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Sick duck! Took to vet...aftercare questions. Fun pics included!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by helent623, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. helent623

    helent623 New Egg

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Sorry this is long...but there are cute photos at the end as a reward for anyone that bothers to read this!!

    I'm new to posting here but I've been reading lots of threads and you guys seem so informative and helpful. We have 4 runner hens, 1 runner drake, 1 khaki campbell hen, and 1 rescue silkie chicken. They have a raised wooden coop 4'x6' that we shut them in at night and free range during the day. We live on a farm and they have access to a pond, but haven't been going to the pond the past few days because of below freezing temps and snow. Mostly they stay around/under the coop, and have a heated bucket of water there for drinking, but not enough to bathe in.

    A few weeks ago I thought my favorite runner (my avatar photo) had started molting, since her feathers looked bad, but she stayed looking bad for about a week and a half without dropping feathers, and became lethargic and started to lose weight. I took her to the vet, and he took a stool sample; said she had "flagellates", which I'm assuming is some sort of protozoal infection, but I am having trouble finding more info online. She also had some "bad" bacteria, so he gave me Sulfatrim and Flagyl for her, as well as a supplemental nutrient paste. I asked if I need to medicate my whole flock if this was contagious, but the vet just said it is contagious, but it was up to me and it would be rather expensive and I really needed to do stool samples on all the others before medicating. ???

    Also I would need to bring all the others in to get exact weights (we don't have a scale at home) before he would give me any meds for them. They didn't need to be examined or pay for an appointment unless I wanted stool samples done. I had one healthy duck with the sick one at the appointment (to keep her company) and I said they are all about the same size as healthy duck (sick duck is underweight) but he wanted them weighed to the ounce. Is this normal for poultry vets? I've had dogs and horses so I'm used to vet stuff, but not gonna lie this was my first time taking a duck to the vet.

    He also wanted sick duck to be kept separate from the others under a heat lamp. We tried putting her in the garage yesterday but she was freaking the 'duck' out being by herself and I was worried that the stress of being alone would be bad in her condition. Plan B- We put a heat lamp in the coop (which is insulated) and put her with the others overnight. During the day, we let the others out but locked her in so she could still hear them. While not thrilled, she seems to like this arrangement better, but I am concerned about exposing the others to what she has (although they have been living with her up until she went to the vet, so they had plenty of time to be exposed to whatever she has).

    I am probably being more than just a little paranoid but we are still relatively new to poultry. (All ducks are this year's hatchlings, so 6-8 months old. No idea on the chicken, we rescued her from a farm after some dogs ate most of her friends and most of her tail feathers.) Also, this is my favorite duck we're talking about. So my questions are:
    -Do I need to medicate the flock? Sulfatrim and/or Flagyl? Stool samples?
    -How to best separate her from the flock but limit stress? Am I stupidly exposing the others to illness or am I right to be concerned about her stress? Would she eventually settle down being alone?
    -With a "flagellate" infection, what do I need to do to make sure this doesn't recur? I'm already fastidiously cleaning and bleaching the coop daily and changing water daily (also because of below freezing temps). I can't bleach the pond or yard though!

    Thanks in advance for anyone who bothers to read this all the way though, and many more thanks for anyone who can offer any advice, input, or share a similar experience!

    I've got my ducks in a row
    [​IMG]

    The chicken, Becky, when we first got her
    [​IMG]

    Becky now
    [​IMG]

    Our crested runner, Beret, as a baby...
    [​IMG]

    ...and as an adult
    [​IMG]

    The currently sick duck, Saturnin, with her first egg, and our big drake, Token, in back.
    [​IMG]

    Token as a baby. Hard to believe he used to fit in the palm of my hand. He's an impressive bird now.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @helent623
    https://www.reference.com/science/examples-flagellates-8c0dd1b2a1b0df4f#

    I would ask the vet if this is Giardia which can be picked up from water in rivers lakes and ponds. So I am wondering if your duck picked this up from the pond? It's treatable but as far as this vet wanting you to bring all your ducks in for weighing maybe you'd be better off buying a scale so you don't have to bring them all in and put them through that stress. But I would have a few stool samples done so you'll know if it is in any of the others then you can catch it before the others get sick.

    Those pics are adorable such a pretty flock you have.

    Welcome to BYC and hoping your Satumin makes a full recovery
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I agree with Miss Lydia. For the cost of a vet visit, I think you can get a good baby/pet scale. I have one, it cost between 40 and 50 bucks, I think.

    Bring in some stool samples to see if the rest of the flock has picked it up, and then based on what you find out, work out a plan.

    Ducks are remarkably good at not getting sick, for the most part. Your little one may have something else going on that's strained her immune system. So I'd get some poultry vitamins into their water once or twice a week for the next several weeks.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. helent623

    helent623 New Egg

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Thank you!

    I got a communal stool sample from the rest of the flock tested, and it was positive for flagellates but no bacteria. So the rest of the flock is getting Flagyl now. Not everyone is as tame as Saturnin, so I'm making my husband help with medicating. Saturnin is doing better, and I am hoping that I won't have to fully separate her from the flock.

    Miss Lydia, it does sound like Giardia but my vet was unable to say definitively without further testing. Literature says it doesn't survive long outside the body, so I'm hoping that daily coop cleaning and meds for whole flock will kill it.

    Amiga, they are getting Purina Layena crumbles free choice, should they need an additional vitamin? Is there any you recommend? Should I look for something specifically for waterfowl, or are there needs similar enough to other poultry?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I use poultry vitamins with probiotics and electrolytes from time to time.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Glad to hear Saturnin is doing better. Great you were able to get them all tested and treated now. Hoping they all recover .
    Sounds like your doing a great job.

    Please keep us updated.
     

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