Suspected botulism case in one duck - any hope for him?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by weeshanti, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. weeshanti

    weeshanti Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Central New Hampshire
    I have a flock of 13 Swedish blues and one pilgrim goose. All are healthy and active except for one of the three drakes, who has been declining quite suddenly for the last few days. I let them outside a couple days ago and he fell off the step, then couldn't get back inside up the step with the others. When he walks he drags his feet and meanders like he's drunk. He won't quack anymore, and today his eyes look a bit runny and milky. No sign of anything in the others. He is eating and drinking, albeit slowly (like he's not coordinated). I did some research and it sounds like maybe botulism, but I can't find anything about his chances at this point. Should I separate him? He gets a bit panicked when he can't get to his flock so I have been hesitant to separate him out. In-coop separation will require some construction but I suppose I could figure it out.

    Has anyone seen this happen?

    As an aside, this all came up on the same day I found a headless rooster in the nearby chicken coop. My first thought was that the duck had a run-in with the same predator (weasle? possum? rat?), but I can't find any sign of injury on the duck. [​IMG]

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Botulism may be involved, or it could be a systemic infection.

    Here is a link to flushes and charcoal detox (food grade, activated charcoal, not for barbecue)

    If it is a systemic infection, a vet is the best way to go. If that is impossible, then get an oral antibiotic going. Some use oral antibiotics when they suspect botulism.

    I need to be away from the computer for a while - call your feed store and ask them what they have, see if a vet can give you suggestions if you cannot get the duck to the vet.
     
  3. weeshanti

    weeshanti Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Central New Hampshire
    Thanks, Amiga!

    I did call a local vet who handles birds. He was not as familiar with farm ducks, but said he doubts it's botulism. He thinks the duck might just have a cold. We have him separated with a net fence so he can still see the others, and he has a heat lamp. Going to try that to see how he does. He ate his dinner like he was starving, so that's a good sign...just wish he didn't act like he's gagging when he gets a mouthful.

    I wonder if he ate something he should have that he's choking on? Not sure if that would explain the drunken waddle, though, unless it's just exhaustion and weakness from not being able to eat. Hmmm. Will see what tomorrow brings.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If he has an ear infection, that could mess up his balance. Could be just about anything - fungal, bacterial, viral, so get the little one some vitamins, do all you can to help his immune system. A warm bath might be very helpful. Just make sure he goes to a warm place afterward, so as not to chill him.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    When he's eating does he have a bucket or bowl deep enough to dunk his head into? very important especially when eating, also you might try adding some un pasteurized ACV to his water bucket too. 1-2 Tab to 1 gallon of water. Hope he feels better soon.
    http://keeping-chickens.me.uk/what-to-keep-in-stock/apple-cider-vinegar
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  6. weeshanti

    weeshanti Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Central New Hampshire
    He does have a bucket. I gave him his own in his little holding area. Just checked on him and he's hanging out peacefully under the heat lamp. I will try some ACV - thanks for the tip!
     

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