Struggling with the affects of Malnutrition

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by steck, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. steck

    steck New Egg

    5
    0
    9
    Sep 30, 2012
    Seminole, FL
    Two weeks ago our local rescue sanctuary call me to ask if I would take on an adult Pekin duck that had physical developmental issues from malnutrition. (He has the typical look of a physically deformed duck due to malnutrition- legs and hips out to the side instead of beneath him and the typical "angle" wings). When they got him, they put him in a cage with next to no chance to get out or move around for four weeks. They were going to put him down if I couldn't take the poor little guy. When I got him and took him home he was completely pitiful. It was heartbreaking to watch him as he struggled to even move, but his little legs were so bad that they couldn't even support his weight. And he used his little deformed wings to try and drag himself across the ground. He mostly just flopped about in a panic unable to really move at all. At first my other two ducks (also Pekin) attacked him, but after about 6 hours they came to accept him and now won't leave far from his side (which is great!)

    I have been trying to work with him, massaging his legs, getting him to exercise them in the little kiddie pool to see if i can get any muscle back and some mobility. I am also supplementing his diet with B vitamins and niacin. I was so happy to see him progress! He can now support his weight and can even take three or four steps before his left leg and hips give out and he stumbles to the ground. He eats well and the other ducks seem to have become attached and protective of him.

    But, lately (in the last few days) I can hear his hips pop when I pick him up and when he sit on my lap and moves his legs. Plus, he has been panting a lot even though the weather has been very nice and cool in the shade where he hangs out. I'm worried that he is painting because he is in pain. And, though the work I have been doing with him seemed to help, I'm now worried that it might be detrimental to him. I was hoping you guys could let me know what you think and offer any advice as how to make his life the best possible. He's such a great little guy and a real fighter.
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I can't offer any advice without seeing the duck. But panting can be a sign of pain.

    If you decide that his quality of life is always going to be poor, then set his spirit free and know that you have done your best for him and that he was lucky to have known love and caring in his life.

    If he has leg issues, then keep his weight low. He needs a good balanced diet that will not put fat on him. Starved animals are better off if they are fed for a slow gain. Good protein and let the weight float up slowly.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,932
    5,667
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Also maybe give him more time, just 2 weeks isn't going to be near enough time to see how far he can go with good nutrition and the extra vitamins and TLC your giving him. Maybe he is trying to hard to keep up with the others and thats why he's having problems your noticing. Poor guy so sad to think of what his life must have been like. Sounds like your doing alot to help him get as far as he can, I hope it helps. AND [​IMG]
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,932
    5,667
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
     
  5. steck

    steck New Egg

    5
    0
    9
    Sep 30, 2012
    Seminole, FL
    Thank you for your thoughts. I'm hoping that I can improve his quality of life to the point where he is happy. The other ducks have really rallied around him and I think being a welcomed part of a flock goes a long way to a good quality of life. He does struggle to get around, but manages. As long as he is not in pain, I think we can work around his handicaps. I just want to make sure he is not suffering.
     
  6. steck

    steck New Egg

    5
    0
    9
    Sep 30, 2012
    Seminole, FL
    Thanks, Miss Lydia! You are right, two weeks is a very short time given his circumstances and background. I will keep working with him... maybe just take it a little slower. Also, he seems to have developed a runny noise and a little discharge from his eyes, so now I'm thinking he may have some respiratory issues... maybe a little duck cold.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,932
    5,667
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Sorry to hear this, ever heard of Oxine ah? http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/oxine.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by