Urgent! Ducks with frost bite feet!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by willow, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. willow

    willow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2008
    Sherman, NY
    Help please! [​IMG] I have 2 of this past seasons scovy ducks that have both feet frost bitten. I've never had this happen before, even with the cold here. I know what NOT to do and that's just put them in the tub of hot water!!

    I've read the books but I need to hear from the Eggsperts [​IMG] what I really need to do first hand. [​IMG]

    I can't figure out why just those 2 have it. All the other older ones are fine. Could it be that they don't know how to sit on their feet??

    I brought them both in the house ( yes, I am poultry pecked [​IMG]). My scovy's are my babies and I am just beside myself.
  2. Skip

    Skip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Usually, with frostbitten rooster combs, you apply vasaline liberally and wait to see if it heals. If the frostbite is bad, there isn't much you can do. The best cure is prevention. The best prevention is to keep the bedding dry, loose and fluffy (which, in turn, keeps coop humidity down, which helps) and make sure they're dry before putting them back out in the cold after a swim.

    To keep the ducks from tracking the vasaline all over the place, you might be able to use rubber bands or twist ties to keep sandwich bags over their feet. That's the only thing I can think of. Watch closely for infection. If their feet get gangreen, you can try injectable antibiotics, but it's not likely to do much. It all depends on how bad the frostbite is.

    Sending prayers!
  3. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    I'm no duck expert, but we have two pullets recuperating from severe frostbite. Keep them in a warm, dry place with really soft bedding (like towels or pine shaving). Keep the food and water close by so they don't have to walk so far. Clean the poop up regularly so there is minimal chance of infection. Put aspirin in their water if they are in pain. Other than that, there is not a whole lot you can do other than wait to see how bad the frostbite is and monitor their feet for infection. Nature now has to do it's thing.

    If you decide to clean their feet, do it in lukewarm water and clean with something like Betadine. Some people have had good experience with vitamin E lotion. Remember that they are most likely going to have frostbite sensitivity in their feet for a really, really long time.

    Here's a link that I posted about three weeks ago:

    Good luck and I hope it's just a mild case. [​IMG]
  4. AkTomboy

    AkTomboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    DJ, Alaska
    I’m sorry your two are hurting, silly ducks!! I would think you would treat it like any other frostbite wound (see below). It might be a little harder being they have to walk on the feet and it could cause more damage.

    I can say is do not put Vaseline on them if you have extreme low temps, here it will freeze your skin faster with a layer of it on than without. Vaseline keeps the water off the skin. In minor cold temps with no moisture on the skin from the Vaseline frostbite is prevented.

    1. Fill a shallow container with enough water to cover the frostbitten body part. Make sure the water is tepid (room temperature). The water does not have to be cool, but it cannot be too warm, the warmer the water, the worse the pain.

    2. Continue to refresh the water in the container as it cools. Keep the water at the same temperature as consistently as possible. It may take several hours to completely thaw severe frostbite.

    As soon as thawed, apply Neosporin and watch for infection. Try and keep them on soft footing and do not let them get to the point of frostbite again, as the damage will be much more sever and deeper than the first time. Also do not rub the frostbitten tissue as that can also cause more damage.
  5. Skip

    Skip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Really? I didn't know that. Thanks for teaching me something!
  6. froggie71

    froggie71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    I've not had this happen with our ducks, but sounds like AkTomboy has given good advice. Good luck with your ducks.
  7. AkTomboy

    AkTomboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    DJ, Alaska
    Quote:After growing up here and seeing everything from Vaseline, diesel, to high proof liquor freeze solid I was at a loss when one of my 4-H kids asked me about doing this to her chickens because that’s what they did in TN.
    Soooo I cheated and went and asked my college professor what the freeze point of Vaseline was and if this would work as so many have said. Here is his answer...

    Freezing Point is depressed according to the following equation:

    FPD = FPD constant * molality

    Water's FPD constant is 1.86 degrees C per molality.

    Molality = number of moles of solute/kg of solvent.

    Freezing Point - FPD = the new freezing point.

    That said, I don't think that Vaseline prevents freezing that way. I think it protects the chicken by reflecting its own infrared radiation and since it has a very high coefficient of heat, it takes losing a lot of heat to drop the temperature of the Vaseline a degree Celsius. Also, the Vaseline would protect the chicken by preventing freezer burn by providing a coating that would not let water evaporate. As long as water cannot evaporate, it cannot get burned for frost bit in your case. It's like double wrapping freezer stuff.

    With all that said again it will all depend on your temps it just doesnt work in our area.

    So how are the two ducks doing? Any black areas, are they eating, walking? I hope we get a good news update soon ~

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