Wobbly, lethargic duck

ak2787

In the Brooder
Mar 8, 2017
30
18
29
My 5 week old pekin started having problems walking yesterday. He is normally my dominant duck but is very lethargic. The only way I could get him to eat or drink yesterday was to put the food and water right up to his beak. He's eating and drinking pretty good today as long as it's right in front of him and he doesn't have to get up.

I've researched niacin diffency and got him to eat some niacin powder in his food yesterday. Their duck food I've had them on since 4 days old has niacin supplement in it. I have not used any container with galvanized metal. They do swim in our pond and eat a lot of moss. His poop looks like moss, I did not see any worms. The only thing I can figure is he's been eating too much moss and not enough food with the vitamins he needs. Any thoughts or remedies I should try besides niacin?
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
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Jefferson County, MO
Ducklings that young shouldn't eat much of anything besides their own feed. Be wary of ponds because snapping turtles can make a meal out of ducklings. In addition, since 5 week old ducklings don't have feathers, they can quickly become waterlogged, tire and end up drowning in a short period of time.
 

ak2787

In the Brooder
Mar 8, 2017
30
18
29
Ducklings that young shouldn't eat much of anything besides their own feed. Be wary of ponds because snapping turtles can make a meal out of ducklings. In addition, since 5 week old ducklings don't have feathers, they can quickly become waterlogged, tire and end up drowning in a short period of time.

They are in a little fenced in area in the pond when it's nice outside to protect them from predators and have a run to get out. I watch them closely. They only get so much moss in there but a family member was dumping buckets of moss in a couple of days before my duck started having problems. I have separated it and it's been inside. Here is a timeline of them symptoms

-Thursday: walking like it was drunk. Started niacin powder in its food.

Friday: could walk a few feet in the morning, by the end of the day it wouldn't stand up or lift or turn its head. I had to push its neck down in the food and water to get it to eat but it ate a normal amount with assistance. Niacin powder in food and save a chick in its water.

Saturday: still wouldn't stand. Had more mobility in its neck and could lift it up and turn it to preen just the top of its wings. It got wet feather due to lack of preening so I gave it a bath in warm water with dawn dish soap, rinsed and blow dried it. Started brewers yeast in food and continued save a chick.

Sunday: still won't stand. It's doing much better preening but still unable to go below wings so it got another bath and blow dry. Today I noticed it is using its right foot well but will not use its left foot at all. There is no injury, sores, or swelling that I can see and it doesn't seem to be in pain when I gently flex the left leg. Continued brewers yeast in food and put a little ACV in its water.

The entire time it's been eating and drinking normally as long as I have the food and water right in front of it so it just has to bend down its neck. Poop is normal.

I'm at a loss of what else I can do for it. I can't tell if it's getting better or not. I've also put a drop of vet-rx on its wings the last couple of nights because I'm desperately trying anything! It doesn't seem to have a respiratory issue though. I'm new to ducks, I've only had them 5 weeks so any advice is much appreciated!
 

and202

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
10
2
16
The same thing is happening to my 3 week old khaki Campbell duckling. He has a really hard time walking and can't stand up straight. He is a lot smaller than the rest of the flock. I have been putting brewers yeast in the food for a few days now and I haven't seen any changes either. I've also been told that it's rare that only one duck will develop a niacin deficiency and that it usually effects for than one bird in the flock. But I don't really know..
 
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Pyxis

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What is occurring to me, especially since they have had access to a pond, is that this may be botulism. Symptoms include paralysis of the legs progressing to paralysis of the neck, which you are seeing.

Does he have diarrhea? Usually it will be green.

If this is what is going on, he needs to go to a vet because he needs an antitoxin. You can try flushes but the symptoms are very pronounced now and it may well not work. You can start a molasses flush and try to get him to a vet ASAP.
 

ak2787

In the Brooder
Mar 8, 2017
30
18
29
We just got back from the vet. I got lucky because our veterinary clinic has a Dr. that specialized in poultry in school! He thinks its botulism. He said there is minimal amounts in every pond and it was probably just a fluke that one duck got it and that's it's ok for them to be in the pond in the future. He said starting it on niacin and then brewers yeast at the first sign of symptoms was the best thing for it otherwise it would probably be dead. He said if I would have continued treatment the duck would have kept improving but he sent us home with antibiotics to help speed up the process. So lesson of the story, always keep brewers yeast and niacin on hand! Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
8,071
15,301
862
Jefferson County, MO
We just got back from the vet. I got lucky because our veterinary clinic has a Dr. that specialized in poultry in school! He thinks its botulism. He said there is minimal amounts in every pond and it was probably just a fluke that one duck got it and that's it's ok for them to be in the pond in the future. He said starting it on niacin and then brewers yeast at the first sign of symptoms was the best thing for it otherwise it would probably be dead. He said if I would have continued treatment the duck would have kept improving but he sent us home with antibiotics to help speed up the process. So lesson of the story, always keep brewers yeast and niacin on hand! Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it

:thumbsup
 

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