Successful treatment of slipped tendons in bantam duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by seramasoncall, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. seramasoncall

    seramasoncall Out Of The Brooder

    10
    5
    24
    Apr 25, 2014
    I wanted to share a positive experience with a very frustrating condition: slipped tendons. I had a bantam duckling hatch late, unassisted, after 31 days of incubation. She scooted around on both hocks after she was born, unable to straighten her legs to get into a normal walking position. She gave the appearance of a bird with slipped tendons--a condition I've been unable to treat successfully in the past. Determined to get an early start on treatment, I repeatedly stretched her legs out straight behind her over her first day and rolled the tendon at the hock joint between my thumb and index finger. I didn't see any improvement; the legs would just go back to their bent, slightly spraddled position. So I gently stretched the legs out straight behind her and snugly wrapped the hock joint on both legs with thin strips of VetWrap. I also taped both feet with the toes spread out, as they were beginning to curl. I then suspended her in a cup so her legs would hang down without touching the bottom of the cup. I did this by stretching VetWrap over the cup and securing it with a rubber band. I cut two holes for her legs and a third for poop. I rigged up more VetWrap around her so she couldn't escape, propped up the whole contraption with a rolled towel to keep the cup from tipping over, and left her in the brooder that way overnight with 3 other ducklings hatched at the same time. I continued to dip her bill in water dosed with a little NutriDrench overnight and offered her little bits of crumbled food every so often. This was definitely a frustrating experience for the duckling, and she fussed and wriggled throughout. By morning, the other three ducklings had climbed up on this setup and all four were sleeping peacefully together. In the morning, I freed her from the cup and let her down on the floor of the brooder, which I'd covered in shelf liner, to see how she would do. I left the tape on her feet, and left her hocks wrapped. She began to try to move around, falling over a lot, but clearly trying to get upright. I took the tape off her feet (which were now spread out nicely) to give her more traction, and, over the next couple of hours, she began walking upright! By that evening, she was running, and she has continued to do well. If it weren't for the bright yellow VetWrap, I'd have trouble distinguishing her from her buddies.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. marcelineduckie

    marcelineduckie Chillin' With My Peeps

    506
    25
    118
    May 9, 2015
    California
    Wonderful information :goodpost:
     
  3. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,320
    287
    226
    Apr 3, 2014
    Washington State
    How is your duck doing now?
     
  4. seramasoncall

    seramasoncall Out Of The Brooder

    10
    5
    24
    Apr 25, 2014
    Sorry--just seeing your question. She's doing great! Perfectly normal and indistinguishable from her hatch mates!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    @seramasoncall did you by any chance take pics of this? It would be nice to have pictures so members could see a visual.
    Thank you so much for sharing and Welcome to BYC!
     
  6. Debs Flock

    Debs Flock Is it Spring yet?? Premium Member

    7,769
    13,468
    536
    Apr 28, 2015
    Jefferson County, MO
    Maybe I can try this...sure wish there was a photo. [​IMG]

    @Miss Lydia
    @Amiga
    @casportpony
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,124
    2,234
    501
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I think I can picture it.

    Those of us who have the resources (mostly time) and ability are pioneering treatments. Glad for the reminder of this post - I'll make sure it's saved in my list of helpful links.
     
  8. Debs Flock

    Debs Flock Is it Spring yet?? Premium Member

    7,769
    13,468
    536
    Apr 28, 2015
    Jefferson County, MO
    Oops! I'm sorry, Raye! I tagged you without filling you in. This morning I received my 4 ducklings from Metzers along with a fifth runt that has a bum leg (she can't seem to get it out to the front where it belongs). I'll have some pics of her later. I've repeatedly felt it and felt the other for comparison purposes. I can't feel a slipped tendon.

    Anyway, I'm going to give her some brief, supervised time in the water many times throughout today and then tonight I think we'll try this cup idea. [​IMG]

    Here's the thread I started for sharing the 'lings.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...cklings-march-2016-pic-heavy/30#post_16776601
     
  9. seramasoncall

    seramasoncall Out Of The Brooder

    10
    5
    24
    Apr 25, 2014
    This one's my post. I wish I had taken pictures of my duckling in the Vetwrapped cup (really a Chinese soup container!)...I was too busy trying to keep her from wiggling while figuring out how to support her body and simultaneously suspend her legs so they'd hang down without touching the bottom of the cup. It was trial and error, and she wriggled out several times. I wanted to make sure the treatment had time to work, but keep her safe from toppling over at the same time. Honestly, I think her brooder mates' persistence in climbing up to sleep with her settled her down enough to give gravity a chance to do its thing and gently stretch the tendon enough to stay in place.
    Today, she is a healthy, happy, perfectly normal silkie duck. It has been really amazing to have a duck heal from this frustrating condition!
    Here's a picture of the cup still wrapped and rubber banded...I'd suggest cutting tinier holes than you think you'll need for the legs to hang through. (A diamond shape cut seemed to work best.) VetWrap stretches so you can fold feet and push them through. If you cut the holes too big, ducklings have wriggling super powers and will be out before you know it.
    I'd also suggest running the VetWrap across the cup in different directions so you'll get better support for the duckling's body as it wiggles.
    Finally, run extra strips of VetWrap around and over the duckling's body once you've positioned it to keep it steady and supported. I secured the strips under a wide rubber band around the cup.
    Good luck!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,427
    149
    169
    Apr 8, 2013
    Washington
    I have used paper tape to tape the tendon in place above and below the joint with success. The duckling was able to walk this way because the tendon was held in place but the joint was still free to bend. If the legs are kept straight the tendon does not stretch and lengthen so it could pull to the side again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by