First an introduction: my name is Tonya and I have ONE duck! I was buying rabbit food the day after easter 2008 and there was one little duckling left in a big metal cage. I actually walked out of the store and back in to collect this little guy. I couldn't just leave him! he is a pretty sweet little guy!!! I have learned a lot through trial and error and I am so happy to have found this website with so many members!!! Last year McFluffy was attacked from above by a hawk -- it got his head. Some Animax ointment fixed it right up and I learned that he needs to be protected from above! so his little fenced in area now has mesh on top .... but a couple weeks ago mister mcfluffy was apparently dragged UNDER his fence .. I didn't find him until the next morning. I'm guessing it was a dog (the people behind us have a young dog that can see mcfluffy through its fence ... so I'm betting ...) ... anyway, he had a big wound on his back. I got another tube of Animax from the vet and was applying it nightly. These were taken a few days later, his wings did a good job of hiding how gross it looked!!! After a few days, his leg started swelling up and he can't walk without ... hobbling?! I thought it might be broken or fractured so I found a better vet that actually deals with ducks / birds and had an xray done. The verdict?? it looks like McFluffy has INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS. Really?! I had no idea it was even a possibility for a bird. Some pictures from that vet visit. Still looking cute! the vet wanted to see how he walked and he wouldn't budge! maybe the white floor stunned him ;p You can see the swelling in his joints and his "bad" leg is also a little less dense. The vet did not seem to hopeful with it improving 100% but I left with two weeks of 1/4th doses of Rimadyl and Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim ds (SMZ TMP) ... I will have him checked out again when the prescriptions are through but I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to make him more comfortable? I should also mention that the dog damaged his preening gland, so he is not water proof right now and I can only let him swim in a smaller plastic pool when it's sunny -- leaving plenty of time for him to dry before bedtime. I bought a couple large thin wool blankets and cut them so I always have clean, dry bedding for him (twice a day, ick! nothing like putting on a raincoat and rainboots to spray duck poop off of blankets hanging on a fence to make them washing machine okay! ha) ... I live in southeast Texas and right now our days are in the 80s and nights in the 40s! and I know the cold is not kind to any sort of arthritis. Would an outdoor pet heating pad be a good idea to try? or no? his back is healing really well so hopefully he will get to start swimming more. I'm sure floating is a relief! Another question ... if his leg does not get better .. he cannot even walk right now and I've had to hold him up so he can clean himself ... and have seen him fall on his beak more than once ... is it cruel to keep him alive? I love him so much and I really want to do what's best for him. Thank you anyone for any input you might have! sorry this is so long!!! one more thing! if he does recover, should I get another duck??? or two? how do ducks usually react when a new one is introduced?