Panacure/Safeguard and feather concerns

Duck_Duck_Goose

Songster
Jul 23, 2018
138
96
123
So, I’m confused and apparently so is my avian vet who doesn’t often treat ducks which is fairly common with vets in my area. I’ve just finished reading all 38 pages of a fantastic thread started by @KsKingBee back in 2014 with my same current concern and some great information, from among others, @casportpony however I didn’t find the answers I’m in need of so am hoping that I may with this post and some passing of time since the last query.
This past Monday I mailed a combined sample (thinking that they’re basically glued to each other and if one had worms they both did) of both my Muscovy ducklings to PerfectPetProducts.com not anticipating that just two days later I’d be bringing the younger one to the vet with a leg concern and a stuffy sounding nose (think winter inside in dry heat stuffy sound), among other things, a gram stain and fecal float was done and no coccidia or worms were found. Awesome, right? Well, today Perfect Pet Products called to say that from that sample that I’d sent in ONE roundworm was found, that they couldn’t tell what part of the cycle it was in or from and recommended I treat. Picked up Panacure(Safefuard) from the vet with this dosing:
.25ml for 630g weight duckling
.50 for 1220g weight duckling
Once, then repeat in 10 days.
Great, but then I just had to go check out Panacure on ‘The Google’ and found on poultrydvm.com this warning:
‘Caution. Fenbendazole shouldn't be given to birds actively growing new feathers, such as those in the early stages of growth or during molting.
See more at: http://www.poultrydvm.com/drugs/fenbendazole
So, called my vet back with my now new concern as the approx 7 week old is still downy but getting her(?) big girl feathers and the older one, approx 10 weeks, has most of her adult feathers but is still getting her big girl wings (lots of pins still but hopping and testing them out Lol). At first they said don’t worry about it, that they prescribe it all the time with no issues but that to be sure they wanted to run it by the vet and could they call me back? A few minutes later and after apparently checking a poultry book they recommended that to be safe to not only hold off starting treatment until they’re both fully feathered but to also change how I administer the doses; rather than two total doses ten days apart to dose 5 days in a row at lower doses (she said the doses but I don’t recall what it was), admitting that while they may get clusters of chickens and ducks they don’t often enough see them to be familiar with this particular concern but ‘better safe than sorry’ and that the worms won’t be of much concern to postpone treatment.
So, now I’m STILL concerned about the 7 week old, who two days post a doxycycline injection for a slightly elevated white blood cell count and still stuffy sounding nose (hopefully culture results will reveal bacterial, fungal or whatever may be going on) and just seeming ‘off’ yet walking better but a bit hunched(although yesterday seeming much better than today) now I’m totally confused as to which direction to go regarding deworming.
I know from that 2014 post the main concern, yet negligible at best, was the molting phase regarding feather concerns but am truly in need of some advice here. I saw a picture posted in that thread of a dead chick packed with several dead and two live worms which was pretty alarming.
My immediate questions are:
•Is the feather issue a concern at either of my ducklings growth stages?
•Will treatment now further stress the 7 week old?
•When I do treat for roundworms should it be the five consecutive, lower dose days (and what dose per bird?) or the initially prescribed .25 & .50 respectively with ten day between the two doses?
•If the fecal float on the one showed no coccidia is it likely the other would be clear also or should she be tested?
I tell you, I’ve raised kids and various animals (sometimes they’re very similar Lol) but can’t recall worrying as much as I’ve been with these two ducklings! Any advice and guidance will be very much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,429
16,454
976
Glen St Mary, Florida
You have valid concerns. I've used fenbendazole (Safeguard) on young birds and birds in molt in the past. Their feathers grew out in various directions, mostly inward/outward and curled. They looked awful. Lesson learned. I never used fenbendazole on young birds nor birds in molt since.
All the birds survived and they molted the following year, feathers regrew normally as they should.

Fecal float tests are not 100% accurate. I believe Perfect Pet Products results are accurate.
There are other off label wormers that you can use that will not effect feather regrowth in birds:
Valbazen (Albendazole), Levamisole, Pyrantel Pamoate. I prefer Valbazen over the others including fenbendazole. There are no problems using Valbazen on young birds or birds in molt. Dont get me wrong, Safeguard is an excellent wormer and I use it for my birds as well, just not in molt or young birds.
However, most of the time I prefer not to worm birds in molt because their internal system and bodies are already stressed due to the molt. There's no need to put more stress on their system by worming them while in molt, unless it's an absolute emergency. In that case, use Valbazen.

Another advantage of using Valbazen is that even if birds are loaded up with worms, it slowly kills the worms over several days preventing blockages/toxic dead worm overload in the birds digestive system.
You only need to worm birds twice using Valbazen. The initial dosing and then again 10-14 days later and you're finished.
Valbazen is sold in a 500ml bottle. It'll last you a long time.
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/valbazen-broad-spectrum-dewormer
 
Last edited:

Duck_Duck_Goose

Songster
Jul 23, 2018
138
96
123
You have valid concerns. I've used fenbendazole (Safeguard) on young birds and birds in molt in the past. Their feathers grew out in various directions, mostly inward/outward and curled. They looked awful. Lesson learned. I never used fenbendazole on young birds nor birds in molt since.
All the birds survived and they molted the following year, feathers regrew normally as they should.

Fecal float tests are not 100% accurate. I believe Perfect Pet Products results are accurate.
There are other off label wormers that you can use that will not effect feather regrowth in birds:
Valbazen (Albendazole), Levamisole, Pyrantel Pamoate. I prefer Valbazen over the others including fenbendazole. There are no problems using Valbazen on young birds or birds in molt. Dont get me wrong, Safeguard is an excellent wormer and I use it for my birds as well, just not in molt or young birds.
However, most of the time I prefer not to worm birds in molt because their internal system and bodies are already stressed due to the molt. There's no need to put more stress on their system by worming them while in molt, unless it's an absolute emergency. In that case, use Valbazen.

Another advantage of using Valbazen is that even if birds are loaded up with worms, it slowly kills the worms over several days preventing blockages/toxic dead worm overload in the birds digestive system.
You only need to worm birds twice using Valbazen. The initial dosing and then again 10-14 days later and you're finished.
Valbazen is sold in a 500ml bottle. It'll last you a long time.
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/valbazen-broad-spectrum-dewormer
Thank you for replying and sharing your experience. When you say a fecal float isn’t always accurate are you referring as a test for coccidia? And if so what test would then be recommended? The little 7 week old that I’d brought in to the vet had both a gram stain and float.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,429
16,454
976
Glen St Mary, Florida
I specifically know that fecal floats arnt 100% accurate because sometimes worm eggs dont "float" to the top through the liquid of a sample to be examined under a microscope. I believe a centrifuge can be used to alleviate the problem. I know that coccidia are light and should easily "float."
It's normal to see some coccidia oocysts on a slide. However if the slide is loaded with oocysts, then there's a problem and the bird needs medication, usually Corid or a Sulfa drug such as sulfadimethoxine, SMZ-TMP or Sulmet.
 

Duck_Duck_Goose

Songster
Jul 23, 2018
138
96
123
You have valid concerns. I've used fenbendazole (Safeguard) on young birds and birds in molt in the past. Their feathers grew out in various directions, mostly inward/outward and curled. They looked awful. Lesson learned. I never used fenbendazole on young birds nor birds in molt since.
All the birds survived and they molted the following year, feathers regrew normally as they should.

Fecal float tests are not 100% accurate. I believe Perfect Pet Products results are accurate.
There are other off label wormers that you can use that will not effect feather regrowth in birds:
Valbazen (Albendazole), Levamisole, Pyrantel Pamoate. I prefer Valbazen over the others including fenbendazole. There are no problems using Valbazen on young birds or birds in molt. Dont get me wrong, Safeguard is an excellent wormer and I use it for my birds as well, just not in molt or young birds.
However, most of the time I prefer not to worm birds in molt because their internal system and bodies are already stressed due to the molt. There's no need to put more stress on their system by worming them while in molt, unless it's an absolute emergency. In that case, use Valbazen.

Another advantage of using Valbazen is that even if birds are loaded up with worms, it slowly kills the worms over several days preventing blockages/toxic dead worm overload in the birds digestive system.
You only need to worm birds twice using Valbazen. The initial dosing and then again 10-14 days later and you're finished.
Valbazen is sold in a 500ml bottle. It'll last you a long time.
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/valbazen-broad-spectrum-dewormer
I specifically know that fecal floats arnt 100% accurate because sometimes worm eggs dont "float" to the top through the liquid of a sample to be examined under a microscope. I believe a centrifuge can be used to alleviate the problem. I know that coccidia are light and should easily "float."
It's normal to see some coccidia oocysts on a slide. However if the slide is loaded with oocysts, then there's a problem and the bird needs medication, usually Corid or a Sulfa drug such as sulfadimethoxine, SMZ-TMP or Sulmet.
If both a gram stain and a ‘float’ were done at the vet on the littler one’s poo and both showed no worm activity or coccidia should I still go ahead and have the older duckling’s poop checked for coccidia? They aren’t form the same clutch but are from the same rescue where conditions weren’t good. Also, any thoughts on why the little one is walking hunched (neck retracted, head pulled into shoulders) with her(?) tail slightly tucked? If she strained/sprained her leg as was initially suspected when might she show signs of healing? She did much better, almost back to normal the day following the vet visit, maybe over did it? Because yesterday and today so far (it’s still a bit early here) her appetite isn’t that great and it seems like it takes a lot of effort for her to walk (maybe the cause of the hunching?).
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,429
16,454
976
Glen St Mary, Florida
It's up to you if you want to get the older ducklings poop tested. Personally I'd do it if they were on the same soil at their previous location.
I'd worm the little one with Valbazen and then wait and watch for improvement, then give her corid after 5 days if there's no improvement. Head tucked in to shoulders in chickens can be a sign of capillary worms, maybe the same for ducks.
The healing time for leg sprains/strains is long. It's best to cage the bird to limit movement as not to make the injury worse. Provide water and food and keep the cage as clean as possible. You can buy vitamin B complex and crush several tablets into powder and sprinkle it over her feed to eat. It may or may not help speed up recovery.
Then take her out of the cage in 10 days and see if there's improvement. If not, recage her for another 10 days and continue with the Vitamin B complex. Then remove her from the cage and see if she's able to walk normally. If not, recage her and stop the vitamin B complex.
At this point, you can continue to keep her caged until she heals, or consider her quality of life if the injury is detrimental to her health, safety and welfare; you might have to consider culling her if that's the case.
Leg injuries take time to heal, several weeks or several months.
 

Duck_Duck_Goose

Songster
Jul 23, 2018
138
96
123
It's up to you if you want to get the older ducklings poop tested. Personally I'd do it if they were on the same soil at their previous location.
I'd worm the little one with Valbazen and then wait and watch for improvement, then give her corid after 5 days if there's no improvement. Head tucked in to shoulders in chickens can be a sign of capillary worms, maybe the same for ducks.
The healing time for leg sprains/strains is long. It's best to cage the bird to limit movement as not to make the injury worse. Provide water and food and keep the cage as clean as possible. You can buy vitamin B complex and crush several tablets into powder and sprinkle it over her feed to eat. It may or may not help speed up recovery.
Then take her out of the cage in 10 days and see if there's improvement. If not, recage her for another 10 days and continue with the Vitamin B complex. Then remove her from the cage and see if she's able to walk normally. If not, recage her and stop the vitamin B complex.
At this point, you can continue to keep her caged until she heals, or consider her quality of life if the injury is detrimental to her health, safety and welfare; you might have to consider culling her if that's the case.
Leg injuries take time to heal, several weeks or several months.
The little one that was brought to the vet didn’t test positive for coccidia or worms for that matter. It was the combined sample of the two that PerfectPets reported having found a single roundworm. I am however a bit confused and need to inquire when I take her back this week about how they tested her for worms as it’s listed as a gram stain but from what I’m reading online (the internet’s a mixed blessing) that gram stains are used to check for bacteria and fungi. Anyway, she’s the one most in process of both hopefully healing as well as getting her grown up feathers and wings so am most concerned about treating her at the moment, at least with the Safeguard. I’ll ask the vet about the other dewormer you’d mentioned.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom