It's a week on since my duckling died. I had him/her for four lovely weeks after he fell into the direction of my Central London flat after his mum took her other babies down to the lake below my apartment block where they were quickly eaten by a seagull. I am still haunted by what could have caused the death, so would be really grateful if anyone on this forum could help me work it out. Here are the symptoms: Two weeks before death - duckling wasn't walking more than a couple of steps, would sit down and shuffle. To be honest, this duckling never walked. I put this down to it not needing to compete with siblings for food. It was easier just to crawl. It did sometimes walk and sometimes eat whilst standing up, so I thought it was just a phase. It liked to crawl up my sleeve to get to my shoulder but I realised this may not have been good for it. I spent one night just staying up with him/her petting her from its chest so that it learnt to stand up straight to be petted rather than be lying down. This worked a bit, duck would now stand up rather than shuffle to food. I then introduced some niacin to the feed (flush free) and that did help straighten its legs out and prevent it from walking on its feet. I had been feeding it egg, mashed up chicken, peas, cottage cheese, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, so it was getting enough niacin and I have successfully looked after five ducklings in the past: three this Easter and a couple two years ago. They survived under my care. The indoor outdoor temperate then went up to about 26-30 degrees, we were having a heatwave in London. The duckling would go to sleep elongating its neck and sleeping on its side which looked very cute and would walk but still only a few steps. Its feet were no longer overlapping but one leg still looked like it wasn't straight (the right leg) but that look of just jumping off a horse after a long ride wasn't so apparent as before. Then two Thursday's ago, when it was really hot we ended up having thunderstorms, the duckling started to pant a bit and show lack of interest. I had fed it a tiny bit of avocado on either Tuesday or Wednesday and I've since learnt that it is poisonous. However, online it says that death is within hours - this duckling was still alive. On Friday, more lethargy which I put down to the heat. The duckling would love to be snuggled and would fall asleep with its neck out. It's baby wings were up away from its body but I thought this was down to it developing feathers. You could feel quills were forming in its skin. It panted at one stage that evening. The duckling never enjoyed swimming (we waited until two weeks old), never wanted to go on the island in the water, always needed a hand and coaxing, and we only let it be in water for about five minutes. Twice I dunked it gently so that its head would be wet and its back as it had a little bit of dandruff. It panted a bit that evening but not often. It would occasionally paddle but towards the end of this week its right leg would kind of do its own thing in turbo-drive - really worrying to see. On Saturday, the duckling was on my desk most of the time, and would still go 'Eep, rep' if I left the room. It pooped on my keyboard as it would walk a couple of steps and sit down if I wasn't in sight. I'm only talking about leaving to go to the toilet or to get a drink from the kitchen. It was still interested in where I was if I wasn't by it. That evening I tickled its tummy and it learnt - or so I thought - to stretch out its left leg in order to raise its tummy off the ground so I could get to it. At night it went straight into its fluffy head wrap and went onto its side with its neck and head laid out - it looked so cute that way. On Sunday I had to go and visit my parents who live an hour away. They have a garden. The very first day I saved this duckling I was on my way to my parents so it had been in the car before, as I took it with me that first day. I drove first with one hand by the duckling who was lying down in its pen, and then I put the duckling on my lap with one hand resting by its side - just not when I needed two hands on the steering wheel. Throughout Sunday and that drive there and back from my parents, it would still keep its left leg out to keep its tummy off the floor. It wasn't anything to do with me rubbing its tummy at all. I did put my hand underneath that left leg whilst driving and the duckling sometimes kept the leg stiff or sometimes would bend it but its head was out as if it wanted to sleep. It did sleep with its head out since little as it would like to hide its head in the towels, I thought. That Sunday afternoon my father offered me some pineapple, and I gave Duckie Drawers some - It went crazy for its first taste, even slurping the juice from my bowl. I only gave it a little bit. It also got its first taste of pond weed and grass underneath its feet but it just sat in the grass and didn't move. I didn't want to leave it to see if it ran after me as there are foxes around but I did move a bit away and there was no movement apart from the duckling eating grass for the first time - or at least pulling at it. That Sunday evening after I got back home, it didn't have much energy. It fell on its back from the head wrap which wasn't even high. It used to sleep in the headwrap when it a few days old - would love to walk into it and then be gently ruffled up once in it by the hand pushing into the hand with all its might. We're talking about a fleecy supersoft towelling head wrap. It had fallen on its back a couple of times a few weeks ago kicking its leg and squeaking -from the hot water bottle so I then would make sure the rest of the pen was at the same level as the wrapped up hot water bottle and then removed the hot water bottle once the heatwave happened and the normal temperature was mid-20's to early 20's at night-time. I have rescued ducks before but never a singular one and have never witnessed a duckling on its back. Last Sunday evening when it fell on it it didn't kick its legs - just laid there. I quickly put it back on it's feet and rolled up a face flannel for it to rest its beak on. It would find its growing beak too heavy to rest on the ground so I always tried to reproduce it resting its beak on a sibling by rolling up a face flannel. I decided to put it's pen by me as I slept on the sofa next to it. I just didn't understand how it could fall from a head wrap as it's only the size of a face flannel, so not high at all. I wanted to sleep with Duckie Drawers on my chest but thought, during the night, I could roll onto it and kill it, so it was in its pen right next to me. Just before midnight, I checked on it and it was in its water for the first time and had a wet tummy. I took a sleeping pill at midnight as I had a meeting in the morning which I would have to leave Duckie alone in the flat whilst I went ou for but it the meeting was only for a couple of hours. The next morning at around 8am, when I woke up, I found Duckie dead. Its left leg out, head on the rolled up face flannel - i.e. in its sleeping position but with its eyes wide open. There was no movement, no heartbeat. However, it was only after I rocked it in my arms that its eyes started to close. I gave it mouth-to-beak and pumped its little chest a couple of times but no sign of life. I waited several hours before burying it, and I'm still really cut up about everything. Needless to say, I ended up cancelling that silly work meeting and wished I never took that sleeping pill but stayed up with it all night. I had no idea it was going to be its last night. I am devastated that I have killed this duckling. I know I saved it by not putting it into the lake with its siblings as soon as it was rescued as they were all eaten within half a day but I think I contributed to its death, as it died under my watch. I was going to pay for pathology but think its best to make a donation to a rescue centre instead, and I have offered to be a rescue ambulance for two centres that are out of London, in case they ever have any Central London calls to attend to but I still have a worry about what happened, why it died. Was it the tiny slice of avocado? Bearing in mind it wasn't walking but shuffling initially, and then when walking only for a couple of steps, so there was something wrong with its legs? It used to stretch its head out or curl it back like a seahorse. It fell on its back three times and waited for me to help it back on its feet. It was panting now and again over the last few days. What happened? Two years ago I rescued two sibling ducklings and gave them to a wildlife centre but the lady there told me afterwards that she feeds the rabbits to the fox, so I didn't want to do the same thing straight away this time. This little orphan was all by himself and wasn't walking properly so I felt I had to rectify that before taking him to a bird sanctuary I had found out about recently but they wouldn't treat his gait with niacin, so I waited and now the little one is dead. If anyone has seen a stretched out leg of any of the above symptoms, if anyone can shed any light, then please let me know. If you've taken the time to read such a long post, then I'm really grateful and you must love ducklings as much as I loved this little one. Thank you.