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Wet feathers? Bumblefoot...what the heck am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newbyduckmom, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Songster

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    If you have a duck with a clogged oil gland, does it help to keep them inside where it is warmer? Have been doing warm compresses and watching it, but today it seems to be totally blocked and inflamed? Have been getting oil when I do the compresses and let him have a warm bath, but today nothing. Wondering if warmer environment would help.
    I had been checking it regularly and he seemed to have oil coming out, even though his feathers still appeared wet. But after the snow/wind/rain/no power for four days, it appears worse and cannot feel any oil in the gland area at all .

    Should I trim the feathers surrounding the gland away?

    Will continue with the warm compress and baths and follow directions in link to irrigate it (one hole on each side of oil gland correct?), but would bringing him in the house help. About 30-40 degrees outside and warmer in the duck house. High 20's at night.

    They have access to clean swimming water every other day - except when no power for last 5 days or below 30 degrees. Haven't let them in the pond when it was frozen, or left the warm water in the kiddie pools more than every other day when it is freezing.

    Cleaning the duck houses twice a day, and doing thorough cleaning with new bedding and washdown every weekend. New dry straw every day.

    Between bumblefoot and this, wondering what the heck I am doing wrong!. Have a friend of a friend who is getting baytril for Mildred's bumble foot. So will continue that treatment once I have the meds. Was told the whole flock had to be treated for the bumblefoot, so will be treating all six ducks with oral antibiotics (hopefully, this will help the oil gland as well).

    [​IMG] Feeling a little discouraged. After two weeks of treating the bumblefoot etc, just seems to be going from bad to worse.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    So Mildred foot is still infected? I am sorry to hear that. I hope the Baytril will take care of it, have you noticed any problems with your others. I know staff can be spread but I don't know about putting them all on antibiotics if they aren't showing symptoms. But i am not a vet. Can you tell? [​IMG] as for the oil gland not working i have only delt with it once and it was like 6 years ago, One of my girls had a blocked gland but it must not have been too bad because doing the warm compresses cleared it up. I don't think your doing anything wrong just seems when one thing goes wrong something else will. I would think letting him swim in warm water would stimulate him to preen and possibly get the oil gland working again by him rubbing his head on it. I hope so. As for keeping him in the house thats your call because going from outside to inside could bring up other issues. I hope things start going better for your ducks and you I know you've been worried and doing all you can to help them, sometimes it just takes time... thanks for updating us on whats going on...
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  3. Greetings, We have a duck with the oil gland proplem, I checked it today, the gland is bright red. We have bathed him in warm water and kept him inside it has not helped so far.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Mercy. It does seem things can gang up on us.[​IMG]

    My thoughts, for what they are worth: If a duck is indoors, they are not using as much energy to stay warm, and there´s more energy to recover from illness or injury. I have not, in the two years we have had ducks, treated any but the duck with bumblefoot. The germs that cause bumblefoot are all over the place so I don´t see how giving antibiotics would do much. But, I am not a vet.

    I don't think you've done anything wrong. These types of conditions happen from time to time and sadly, sometimes they cluster.

    The ducks are being fed a balanced diet, yes? Fresh water, attention, safe shelter, warm enough, not overcrowded . . . .

    When we were without power after Storm Irene and then after the early nor'easter a few months ago, it was more physical work, and it took much more time to do the basics. I am blessed that I had the flexibility to take more time, and the health to keep up with the work (5 gallons of water weights 40 pounds, ya know).

    The only extra challenge after the nor'easter was that a baby opossum snuck into the basement (where the duck pen is). Some time after dark, the ducks told me SOMETHING was down there. Hunched over, flashlight in hand (the ducks hate flashlights), I crept through the basement looking for . . . . something. I had given up for the moment, and was straightening back up, when I looked over to my left and was about two feet away, face to face, from a precious little 'possum! (She had crawled up onto some boxes.) She and I both stared wide-eyed at one another for a moment. [​IMG] She burrowed into a box, I gently took the box outside and let her out.


    If it will help you feel that you are doing all you can for the duck with the plogged oil gland, bring him in, at least overnight. Sometimes the things I do are as much for my own heart and peace of mind as for the duck. They are your ducks, you care for them, and they will respond to TLC. I suspect they also respond to our feelings, so taking care of ourselves helps them, too.
  5. Well we brought the drake inside a number of days ago, it looked as if it was his time to go. He couldn't walk and the oil gland was inflamed. Wifey let him swim in a warm tub and put Tetracycline in his water. In a few days, just over a week, he began to stand, then walk, then ask for more food. We brought his girl in for a visit and a swim.
    It was clear he wanted to go outside.

    The first thing he did was attack the roo, he must have been thinking about this all the while. He had the roo on the run for days.
    Than came the showdown and a fight to end all. Well the roo was three times his size, he took a beating. He spent another few days in the house, soon he was well and was saying " He never laid a beak on me" " let me at him."

    The roo is gone for an unrelated reason and James the drake is ready to take on the world.
    1 person likes this.

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