Please help - injured mallard duckling!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hblovesclemson, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. hblovesclemson

    hblovesclemson Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a wild mallard duckling that belongs to a mama mallard who lives around my backyard... she is quite comfortable with me and has allowed me to help... this little guy is very injured. His entire right leg is stripped of skin and feathers and the tendons are showing. He does not seem to be bleeding very profusely, everything seems clean but there is a little bit of bleeding. He seems shocked, but otherwise seems okay enough to survive.

    I can't take him to a vet, as I live in Florida and I believe it is against the law (I could be wrong.) I have cared for wild injured baby ducks before, but never cared for one with an open wound. Please help! How do I treat the wound?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Do you have him and mama in a secure place right NOW because he isn't going to stand much of a chance of survival with a wound your describing and not protected, sounds like he may have had a run in with a predator already with this injury. You need to clean up the wound real good, you can use warm salty water and just let the water wash over the injury then to protect from flies which will cause fly strike and that can kill him quicker than the injury you need some kind of healing salve. triple antibiotic or something similar as long as it doesn't have pain relief in it will work. Betadine or iodine can also be used to clean out any harmful bacteria just water it down to look like weak tea.If you can get them some good poultry vitamins to put into his water will help but for now just cleaning the wound and keeping him warm while in shock is the main thing. What about wild life rehabbers any around your area?do you live close to water? maybe a snapping turtle got hold of the lil one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  3. hblovesclemson

    hblovesclemson Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I have him, but not mama because she has other ducklings to look after. She comes by every day so I'm hoping she knows she won't lose track of him. I don't know if this is worth mentioning but he is not a "new" duckling, he is at the developmental stage where he already has his mallard feathers coming in and he no longer peeps, he instead makes the the little mallard-type honk. I'd say he's between adolescence and adulthood, so I don't have to worry about imprinting or anything.

    My initial description of the injury was actually not right... upon looking closer it isn't just his right leg, it's practically the entire right side of his body around the leg. So it's a bit more severe, but like I said, it really isn't bleeding much at all, which is probably the best thing. Here's what I did: I scooped him up and put him in a box with a clean towel, then I cleaned the wound with watered-down rubbing alcohol and some sterile gauze. He actually had little bits of grass stuck in the wound, like almost dried onto it, so I sterilized a pair of tweezers and very carefully plucked those out. Then I thinly coated the wound with some Polysporin (without pain reliever) and fashioned a gauze bandage to keep it lightly covered. He's sleeping now, and has been consistently drinking water and earlier showed interest in some mushy duck feed, but since then he seems to want to rest rather than eat.
    I don't have to worry about flies either, because I have him inside and made sure on that side of the house the AC is set to a comfortable warm.

    Did I do everything okay? I wish I could make it less painful for him, but I realize there is nothing I can really do about it except make sure he's comfortable. Thank you for all the wonderful tips, I will look into the poultry vitamins ASAP! I do live on the water, and my house is like the neighborhood duck forum. I've got all these Muscovies and mallards, and even a pair of ducks I believe are a campbell/indian runner crossbreed that I suspect someone released... but they all chill in my backyard. In our lake I really don't think we have snapping turtles but I could be wrong, and we only have one tiny gator that only haunts the water on the other side of the neighborhood, (it's like a canal-type lake) so I don't think it was him. We do have plenty of hawks and other predatory birds however, so they are usually my first suspect when something happens.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Sounds like you have done a good job, now just keep him with you till healed making sure the wound stays clean and no infection starts up. I am thinking a hawk would have just picked up a young Mallard and flew off with it. and a 4 legged pred too, I still think a pred in the water may have gotten hold of him. I could be wrong too. But anyway you have him on the road to recovery and sounds like you have a nice yard of ducks and you didn't have to go get any of them. They truly are very special animals. Please keep us updated onb how this lil one is doing and maybe take some pics of your flock when they come to visit. and Welcome to BYC.
     
  5. hblovesclemson

    hblovesclemson Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank You! [​IMG]
     
  6. hblovesclemson

    hblovesclemson Out Of The Brooder

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    Because it is good message board decorum, here is an update on the little mallard!

    His injury has fully healed and feathers have grown over it, so just by looking at the area you'd never know anything happened! Much credit to the very helpful advice from Miss Lydia [​IMG]
    The only problem he is left with is a temporary lame foot which I am in the process of fixing with physical therapy, but it isn't easy because he's kind of a little jerk and he can fly (away from me) and catching him is quite an ordeal. It's always frustrating but I find it pretty amusing as well because he is extremely clever.

    Here is he with his limp foot -- (I don't have a picture of the original injury but just note that the entire area around that leg was an open wound, hard to tell!):

    [​IMG]



    He has free reign of my screened-in pool during the day, which he loves, but he must be put in his box at night... or more like very nice duck hotel room complete with snorkeling pool... which I can tell he actually likes when he feels like going to sleep in comfy bed but he puts up a fight anyway because he must maintain his message to me that he belongs to no one. Since he has learned to fly he now decides to let himself out in the morning when he so pleases. His family (mother and four siblings) are in the backyard all the time and they can see and interact with him through the pool screen. They sit and chatter with each other quite a bit. Every so often I let one of the siblings into the pool area to swim around with him for a little bit which he enjoys very much. Basically he is enjoying a very comfy rehab! As soon as I can get the the foot into the right position to put into a little "footie" cast, he'll be on the immediate road to release.



    Thanks again Miss Lydia for all your initial help with treating the injury!
     
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  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Thank you so much for this update. happy to hear he has healed so well. You really need to get him in a foot support asap so it won't permanently be like it is. You can also clip on wing to keep him from flying. if you go on this link it will have a section on chick shoes and you can make them for ducks too. https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  8. hblovesclemson

    hblovesclemson Out Of The Brooder

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    Just to cap it off with a final update, she (as it turns out) has been released! Although I contemplated a footie, I knew it would never ever ever stay on if I were to even get it on. So I focused instead on daily physical therapy and eventually the foot began to normalize. It looks normal now! Since being released, the mallard family kind of split up and went their separate ways as they often do and created new little cliques of some of the siblings + young studly males, but Little Duck comes back to visit me probably every other day. I can tell her apart because she has unfortunately been left with a very slight limp... I'm thinking because the original wound around the muscle impedes range of motion ever so slightly. But it definitely doesn't interfere with her life and she otherwise seems very happy and healthy.

    So mission accomplished, and thank you again for all of your valuable help. As I live surrounded by many ducks, I know there is bound to be another injury I might have to attend to, and I am so glad that I have this forum to consult if I should need it! [​IMG]
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Good news to hear all is well and she is back living with her family, you did a great job of rehab there. [​IMG]
     
  10. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its npt illegal all you have to do is claim the bird as yours.

    The best thing you can do, is to take hi to the vet as well as get him pinoined and id keep him if i were you becuase theyll have to do surgery on the leg, so yeah just please take him to a vet.
     

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