What do you think, sick or injured 2 month pekin not getting better

FCFarms

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
48
1
26
Long time lurker first time poster and this will be long, my apologies. We have already been to the vet but I feel something is still not right and want the opinion of people I feel may be more experienced here.

We bought 6 pekins that arrived 2/20, everyone is happy and healthy but 1. We've had ducks for years and this is the first time we added pekins to our flock... never again! I love them but their legs just can't handle that much weight so quickly, seriously makes me a wreck worrying about it.

So here's the deal. One of the ducks, a female pekin named Ducktor (Doctor Who theme) was limping at the end of March, I think the 27th and she was just a little over 1 month old. I brought her inside so she could get special care. She stays in my bathtub which allows me to keep things very clean and give her between 4-6 baths a day. She seemed to be doing better so I assumed the sprained it or something she also seemed to have some heavier breating but again it never got worse. Days passed and still no difference, she wasn't worse but she wasn't better which by then I felt I should be seeing more of an improvement. Still though she was bright, alert, happy, and eating and drinking like a pig and pooping just fine so I kept doing what I was doing and watching for anything else. 2 weeks later she was still lame and it appeared that the hock was not just swollen looking but really really hot so at that point I felt infection. She was also starting to have issues bearing weight on the good leg which I felt may have been due to the strain from not using the other leg. Again though she was still alert and all just the hock was now extremely hot to the touch. I called the local avian vet but it would be almost another week befor they could fit me in. She was still eating, drinking, and pooping normally and still as happy as could be. I was also adding supplements to her water while she was in the house as well in case of niacin or any other deficiency. She had by this point developed a sore on her hock, I'm not sure if it was due to the infection or because she was basically walking on her hocks. I tried to keep her as softly bedded as possible but she was constantly moving around and ending up on the harder surfaces.

By the time I brought her in her personality and all was still the same but now she was barely moving and using her head to help her get around. Kind of looked neurological but wasn't, although she seemed to get her head too far under her at times and not be able to pull it back out. I monitor her closely so I was able to help when that happened but still not fun to see her doing that. The night before the visit the wound on her hock opening up and it was confirmed infection at that point. I brought her to the vet who said septic arthritis and that she wanted to admit her into their hospital so she could flush the joint and monitor her for a few days. They gave me an estimate for 3-5 days but said it would most likely be 1-2. Well I find out 5 days later while she is still at their hospital that they never flushed her joints and they've only been giving her a bath 1 time a day! They say the wound has gotten bigger and draining which draining is good but it never should have gotten bigger if they had been bedding her properly and giving her more water time.

7 days later (this past Monday) they tell me she's doing much better and I can come and pick her up. I get there to find nothing has changed and on top of it she was way too dirty to have felt that they were keeping her wound clean. To say I was livid is putting it nicely but by that point I just wanted to get her home and in better care. They were injecting her with SMZs for the infection and Rimadyl for the pain. The sent me home with oral smz and rimadyl to continue dosing.

So right now she is 2 months old, can barely walk, the heat is mostly gone from her hocks but now both of them have scabs. The left one is the one that is larger and the original problem leg, the right one just has a small scab. She seems to hold the left leg weird, like she is keeping her toes closed, pics below. She is still bright, alert, happy, eating, drinking, pooping (sorry forgot to mention that it is sometimes green and there is nothing extra than her feed and supplements that should be doing that) she still loves her bath time although again I have to watch her closely because once the water starts draining and her feet start touching the floor, she puts her head under her to try and move but ends up stuck with her beak under water. So I stay in there until the tub is completely empty to make sure she is ok. She can move both legs in the water which is a good sign but I feel like we are not making progress and at this point she should be better. I also made her a wheelchair sling to get her off of her hocks and while she seems to be comfortable in it she has to be watched closely because she does try to move too much and it's not meant to really be a walking device, just a relief for her joints. When she is not in the sling she is either in the water or on her memory foam mattress which she really loves.

I am still giving her meds but I do not feel that the dosage is right for the SMZ. For the Rimadyl she gets .5 ml of the 75mg one time day. The SMZ she only gets .02. yes, .02 which I feel is barely anything. So I am posting here in hopes that someone may have other thoughts because honestly if I have to bring her back to the vet it is going to be for euth. I love this duck, she's very sweet and has always been very personable and fun (see profile pic) so I wanted to give her more of a chance but with my husband on lay off right now and them holding her hostage for a week of halfassed care I have nothing left to spend on anything major. I am posting a bunch of pics and hoping someone here can offer another suggestion. I know she is still battling an infection but at only 2 months old I feel like even if we get her better from that she may never walk again. I am okay with that as I would still provide for her like I am now but really she should have been showing improvement by now. Thanks in advance for any help!


 
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shicks0211

Songster
7 Years
May 7, 2012
272
18
101
Orlando Florida
many times when ducks develope leg problems it's due to a niacin deficiency. I don't know what you're feeding them, but try adding some niacin..you can get the gel tablets and break them into the water, or go to the health food store and get brewers yeast and sprinkle it on her food..the dosage with the brewers yeast isn't really a factor, you can be liberal..if that is the issue you should see marked improvement in a few days. I don't know about the sores..but they may be caused simply by her constantly laying on her hocks..almost like a bed sore. Have you tried warm water with epsom salts a few times a day? if not then try that as well while you're giving the niacin and see if she improves. Poor baby....I'd ad the niacin to the others food as well because even though they aren't showing syptoms they may also be deficient. I hope this helps!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,822
551
Southern New England
Ditto shicks0211, and I would work at getting her into a lukewarm bath deep enough to float in three times a day for at least half an hour to take weight off the legs, increase circulation, and develop muscles.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,808
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Mountains of Western N.C.
What is SMZ? and I think you are wonderful for all you have done, I know nothing about the meds except I have heard of the Rimadyl for dogs with Arthritis. I do ditto all thats been said above and hope with adding the niacin and brewers yeast you see good improvement.
 

FCFarms

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
48
1
26
Thank you so much for all the responses. She is getting supplements which include niacin. Should I be giving her just niacin separately instead?

SMZs are an antibiotic. The full name is Sulfamethoxazole. I would be really interested in what people think about the dosage the vet said which is 0.02 ml, seems like nothing.

Thank you for the support too, my heart breaks watching her because truthfully she's been so people friendly from the beginning unlike the others so I really do want to give the the chance to get better, just feel like I've hit a brick wall.
 

FCFarms

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
48
1
26
Oh and she already gets warm baths an hour each time and usually 4-6 a day I know how important that float time is for her, especially now.
 

BickeringToast

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 14, 2012
95
2
43
Jersey, GA
One of my dogs was on SMZ several years ago but it was a Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim combo tablet. The pill itself contained SMZ=800 mg and Trim=160 mg. The dosage instructions were 13 mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours. The .02 does seem a little odd.

Have you called the Vet just to verify the meds in that pill AND the dosage?

***This is NOT any kind of med recommendation....just reading info off 3 year old paperwork from Vet for a 27lb canine.

Good luck and PLEASE keep us updated. That is one lucky duck to have you
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,808
134,352
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The dose does seem small, maybe there would be some info online that would help, after all you have said about the care your duckling got at this vets I don't think I'd trust them.
 

BarredRockGirls

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
521
23
113
Ohio
i cant believe that Vets Office!
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ahh! i know its expensive im sorry but id go see another Vet! thats BS they did nothing ... you yourself could have done all that at home . i really hope she gets better . i myself have a almost 4 week old that i think sprained her leg a week ago since thats when she started limping - i feed FR since day ONE and they get Gro-gel plus so i shouldnt have to supplement w Niacin and brewers yeast but since she started limping a week ago i went to GNC and have been putting Brewers yeast in their food one time a day . and they already get 2 deep warm baths a day plus outside time ... a week ago Cookie didnt wanna walk much at all - now shes still slow but a lil better until she gets tired then her limp is more severe and she sits more .... her sisters are completely fine .... is this a sprain ... idk they cant be deficient i hope she gets better just as i hope yours does too . i told my husband to watch out we may have a house duck
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- i totally will bring her inside to care for her just like you did! hang in there!
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FCFarms

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
48
1
26
Thanks guys. I completely agree that the dosage is too low. I did question it because both the vet tech and I thought it was way too small and the vet insisted it was right BUT when I do my own research there is no way in heck that she should be getting that little tiny bit. The vet tech I think knew something was wrong because she ended up adding a ton more to the container (there's was only about 10ml in there to begin with) and told me it's just in case and gave me a wink lol.

BRG I do not believe we have any other vets around here that treat ducks, at least that I can find and have a good reputation (this area is ripe for idiots) and unfortunately because hubby is on lay off I really can't spend any more money with them. Care Credit is a great thing but I still have to be able to pay it off in the end lol.

I have SMZs in pill form for my horses. I think I'm going to crush it and start giving her what should be the proper dose because quite honestly we are at a point that something has to give. I can't ignore the fact that she needs help but I need to be able to still provide for everyone else in this house. I do believe it started as a sprain and developed from there because I know her hocks were not hot in the beginning. They aren't as hot now as they were before going to the vet so we are seeing some improvement but oy the care she requires right now is insane. I have pain issues myself and I've been doing everything I'm not supposed to because her comfort comes before mine right now. I feel so much better hearing from others right now who are in agreement with my feelings. I know you guys are not vets and all that fun legal stuff but I really do appreciate the support.

Bickering, I have the same type of SMZs and I had just gotten it a couple of months ago, the dosage info is about the same but it changes depending on type of infection, age, and size. I am just going to follow my gut at this point because she really needs relief and soon....and so do I!
 

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