Vet is Stumped: Very Sick Runner Duck Advice Needed ASAP

MisaF

Songster
Jul 25, 2018
70
127
116
Montgomery, NY
Hi all, I need to tap into all of your experience with ducks to see if anyone has any idea what is going on with one of our runners. Ducken is 3 years old, female runner duck. Let me start by saying she was immediately taken to the best avian vet possible in Westchester, NY (Dr. Hess) first thing yesterday morning. She seemed to be limping and then decided she didn't want to walk at all. Nothing seemed broken or injured and her feet looked fine. She was fine when I put her in the coop at night and this condition seemed to have happened over night. Vet xrayed and checked her from bill to tail and couldn't find anything obviously wrong with her. They took blood and we just got the results back about 30 mins ago. Her white blood cell count is very high and her kidney numbers are bad (I'm sorry I don't have the specifics on the numbers on hand). We are rushing her back to the vet now to be admitted and get an ultrasound as well as antibiotics and fluids.

She stopped eating yesterday evening and wouldn't even take her favorite meal worms. She is drinking water though. She seems unsteady on her feet and would rather just lie down. She is normally super active and loud and read to snack on meal worms and kale at a moments notice. I put her in a warm bath this morning because she was covered in poop from spending the night lying in the same spot. She didn't seem to be paddling around well. Seems almost like her legs weren't working together if that makes sense.

We have 8 other ducks including a geriatric runner and 5 call ducks. None of them have any of these symptoms. They are all fine and healthy. Our chickens are also fine and healthy. They all eat the same thing and hang out in the same area and drink the same water. I change water several times a day and food bowls are emptied and cleaned out all the time. Blood work only showed elevated white blood cell and kidney level issues. Vet isn't sure what is going on.

She is scheduled to have an ultrasound to see if there is anything going on that the xray can't see. Do any of you have any experience with something similar? Any ideas of possible causes? I want to make sure I share any ideas with the vets to see if it help them save her. We adore this girl. She is our first duck and she was an orphan so we raised her from hatch and we were her first flock. She means the world to us.

Thank you in advance for any info you might be able to share.
 

MisaF

Songster
Jul 25, 2018
70
127
116
Montgomery, NY
Hi all,

So our girl spent the night at the avian vet. She was there all day yesterday. The vet has her on antibiotics, IV fluids, gabapentin, and some kind of catheter to help relieve pressure on her kidneys. The good news is the vet called us last night to say that Duckens showed interest in food so the vet shared some of her salad with her and Duckens actually ate some. That is an improvement and the vet said that made her feel a bit more optimistic. We are expecting a call from the vet sometime after 10 am EDT with an update. No one called us over night or already this morning so I think that means she made it through the night.

@AstroDuck, the info you sent sounds like it is the closest we have seen to her symptoms but no other duck or chicken is showing any signs. THANK YOU! The only thing I can call out that Duckens did that was maybe different from the other birds is that she loves the tops of the long grass when it goes to seed. We have a safe grass area that we put them out on when we can be out there to sit with them and keep them safe (surrounded by electric fence so they are never out of sight). Duckens is the only one who goes crazy for the long grass with the seeds at the end. The rest of them don't pay much mind to it. That would be the only thing that she may have ingested that was different or in larger amounts than the other members of the flock. I wonder if that could be the culprit. We are all still stumped because no one else is showing any signs of being anything but healthy.

This is killing me because I work so hard to keep their coop, runs, food and water bowls, and pools clean. I am mucking the coop every day, picking up poop from the run, you name it. These guys are so well cared for. We rarely even have flies around in the summer months because I am on top of it all the time. No animal in this home gets anything but 100% from us. I just can't understand how this has hit only one duck out of 9 and none of the 8 hens.

Once I know more later I will update this thread. This really has all of us scratching our heads.
 

MisaF

Songster
Jul 25, 2018
70
127
116
Montgomery, NY
@Miss Lydia sadly we’re all still grasping at straws. Her kidney numbers are still very bad. Ultrasound didn’t show anything abnormal other than her reproductive tract looking a bit enlarge. They gave her a hormone injection/implant to see if that helps reduce the size of things. She’s still at the vet getting fluids and meds. She was standing and walking around a bit today which is something but we really have no way of knowing how it will go. Come Monday we will know a little more when the next round of blood comes back. She’s in good hands and we aren’t giving up just yet. The vets think she’s more stable than she should be given her numbers. We are trying to stay positive. She means the world to us.
 

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