Special needs Bo

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jesslovelady, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. jesslovelady

    jesslovelady New Egg

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    My husband, a big tough traditional cowboy here in the panhandle of Texas, brought home a four month old white duck. I know nothing about ducks. The reason the man brought home this duck is because he heard he was being picked and could not get around as quickly, he felt for him. Big 'ol softy for the birds, I've noticed. Bo, the duck came with a name, seems to have the equivalent of a clubbed foot. It has caused his other leg to bow out he uses his wings to balance as he hobbles along. Occasionally I've seen him use his beak to regain his balance. He doesn't seem to be in pain, he lets me mess with both feet and even straighten out and apply pressure to the foot that is just simply turned in. He's been very social with the hens and likes to quack at out dogs.
    I am a stay at home wife/mother whe raises cattle, chickens, and horses I spend most of my day outside, time is not an issue if that's all he needs....Wondering if anyone has seen a duck live like this successfully? Is it too late to help him learn to use his good foot better? I'm fully prepared to work with him in a pool, he can swim fairly well, as a form of therapy. He can't actually get in and out by himself, I was told. Poor guy has only been in the water once.
    Or do I need to do what no one else would and put the duck down?

    Thank you for taking the time to read and provide some input. Bo and I appreciate it!
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  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    I've seen lots of folks take in injured ducks that manage to live a long life. I've seen club footed ducks do well if provided with a living area that gives him protection from predators and allow the duck to be a...duck!

    If this is an old injury it would be best to leave the foot alone. If you apply a splint at this stage the stress may cause more problems. Of course, if you have the money you can take the duck to an avian vet, and see if the leg has been broken or if the duck has slipped a tendon. A fractured leg can be repaired but that takes time and money and one has to consider the quality of life of the duck. A slipped tendon is not treated but a healthy active duck can do well on one leg-as long as the good leg holds out. A duck with a fractured pelvis (which can cause a floppy foot) can do well but the hens may be a challenge when they start to lay eggs. If the egg can't pass due to a bone being in the way the best thing to do is euthanize the duck.

    Here is a picture of George. He arrived at my farm one day as a stray. Just showed up and stayed. He was happy to hang around but somebody shot him a few months later and I found him on the ground with a shattered leg. The wound was fresh, bleeding and already attracting flies. So I cleaned the area, removed the feathers to visualize the true extend of the wound and nearly euthanized him right then. But something told me to not give up, so I set the leg as best as I could and applied a robert jones bandage to stabilize. I gave him a cocktail of drugs to help with the pain and stress.
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    The vet arrived two days later, radiographed the leg (those mobile min-rays used on horses work great on birds!) and noted the bones were touching. George was a compliant patient, he did well in the hospital cage, and two weeks later he was bandage free. Unfortunately, the tendon has slipped (which was expected) at his elbow and he did not use it normally. But with time, he learned to use it as a walking stick, and even perches on the high roost.

    Three years later he rules HIS roost with that walking stick leg as he learned to use it to swat the roosters with it. He lives in a large wire enclosed metal carport and does very well for himself.

    I think your duck will do fine if he's healthy and given some minor support in his living conditions. See if you can find a local wild duck rescue which should be able to give you more information. Also, I'm sure the duck owners on this site will soon chime in.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. jesslovelady

    jesslovelady New Egg

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    May 2, 2016
    Tx
    Positive thoughts already! Thank you.
    His good foot and leg, I think have potential, as he is young and it wasn't turned in too badly. I just want to be proactive about that development so he is more able. I refuse to watch any of our animals suffer though....
    He seems heatlthy, been very social. The chickens really aren't too interested or bothered by his presence but knowing how a few of my hens are I've been keeping close watch. He's in a 6 ft tall fenced encloser with plenty of flat space and shade during the hottest parts of the day. Our dogs patrol frequently and we have very few predator issues in our location. A pool was on my list of to-dos today, I'm sure helping him in and out of the pool and taking weight off several times a day could be good for him....
    Thank you again for you story and positivity!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @jesslovelady Welcome to BYC!!

    Do you know how old Bo is reason asking I don't see a curled tail feather which means drake.

    I think your idea of water therapy is great and maybe your tender heart ed husband can think of a way to help Bo get in and out of the pool. But picking him up and helping him out would be good too. Just as long as he doesn't try to jump out that could really mess up his leg.

    Keeping him on soft surfaces should help and even massage might work too. Can you post a pic of his foot that is clubbed? you'll also need to keep and eye on his wings since he uses them for stability they can get rubbed and open.

    But I'd say with what you have said about caring for him and the TLC he'll be getting he has a good chance of a great life with you.

    Quality feed also.
     
  5. jesslovelady

    jesslovelady New Egg

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    May 2, 2016
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    We were told Bo is between 3-4 months. I just read about the "sexing feather", actually. Could this possibly be it (pic)? I'm just guessing and researching right now haha
    [​IMG]

    I'm also noticing a little shake he's doing in his head and neck, not necessarily visible, but i can feel it...stress?
    Being moved and having new people I know is probably terrifying.

    I'm noticing his other "good" foot lays flat but the joints are massive and warm to touch, we have a great vet that we are gonna seek further advice from...has anyone ever heard of giving anti inflammatory medication? I know we do it for our own horses and our client's horses for minor injuries? We will seek professional advice before going that route just didn't know if it was a common practice in birds?

    Bad foot
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    What we initially thought was a good foot
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    Good foot flat on ground, clubbed foot tucked away underneath
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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    If he's that young there are several other possibilities. Malnutrition due to either poor diet or severe parasite infestation. If he was kept on a wire floor cage you will see this type of problem. He/she could also have a viral and bacterial infection causing the swollen joint. I think an avian vet is a great idea. Yes, there are medications you can give a duck but the correct dose of the correct medication is challenging. Also, you can make a non-slippery ramp for Bo to use for his new pool. I've seen many a peg leg learn use them. Swimming is definitely good for him but keep the water clean and make sure he get ample drying time lest he develop sores from being waterlogged. The fact that his other leg is compromised is a cause for concern. But a little TLC can go a long way!
     
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  7. Carter90

    Carter90 New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
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  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    A duck like Bo can do pretty well, with the right kind of support. Rimadyl is often given for joint inflammation.

    And Lemon the duck as been around for quite a long time with more severe limitations than Bo, and does very well.
     

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