something more we should be doing to help her out! I have tried on 2 other occasions to work with different vets and no one has any knowledge of poultry, and short of driving 2 hours to the nearest college there's not much else help around here!
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Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
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Iowa
It sounds like you've done a pretty good job caring for the wound. The one thing I might suggest is using something other than Vetericyn. It tends to dry out quickly and can flush away good cells on the wound. It may be better to use a cream like Silvadene which will help keep the wound moist longer and has good antibacterial, and antifungal effects.

Apply a coating as needed to keep the wound moist, and just keep an eye on the wound to make sure it's not getting infected. Weighing the duck each morning to ensure she's getting enough feed/water inside her too may be good, so you have an idea if you need to tube feed. A 5% decrease in weight, and you may think about tube feeding her.

I can't see the wound very well as it's a little dark, but it doesn't look very bad from what I'm used to seeing.
 

wooded acres

Chirping
Mar 1, 2015
29
11
67
north country NY
Thank you so much! Yes, finding it very hard to get a good shot! Unfortunately I drove to our nearest TS today for the vetericyn 😣 as I only had the ophthalmic gel on hand... I didn't see any type of ointments other than a lanolin one for chicken pecking and raw skin... I do have pure lanolin if that will help? We don't use much medicine so I don't have much else on hand, a neosporin in our chicken first aid kit, and a natural ointment with essential oils in it... would you suggest any of those? We put a heating pad under her towels for the night as it seemed a little chilly...
Any suggestions on weighing a duck?! We don't have any sort of scale other than your standard digital 'human' one and my husband says even holding her it isn't precise enough... 🤨
Tried to get some better pics...
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Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
The Neosporin you have will work, just dab some on there, and bandage it back up. As far as weighing, your husband is correct, a human-scale is way too broad and won't get an accurate measurement. To weigh her you'll need a large gram scale, which can be found at most grocery stores, or online on Amazon for a minimal price.
 

RoosterWhisperer

Future apprentice falconer
Premium Feather Member
Sep 13, 2019
3,230
21,986
761
We awoke this morning to find one of our ducks in the pen with a gash on her neck. The pen is lined with electric fence and even hardware cloth along the bottom, except at the door, where we found feathers outside... It looks as though her neck skin has been torn apart, she wasn't bleeding too bad, it looks deepest at the bottom... We flushed the wound with betadine and wrapped it with some gauze to stop the bleeding and had her in a box with a heating pad and water in a dark room as she was understandably upset. She is not used to being held though and its difficult to keep her still and calm while trying to hold her. We ended up putting some water in the tub and putting her in as she wasn't drinking at all. She immediately splashed about, cleaning her face and drinking! The bath helped clean out the wound so I could see it better, it seems to be just the skin/ muscle at the top, which I'm hopeful is a good thing? I grabbed some vetercyn from TS along with some electrolyte powder for her water. She has been drinking and snacking on salad greens, and she's able to move around and hold up her head just fine. She was laying down earlier when I had her in a box with straw, but now in the tub (lined with towels) she only stands, I tried to move her onto the towels but she only wants to stand by the water bowl on the bare floor... I want her to rest but she won't lay down 😔... I have placed food by her water and she ate a bit. Here are some pics of the wound, I'm wondering if we continue to keep the wound clean if its likely to heal up? Any advice would be helpful! Also, if there is something more we should be doing to help her out! I have tried on 2 other occasions to work with different vets and no one has any knowledge of poultry, and short of driving 2 hours to the nearest college there's not much else help around here! View attachment 2421545 View attachment 2421545 View attachment 2421545 View attachment 2421545 View attachment 2421546 View attachment 2421547 View attachment 2421548 View attachment 2421549 View attachment 2421555
Could the predator even get in through the door?
I don't think it's a bird of prey wound, but I hope she gets well soon!
 

wooded acres

Chirping
Mar 1, 2015
29
11
67
north country NY
Isaac, thank you! Ok we'll dab some on then! I had it covered with gauze before and kind of wrapped around her wing as she's not flapping them much. Does that sound good, or being that it's night and she hasn't been picking at it, could we leave it uncovered? Also, Is it ok/good to let her bathe once or twice a day?

RoosterWhisperer, the pen is pretty secure, its 2x4 sheep fence with 2 foot tall 1/2 inch hardware cloth lining all around the bottom, and as of earlier today now the door as well! There are also 2 lines of electric fencing around the bottom. The duckslive sleeping in a pile by the fence for some reason, I'm guessing a racoon or weasle maybe reached in through the spaces at the door, hopefully as she pulled away they got the zap of their life, which saved hers!
 

CoriM

Crowing
Jun 6, 2019
1,145
2,194
278
Could it possibly be feather-pulling? We rushed one of my pekins to the vet October a year ago and he thought it was a predator. Went to another vet and ended up spending months and over $800 through every bit of meds and treatment, only to finally figure out one of the other ducks was pulling her feathers. Wasn't bullying - they were best buds. My females were all raised together - but are very confused about mating and the lack of a drake and will allow the one duck to pull feathers. Attached is a photo I took of the first spot I found - your photos seem a lot like what I saw. This poor duck started getting her feathers pulled on her sides - and still does if I lapse at all in my close attention to the situation. I have had to separate them in the run during the day time.
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Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
Isaac, thank you! Ok we'll dab some on then! I had it covered with gauze before and kind of wrapped around her wing as she's not flapping them much. Does that sound good, or being that it's night and she hasn't been picking at it, could we leave it uncovered? Also, Is it ok/good to let her bathe once or twice a day?

Bandages on the wound discourages self-mutilation, increases the warmth on the wound, ensures the wound stays moist, protects the wound from contamination of the surrounding environment, all of which are vital for healing. An improperly applied bandage can cause problems, such as a too-tight one, or one that's not changed often. So make sure there is airflow getting under the bandage, with some gauze, and make sure to take it off every day or two to monitor progress.

Letting her bathe, once a day would be fine, just make sure the water is clean.
 

wooded acres

Chirping
Mar 1, 2015
29
11
67
north country NY
Good day!
Thank you again for your feedback, I appreciate everyone's concern and help!
Our little duck is doing quite well today, she's had a bath and been re-bandaged, much to her dismay. The wound looks good today in my opinion, and now I'm wondering if the bottom part tnatconcerned me yesterday is merely where the skin was torn away, and not a deeper wound below the gash!
She's still not pleased with all this attention, but she's eating and drinking. She does a funny thing with her mouth though when she's not eating/drinking, it's almost like if you had dry mouth and were trying to moisten your tongue...
Here is a better picture after her bath today!
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Now the new question is, should she be kept separate until she's healed up, or should I let her mingle with her buddies?
We had planned to travel about 2 hours away for Thanksgiving and stay over. My MIL graciously invited the duck as well offering her a private bath 😆! I'm wondering if it would be more stressful having her travel, or if setting up a section within the duck pen for her to stay would be a better option?
 

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