Seizures When Startled

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PeskyRaven, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello! I have four Cayuga ducks, they are just over 4 weeks old now and still in the brooder while we build their outdoor enclosure.

    I am feeding them non medicated Purina starter, sprinkling niacin on the food and also putting one cap into a gallon of water. They drink out of a cut gallon jug right now.

    I have one duck who has had her third seizure. The first time it happened she was startled by us moving a little bit of the bedding out.

    What she did: She flattened on to her stomach, wings out and was flapping them against the bedding. Her neck was tilted to the side and would raise and lower.We didn't hold her down but gently blocked her from hitting anything with her head and wings. Once she was "done" she was wobbly. I had no idea what was going on, she wouldnt eat or drink minutes after so I tossed her into a bath where she seemed perfectly fine, diving, drinking a lot, preening.

    The second seizure happened a week or two later when she was startled again by something moving in the room. I wasn't present but Hub said she started running in circles, banging her head against the sides of the plastic brooder.

    The third happened this morning, approx. 1.5 weeks after the last one. It was their first night without any lights on in the room, as the indoor temp. matches what they would normally be at and being Cayugas - almost fully juvenile feathered, I figured they would be fine. I opened the door after announcing myself and had my phone light on so It wouldn't be a huge shock to them. It still was. They panicked and then she started having another seizure. Same as the first one only being larger now she scraped her wing up a bit with her claws. Not massively but enough to bleed a little.

    After it was over, lasting under 1 minute, she was so shaky, heart racing, breathing really hard. She was so wobbly. Just standing there and slowly swaying from side to side. I checked on her before leaving for work and she's all normal again.

    They are VERY messy creatures so I wonder if I'm not cleaning the brooder as much as I should and there's mold. Their waterer is on a plastic tub covered in wire, so when they splash it goes into the tub. Their bedding is alpine all natural shavings, mixed with some straw.

    Each time the seizure seems to be triggered by being startled. She has been under "stress" before when we pick them up to move them or clean the brooder, but it never seemed to bother her. It's when she suffers a strange panic that it happens. So I'm really at a loss.

    I plan to set up a second brooder tonight and separate them and see if that helps.

    The worst part is I THINK it's the same duck. They look so much alike but it's always one that it seems to happen to under the startled circumstance.

    Any help or insight would be predicated. Thank you for reading this long post.
     
  2. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry you're having to go through this and that your duckling(s) are going through it. I sympathize--I couldn't tell my girls apart until they were around 5 months old. By that time I could rank them by size. And that's when they got their real names, too.

    I've never dealt with seizures before. But I did offer brewer's yeast and probiotics to my girls until they were ou moved permanently outside.http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Labratories-110-1110-P07-Brewers-Garlic/dp/B0021WVKV8 and http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=08RGP854TVVX8KWKWT0Q

    (hope I did those links right).

    I'm sure some of the experienced keepers will have advice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    also next time one has a seizure after it's over and she has recovered put a plastic tie wrap a around her leg not tight but fastened enough it won't come off . that way you'll be able to tell if it is the same duck each time.

    Seems your doing everything right as far as trying not to startle them which seems to bring on the seizure. Are you using "plain niacin" not time released or flush free?

    I cannot imagine not keeping the brooder completely clean which is extremely hard to do with ducks any way would bring on seizures it can cause Aspergillious [brooder Pneumonia] from the ammonia build up but sounds like your trying to stay on top of letting it get that bad.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2015
    California
    Thank you kindly for the response! The tie is such a brilliant idea, ugh having a DUH moment now. Thank you! Also yes, trying very hard to keep it clean, they are just so dang messy. We will clean the entire brooder a few times a week, then on the remaining days will clean out top layers and keep replacing, keep dumping that plastic water catcher as well. I cant wait until they're outside.

    Thanks again for the advice! Really appreciate it :)
     
  5. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome! Thanks for the links, I will be checking those out right away =) Thank you bunches!
     
  6. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My male Cayuga from Metzer had seizures as a duckling. It would scare the crap out of the other ducklings. I think he grew out of them but I can't say for sure since he was outside as an adult. I never saw one after we put him outside. And I don't know if he still has them because we had to regime him a few months later. I hope yours grows out of them as well :/
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    @PotatoWaffles you used Brewers yeast with your ducklings didn't you?
     
  8. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, all the ducklings I've ever raised had supplemental Brewers yeast sprinkled in their food for the first several weeks. I figured it was just a fluke neurological thing. I've never had any other ducks have seizures.
     
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  9. HennyPenny2

    HennyPenny2 Chillin' With My Peeps


    I had a similar experience tonight but I think I scared her half to death. I just searched this forum for startled duckling and it seems every instance is a Cayuga, seems it is a breed thing? Makes me wonder if what you are seeing is more an effect of being scared or startled then seizures. I am pretty sure now I did just that when I opened the shed door which is loud but opening the dead bolt, to turn on their heat lamp in their brooder. She slowly came too after I held her but it scared me as I though she was dying, but she did it as soon as I made all that noise coming into a dark shed, I heard her flapping right after against the plastic of the brooder.
     
  10. Wobbles

    Wobbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was actually coming to look this up..my baby Magpie drake is doing this too. He has done it three times now, once he snaps out of it he is 100% normal but it sure is strange and scary!
     

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