Older duckling with twisted neck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by stevequehombre, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. stevequehombre

    stevequehombre New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Southern California
    Hi,

    I've been accessing this forum for years to help answer any of the questions I had about my ducks, but this is the first time I've actually posted one. I have an 8-week-old Pekin duckling (Colbie) with a severely twisted neck. She was given to me when she was almost 3-weeks-old by a family who hatched a clutch of duck eggs for Easter and were returning the rest of the ducklings to the farm. (I have three other ducks, so they asked if I'd take her.) Colbie, according to the family, began developing the twist to her neck when she was 1-week-old and was half the size of the other ducklings when they gave her to me. I immediately took her to my avian vet, who, in his experience, has only seen twisted necks in ducks that 1.) had some fatal stomach condition, 2.) had some fatal virus, or 3.) had calcium deficiency. Basically, over the course of three vet visits, several phone conversations, and calcium injections/supplements, we ruled out all three. He finally concluded that she has some neurological condition that she was born with, and really the only thing to do is keep her comfortable/protect her from herself while she continues to adapt to her condition.

    However, I've since done some research on this forum and elsewhere, and found that niacin and vitamin e deficiencies are relatively common causes of twisted necks in ducklings. I figured that it couldn't hurt starting her on some Poli-Vi-Sol and brewers yeast, as she refuses the starter mash (only likes the Mazuri Waterfowl feed, which the vet said has less vitamins than starter), so she's been on both for a couple of days now. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else had an older duckling with the condition, and what the treatment and/or outcome was. Almost all of the other cases of twisted necks in ducklings I've read about involved very young ducklings that had rapid recoveries once being started on vitamin supplements. There was only one case of an older duckling I read about, and it died.

    Colbie is a relatively happy duckling who loves attention (she gets SO excited when she's picked up--such a cutie!) and, at least based on her nightly weighings, is eating decently (enough to keep her growing steadily, at least). While she seemed to be minimally improving for the first couple of weeks I had her, recently she has needed more help with things like directing herself and lifting her head up from under her, which concerns me. She walks (if you can call it walking) in circles or backward, if at all, and has her head twisted upside down almost all of the time. If she was suffering and unable to eat and stuff, I'd understand putting her down. However, like I mentioned above, she's such a happy little girl and enjoys her spoiled life, so I just want to do whatever I can to make her better. If anyone could give me any advice on this matter, that would be great. Thanks so much [​IMG]
     
  2. stevequehombre

    stevequehombre New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Southern California
    Here are some photos of Colbie, by the way. I just figured out how to upload them:


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  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Colbie is such a sweet looking duckie- so happy she has someone caring like you looking out for her. It could be a vitamin deficiency- but I have never sen anything that severe myself. Generally wry neck is treatable with vitamins though.

    With supplementing vitamins- if you only give the dose on the packs - that is for a maintenance dose, so if they are deficient to the point of showing signs like Colbie they actually need a higher dose to bring the levels back up to normal and sustain the right level needed. I had a duckling two years ago that hatched with a thiamine deficiency, she needed vitamins for about a month before I could consider her normal- but even now she is a little odd and needs regular supplementation. The vet explained about giving her huge doses of vitamins - ten times what was on the pack instructions- but also explained that giving a multivitamin in huge doses could cause an overdose of others that she wasnt deficient in so to watch for other signs or changes.
     

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