Thoughts on necessity of duck vets.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cherib603, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all!

    As a relatively new (6 weeks) owner of ducks, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on making sure you have access to a duck saavy veterinarian.

    I see many many posts asking for advice on duck illness and injury, and often times folks can't afford or don't have access to proper vet care for their ducks.

    Now, I'm sure there are long time duck raisers who have "seen it all" and have gained life experience in successfully treating the most common ailments, but for folks like myself, who have only a few ducks to keep as pets, would you consider it very or not very important to have a vet?

    To clarify - I am married to a vet. He doesn't "do ducks", but his partner does, and I wouldn't have even considered owning ducks - or ANY animal - if I wasn't able to care for them properly in an emergency situation.

    What do you experts think?
     
  2. HannahDuckLover

    HannahDuckLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By the jungle
    I’m no expert, but here’s my opinion. I don’t consider it imperative to have a vet who is qualified in avian care, but it would certainly be nice, and it’s a comfort to know someone who is experienced with ducks.

    If well cared for, ducks rarely have problems that require the care of a vet. And even when you do need a vet, normal vets may be able to help you, if you are armed with some knowledge about duck health yourself. You may be able to talk with the vet and guide them. This is what I did when we had a problem where I had absolutely no idea what to do and little idea of what had happened. Our neighbor, who is a vet, came to see the duck, and together we figured out what had happened. We discussed various remedies, and eventually hit upon two easy, natural solutions that worked perfectly. She was unsure of the safety of some of the remedies on ducks, and I didn’t know what would help at all, so she told me what she would have done if the patient was a dog.

    Also, if you KNOW what is wrong, and know what the duck needs, but can’t do it yourself (such as in the case of stitching a wound), an open-minded vet may still be able to help.

    We once had a case of sickness. From all the symptoms, it sounded like duck cholera, and even the cause was plausible, but we never were totally sure. With a lot of online research, we solved it without the vet’s help, and all the ducks recovered perfectly.

    In summary, I think, when you lack high-tech care or easy access to medications, having knowledge of duck maladies and an open-minded vet may be enough.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MandBducks

    MandBducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I think it's pretty important.

    I was struggling last minute to find a vet who would treat my duck who was having seizures. A lot of things may not be emergent, but knowing who to call and when can be imperative when dealing with emergencies.

    ETA: This forums advice has been incredible and a lifesaver as well. It helped me stabilize my duck so she could make the trip to the vet. Is a forum a replacement for a vet, no. It certainly does help, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  4. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I agree that this forum gives excellent advice on what to look for in the health of your ducky friends. Knowledge is power. :)
    Being new to ducks, I just wasn't sure if the concensus was that ducks are basically cheap and expendable :'( or if spending hundreds of dollars to save our pets was routine.

    I'm sure it depends on the individual.

    I just hate to see people get pets with zero cash and no plan on what to do in an emergency.
     
  5. MandBducks

    MandBducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do think some people view ducks as livestock vs cherished pets which would probably influence vet care and amount of money devoted to duck health care.
     
  6. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2014
    Hi,

    we haven't had to take a duck to the vet yet but have had to take a couple of chickens. I had to join another vets that has an avian specialist (our normal vet didn't). They are actually really reasonable so it's not been a problem expense wise. We had to have 2 put to sleep and one was given some medicine but unfortunately died later. All of that was very reasonable.

    One of my ducks has been acting a bit strange lately so we may end up taking her but I have a feeling she will be ok. It's hard to tell when there is something wrong! For instance-I lost 3 chickens to them being egg-bound, which is the only thing I've lost my birds from. Then after that another of my birds was acting funny and not laying-I thought for sure she had the same thing and that I should take her to the vet. Anyway whatever it was she got over it and is now perfectly fine. My nan also has a budgie so it's lucky we found this avian vet for my hens and ducks before she got him in case he needs a vet at some point (we have already taken him to have his nails clipped). I have always felt a bit weird taking a chicken to the vets (and not seen any other poultry whilst I've been there!) but the other people there find it interesting (and I bet they would love to see a duck!) and the vet is very good.
     
  7. boosterpacksmom

    boosterpacksmom Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree that some people see their ducks as livestock for meat and eggs (like chickens) and it's just kind of survival of the fittest and that's fine. My ducks, however, are my pets. I have taken one to the vet. I'm severely allergic to dogs and cats so we can't own them. When I thought Bernie had bumblefoot (he didn't) I was completely shocked not all vets saw ducks and it was hard to find one to see him. I ignorantly assumed all vets just saw all animals. Obviously I haven't had much experience with them due to not owning pets but that could play into it too. Just not knowing avian vets are kinda hard to find.
     
  8. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I have to say I'm not really inclined to go to a vet. I'm looking at keeping the best and healthiest birds as breeding stock. If I have a duckling that isn't able to free range, climb up the ramp to the house etc. it's not going to work out. I certainly don't want to breed neurological issues into the flock

    Now I have exceptions to my rule. I had a drake that won reserve of breed (before he came to me.) He had some leg issues after forgetting how to exit the stream (he was trying jump up the canal wall about 4-5ft from the surface of the water instead of swimming 20ft to where there's a sloped bank.) I think he got his foot stuck in some of the loose rocks while jumping up to the wall. One of his legs was swollen and he was limping and doing an awful flamingo impression once I got him out of the stream.

    He was breeding stock. I had no issues with bringing him to the vet since he was an adult of breeding age with a curable ailment. I think I spent $60 and I had another breeding season from him. Worth it to be able to pass on his genetic material to at least 2 dozen off spring. (Possibly more.. I wasn't always great at the record keeping thing.)
     
  9. HannahDuckLover

    HannahDuckLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By the jungle
    Yeah. If my duck was having seizures, there's no way I'd keep it. I don't want to accidentally breed it and end up with offspring that are prone to having seizures. Any problem that is due to a genetic weakness or just general weakness likely isn't worth solving.

    And I wouldn't spend tons and tons of money on any duck, no matter what the problem. They're pets and we love them, but they're primarily for eggs and meat, and I'll probably be doing more breeding later on.

    Currently, we do have several ducks that are runts/inbred, but they're laying fairly well, so I'm not planning to butcher them until the next time we have ducklings, probably next year. We can't keep track of whose eggs end up in whose nests, so there's a good chance we might accidentally breed one of the runts if we don't get rid of them by next year.
     
  10. MandBducks

    MandBducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Luckily for me I only have ducks, no drakes. Never intend on breeding and am a vegitarian. Everyone has different opinions, I wouldn't eat my ducks.

    Different strokes for different folks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016

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