Sick 7 Week Old Indian Runner


In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2019
Gibbons, AB
Concern: 7 week old runt Indian runner duckling far behind on growth, now cannot walk or stand. Remainder of flock is full adult size and now mistakenly trample him.

Purpose of post: We are a family raising ducks purely for fun as pets. We love them and don’t plan to eat them and don’t judge folks who do. With that said and culling our of the question, I usually can be found on BYC searching better ways to improve our flocks lives. So, my goal here is to share our duckling Cosmo’s story and maybe someone will stumble upon it in need, be able to provide info, or just following along.

Plan 1: We quarantine Cosmo from the flock, provide vitamin b complex and increase niacin. After day two we see declining health: runny eyes and not eating. Attempted to show him flock and grass (from afar) to gauge reaction and he couldn’t move.

On to plan 2: In the AM we visit the exotic vet. He tests by pinching his webbing and toe to check for neurological responses. No response in webbing and minimal on toe. Duckling minimally responds to pulling his foot back to normal position. Suggests he may have conjunctivitis. He rates his body weight 1 out of 9. Suggests vitamin B injection and coccidiosis antibiotic in water. When asked his personal opinion on ducklings well being, he says it’s a 10-25% chance of survival if hand fed aggressively and placed under heat, monitored indoors.

It should be noted the vet suggested three major plans opinions: Plan 1 euthanize, 2 above plan $153, or option 3 run tests costing about $1k without any promise (“if he was a show bird”) Last option would check blood, heart, liver etc.

Progress since visit: He’s more alert, no longer laying on his side, and actively trying to stand to eat but can’t. Hand feeding and watering is a family team effort. We are hopeful he continues to gain energy but still apprehensive.


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What a precious baby yes he needs special attention. Did the vet mention tube feeding to help get nourishment back in him? @casportpony is our tube feeding expert. Sounds like some progress is being made so keep up with the b complex. Which are you using liquid or tablets? And warmth and fresh water. And of course sounds like he is def loved. All the best in getting little cosmo back on his feet . Please keep us updated on how he is doing.
Whenever my ducks are sick or not feeling well I put apple cider vinegar in their water and try to coax them to eat some greek yogurt to give their immune system a boost. I hope Cosmo feels better! Best of luck!

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