What the heck just happened

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mournlight, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. mournlight

    mournlight In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2008
    I have a flock of pekins. One female has been too popular with the boys and has been very haggard lately. Today, she was holding her neck tight against her body and moving slowly. I noticed she barely ate, and I saw that her nostrils appeared pretty dirty. You couldn't see through them at all. I caught her and brought her in to the light, where I gently cleaned around her nostrils and eyes. There was some funky stuff in her nasal passages. I thought I'd keep her separated a few days and give her some pampering and give her a break from the boys. I cleaned it by putting a drop of water, letting it set a second, and then wiping. I didn't dig in her nose. I did blow in it a couple of times from a few inches to get her to shake her head. (Like a dog's ear.) She didn't protest. She puffed a couple of times and stuff came out. When I quit, you could see from one side out the other like normal, and her nasal passages were nice and pink instead of black. She also got a gentle massage with a wet wash rag around her head and neck. She went to sleep, and then stiffened up like she was having a seizure.
    She died about 20 minutes later.
    What the heck happened - I've had pekins for several years, hold them from time to time, have raised ducklings (all of these) and never had this happen. My logical brain says it was just coincidental that she died right after I cleaned her eyes and nose, but my emotional brain is asking what I could have done to cause this. I can't find anything that shows the anatomy of a duck online. I'm looking to educate myself more at this point.
    Feedback would be appreciated.
    Oh, and they all swim in the lake everyday and have a pool of water in the pen, so it wasn't caused by lack of water. The whole flock went to the lake today, this girl included, but I can't say for sure that she got in. She's been bringing up the rear for a few weeks. Nobody else is having any issues (17 other ducks and a dozen chickens.)
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    The only way to be sure is to have a necropsy done - keep the body refrigerated till you can get it to a lab.

    She may have had peritonitis, she may have had internal injuries from over mating.

    Could have been a virus.

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