Sick Duck, any help welcome please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kleonaptra, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi All,

    My little Piper is very unwell. She's hiding behind the drake in my posting pic there, if you'd like to know what she looks like.

    Yesterday she was on the nest all day - this started Tue afternoon. I was really excited because I thought she was going broody. I was a bit worried she didnt come out for food, water or swim but sometimes they do that when gaurding the nest.

    When I opened the shed this morning I thought she was dead, she was all twisted up in the corner, one leg out behind her one under her, neck weak. I picked her up and she stirred, I had some heat lamps running on some eggs so I put her in there to get her warm and got her some water.

    She has been taking water from me - room temp - and pooping about every 20 mins. The poop is watery and brown, nothing solid to it. She is starting to look alert and nipping me, she really doesnt like to be handled even though she was hatched and hand reared by me. Ive got rid of the heat lamps and got her on a hot water bottle with clean sheets for bedding. I just administered a little epsom salt in her water. She is trying to get up and get around but she doesnt have full control of her legs yet, one is still back behind her. She can move them but not properly. Her eyes are bright and she's looking around and following sounds.

    Im far from town on a rural property, no bird vets nearby. Even if I could get her to one, I fear it would be too traumatic for her as she is so tiny and gets stressed easily.

    I think its food poisoning - she's very little and gets in underneath the pigeon cages. These are a very tough breed so Im really praying she will pull thru...

    Not just hatched and hand raised by me she is the jewel of my flock, the only female the same breed as my drake. I was really hoping to see some babies this year. Im going to keep her warm - its been a cold frosty night but she's in the warmest place now and she's got her hot water bottle - and keep giving her water.

    Any advice is welcome, thankyou.
     
  2. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know a little of broody duck moms... But nothing of poisoning. I think that the ESalts might possibly give her diarrhea and might cause you more issues down the road. Sorry, not the best advice, but hopefully the bump will get you more advice. Sorry you're going thru this & hope your gal improves!
     
  3. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks HollyDuck,

    Heres a pic I just took





    [​IMG]


    She looks ok, got that cheeky look to her. Her pupils are dilating and shrinking literally within a few minutes, while Im watching her. They dilate, then as she listens and takes in whats going on around her they shrink as she looks around, then dilates again. She regained some movement in her legs, had both tucked up under her awhile ago but now has one stretched out behind her again.

    The epsom salt giving her diarria is kind of the whole idea - I want to clean her out of anything bad she might have eaten. She seems hungry but Im not sure I want to give her food yet. I put a small spoonful of Farex in her water initially, (I often use farex with ailing birds and its never failed me yet) just because I know she hasnt eaten for at least 24hrs and she needs her strength to beat this thing.

    Shes such a tiny little girl, small even for her breed, but such a fighter. I know these are tough birds, my last female (who I sadly lost last year) went thru multiple surgeries to try and save a broken wing that ended up being amputated. She was with us another 5 yrs after that trial.

    The fact that she bites me when Im giving her water is SUCH a good sign. Even as a just hatched duckling she was very standoffish, doesnt like to be coddled. So she's still got her spunk. Im hoping its enough.
     
  4. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just read something on another thread - about a poisoned chicken - about molasses being able to bind toxins and flush them. Anyone know anything about this? I have tons of molasses, Im a horse breeder. Ive been hesitant to give her sugars because they can make the toxicity worse or sour in the crop if her digestion is slow.
     
  5. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just read something on another thread - about a poisoned chicken - about molasses being able to bind toxins and flush them. Anyone know anything about this? I have tons of molasses, Im a horse breeder. Ive been hesitant to give her sugars because they can make the toxicity worse or sour in the crop if her digestion is slow.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  7. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey Amiga thanks for that mate,

    I actually just found that thread and saved it, She's had epsom salt twice now, once at about 8am and again at 11am. Im giving her water about every half hour. Im not leaving a dish in there in case she dirties it or tips it on herself, just offering clean room temp water by hand. She always takes a good few sips. She's also on a hot water bottle to keep her warm.

    Should I change tactics now or stick with the epsom salts? Personally I think epsom salt for today, maybe a molasses flush tomorrow if she's not doing better. My molasses smells a touch fruity and may be a little fermented...Dont think I trust it. Its the middle of winter here and the heat is ridiculous.

    She's not better, but shes not worse either. Her pupils are quite dilated now, but she's alert and very with it. Recognizes me, shuffles her beak to say she's ready for more water (but dont you DARE touch me please!) and is listening to her fellows about the yard.

    Im wondering where she got it. The pigeon cage is the most obvious, she's the only one who fits under there. But I also added a scoopful of the horses showtime studmix to the food which is quite powdery containing crushed grains. Im thinking this would spoil faster than the ordinary seed they get in the freaky weather we've been having.

    I was in an absolute state this morning but I have hope now.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Tears us up when they get sick like this, does me, anyway. What does the sniff test tell you about the feed? Change it out, block the pigeon cage, and remember it could be something you least suspect. Ducks find things. I remember the day my runners found the mutilated mouse carcass. . . .[​IMG]

    I would stick with the Epsom salts especially if the molasses may be off. Just be sure, (I'm getting of an age I repeat myself) you know, I know, to keep her hydrated. Loads of fresh water to help the flushing, and I would think some electrolytes, too, she could get really off balance on the electrolytes between the toxin and the flush.

    And I like to give ducks a lukewarm bath, at least try it, because they love swimming (okay, almost all of them love swimming), and I feel it may cheer them up. Go with your instincts, you know your duck.

    Poor little.
     
  9. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just changed her hot water bottle and she stood up! Only for a few seconds but she stood up under her own power! Definitely has her legs back! YAY!

    I think she'd love a bath but Im not sure she's strong enough, if she keeps improving like this I'll look into it later in the day.

    When should I try some food? For sick or baby ducks I always use farex (baby food, rice cereal) maybe some quick oats mashed in, honey and I use these horse pellets...I always get told not to but for ducks they always work wonders. Its a Mitavite steam extruded pellet, made of the same grains the ducks would normally eat just in an easily digestable form for old or young horses. I soften them in hot water and mash them into the farex/oat/honey mix. If the bird is really ill I make it runny so they can drink it up easy. I find it delivers a ton of protien very fast so I use it sparingly when they need strength built up. Its not good for geese who dont handle high protien diets...Found that out the hard way, but in my little black ducks its always gone down a treat, this lil one was raised on it and so was the drake.

    Oh I nearly lost it when I found her this morning. I only have 2 pacific blacks, one female and one male. He's fertilizing the eggs for the pekin and part pekins but I get DIS at about 3 weeks. Ive been counting on lil Piper this year, she's only just turned 2, and having hand raised and hatched them both her and the drake are very special to me.

    As for where she got it...You say mutilated mouse carcass...Mine actually kill and eat mice or bats that are unlucky enough to hit the ground. I remove carcasses and the crows get anything I dont find. Im thinking pigeon cage...They all eat seed that drops from the cage but its in a sunny spot therefore very dried. Piper is the only one small enough to get UNDER where there is no sun, and likely fermented seeds. Not to mention droppings, mouse, pigeon ETC.

    At the side of our house water from the bathroom and kitchen flows out a pipe on to the yard and is not treated by the septic tank. We have a toilet in the out house out the back in the laundry, all runoff from there is treated, but kitchen and bathroom water is not. Im extremely strict about what goes down those drains - soap, shampoo and diswashing liquid only, as the ducks absolutely LOVE this runoff. It turns the front of the yard into a mire. They dont get fed there, but its one of their favourite spots. Since the runoff is pretty constant I never worried about the water being too stagnant, and they have been into this water for about a year now. Im still thinking it was pigeon cage, but if you have any thoughts on this water Id love to hear it.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sometimes heat can accelerate the reproduction of bacteria . . . don't have any strong leadings toward the gray water area, if it soaks in pretty quickly and isn't standing for a long time.

    Late here, better turn in.... Please keep the updates coming.
     

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