sick duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hfchristy, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks get sick and get better all the time, right? My only other experience with one so far ended poorly, so I'm worried sick about my little guy, but I assume that they must get sick in the wild, too, and often recover on their own, just like we do. Right? I hope?
    Would love to hear some "just a cold" duck recovery stories.

    It's bitter cold here (6 degrees this morning) and our little bantam was looking half frozen, so I brought him inside to warm up. He was still shivering 20 minutes later, but our house IS cold, so I figured a warm bath would help him thaw. Then I figured, if I was going to have a tub full of duck poop, might as well bathe the muddy Pekin, too, since she doesn't fit in the water dish like everyone else can.
    The bantam seemed to have thawed out and perked up a little, but NO sign at all of any interest in trying to mount the Pekin, which I take as a sign that he must be feeling REALLY crummy. He doesn't even come close to balancing on her back, but that doesn't normally stop him from trying.

    After the bath he shook his head and some really nasty looking stuff flew out. I assume that getting it out is good, but the fact that there was that much ick to begin with can't be good. Also, as far as I could tell, all of the poop in the tub was coming from the Pekin, and the bantam's only contribution was a squirt of what I would have thought was egg white if it were coming out of a female. (could warm water alone, with no other birds around, arouse a drake to the point of ejaculation?)

    I've given him Sav-A-Chick vitamin/probiotics in his water and he IS drinking. No interest in food though (except, apparently at least 3 peas in the bath, since those came flying out when he shook his head!) We also have some Nutri-drench, but it's frozen solid, and something called Vet-Rx - a camphor/oregano/etc oil.
    Anyone know anything about the VetRx oil? Claims to be good for EVERYTHING, and lists ducks on the package, but I haven't seen anyone here suggest it ever.

    Christy
     
  2. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I'm uncomfortably cold in my house, should I figure a sick duck might need a heat lamp?

    Also, when sick ducks do recover, how long does a cold usually last?
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    If he has discharge coming from the nares i almost wonder if it's infection? They have access to water deep enough to dunk their heads, right? How is the temp in your housing?

    I didn't want to read and not post but i'll have to defer to those who have dealt with this kind of thing, as i have not. Around here there are no poultry vets so were totally on our own for the health of the birds. I hope your little guy is feeling better soon though. Perhaps check the F.A.Q in the meantime for advice on illness/treatments.
     
  4. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have access to water deep enough for dunking first thing in the morning. About 10 minutes later, after they've splashed half of it everywhere, it's a bit questionable. But if I gave them a deeper dish, I'm not sure he could reach over the edge! Today is the first that their water dish has gone slushy while they were still out there using it.

    The duck house has pretty large screened windows near the roof, so I'd guess the temp inside is pretty darned cold. They don't have food or water in there, though.
    Temp in MY house is 64. Found a low wattage heat lamp for the sick guy. Thinking about curling up under it with him.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Our house averages somewhere around 60F, which is not comfortable unless I am in a heavy sweater or moving around quite a bit.

    That should be plenty warm enough for a duck that's under the weather, though. He could have a sinus infection, and that would need some antibiotics.

    I have seen VetRX and then seen some people say it might not be good for ducks, so I am on the fence with that one. Haven't checked the BYC duck archives yet, though.

    I would make sure there is lukewarm head wash water for him, with apple cider vinegar in it. This is probably not an easy thing for you to do. I know it can be a real chore to get ducks to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it.

    But my thoughts are another lukewarm bath for him, certainly vitamins and electrolytes, and the NutriDrench is a good idea because although it does not have a wide spectrum of vitamins, it has some calories, and he needs them right now.

    Can you keep him in a warmer place, at least overnight? Healing takes energy and if he's using all his energy to stay warm, he cannot fight off a possible infection.
     
  6. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep him in a warmer place than outside, or warmer than where he is now?
    Our home's indoor thermometer is upstairs at eye level and read 68 degrees there, so just taking the cat carrier he's in now upstairs should be moderately warm. Turns out that it's a lot colder than that downstairs. I brought the thermometer downstairs to check the temperature earlier and after half an hour it read 64, but it's kept going down. Seems to have finally stabilized around 56 at floor level where he's sitting.

    Are sinus infections usually yellow/green like they are in humans? This was more brown and chunky, like stuff that was stuck and finally getting rinsed out.
    Do you need to find a vet for antibiotics? That sounds awfully expensive.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Antibiotics for animals can be bought at feed stores. The trick is being sure it's the right antibiotic for the problem. Storey's guide has some suggestions and you may be able to search the archive for what others have used. As always, it's got to be your call on if and when and which antibiotic you try. But I don't like recommending the pharmaceutical stuff if warmth and water and saline solution, or Epsom salts, or oregano, or chamomile tea will work. Peter Rabbit's mom gave him chamomile tea for his cold, if I recall [​IMG]

    At this point, if it's brown chunks and not infection-smelly (hard to describe), you may just have a drake with a snoot full of yuck, and he needs time and clean bathwater to help get rid of it. I have not seen every kind of infection in ducks, so I cannot say for sure, but I would expect that infected mucus might look similar.

    56 sounds very good, and what I meant was warmer than outdoors (gee whiz up here, even freezing is warmer than outdoors. single digits expected tonight. ouch). Our ducks' shelter stays around 40F, and that seems about perfect for them in the winter.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Tylan 50 is what Twin City Poultry recommends for sinusitis/respiratory infections it is one of the most expensive antibiotics on the market. Since he is a bantam could he have had feed caked in his nares and when he got into the tub and washed his nares out the feed flew out? Just trying to help you figure out what could be going on. Is he eating and drinking normal? Thaw out the Nutri drench and start giving him some in his water, plus you can give it straight in his mouth too. Go by directions though and be careful not to get in down into his lungs.


    http://www.drugs.com/vet/vetrx-poultry-remedy.html

    other links about Vet Rx https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugex...74,d.aWc&fp=c48c69b0278cf793&biw=1444&bih=717
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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