Please help Injured Duck

shellybells07August 3, 2007

This is a bit lengthy..apologies for that..short version: i need advice on an injured peking duck. He was stuck in a tub of water for 5 days unable to get out apparently..injured his foot and cant' walk..also seems very sick from the near drowning experience. Complete story below:

I'm a volunteer at a community farm and we rescued 4 peking ducks this morning from a tub of water which we realized they were unable to get out of for 5 days.

What happened was after raising them from ducklings just a few months ago..we moved them to the pasture where all of the other animals are (cows,sheep, goats, ducks & geese, chickens etc) They were swimming in one of the tubs of water (tub is around 2-3 feet high)..we all noticed at different points over the last 5 days that each time we went up to the farm, they were in the same tub floating around. Most times they looked like they were enjoying themselves..It didn't occur to any of us until after we noticed one was missing from our sight that they were in fact STUCK unable to get out of the tub on their own. (we realize now a ramp should have been set up)

Well, 3 of them are OK..they were muddied up but preened themselves and are running around the yard healthy, eating, drinking etc.

The 4th one however, is NOT doing well at all and I'm sitting here typing this b/c I'm so worried for him (her?). When we first pulled them from the water this morning, the poor thing was half drowned..completey waterlogged barely keeping his head afloat..which is why from the vantage point we had, it looked like there were only 3 ducks left in the tub. We dont normally go out into the pastures...we have hoses running along to fill the drinking tubs which are turned on and off from the barn.

We pulled him out..he was shaking uncontrollably . We wrapped him in a blanket and held him close to dry him and warm him up. He finally stopped shivering ..we layed him on the blanket in the sun and gave him some water and mash. Surprisingly, he ate a little bit (not much) and took some water.

His one foot is completely's's not like it's twisted or broken's just limp. It doesn't web out..the foot is narrow..all toes limp. Almost like it's paralyzed We're guessing he injured it trying to get out of the tub and as a result of the injury was unable to swim properly wihch is why he wound up waterlogged and half drowned while the other 3 are ok. (I have been googling duck info and saw something on Botulism which causes foot paralysis caused by bacteria in stagnant water..dont know if this is the case as the other ducks are OK and i think the bacteria is from a dead animal or rotting vegetation..neither of which were present in the tub of water..)

So, now we have him in a safe, well ventilated hutch lined with plenty of fresh dry hay ..and we placed him on the blanket for extra cushion and warmth. Water and mash are within his reach.

He seems to go from sitting up as best he can,even flapping his wings and preening a bit to then becoming very lethargic with labored breathing. He makes a squealing sound as though he's took weak to quack. It breaks my heart.

I checked on him every couple of hours throughout the day..last visit was this evening around 8pm.

I saw him a few times each visit drink some water on his I'm hoping this is a good sign. But i'm worried about his foot as he cannot stand up and the fact that his feathers are now all stiff w/ dirt and grime from having been in this tub of what was apparently dirty water for 5 days . Again the other 3 ducks were not waterlogged like him and therefore had less muck on them and were able to preen themselves clean.

We called a local vet who won't examine farm animals..there is a place 20 minutes away who said they would examine him and they're open 24 hours...we collectively agreed to let him rest and dry off for the day and see how he is in the morning..we figured the stress of transporting him in a box along w the car ride might do him more harm than good at this point. We're hoping rest and some food and water wil give him more strength. I will most likely be taking him to the vet tomorrow am...

i'm just hoping he is alive when i get to the farm in the morning.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Shelly,

Poor baby duck, that's so terrible! I know it was an accident, but yes, you really need something for them to be able to get out of the pool on. Baby ducks can be so helpless...I don't know how old they are, but if they aren't that old they don't really need a pool right now. Just keep them plenty of water dishes, small buckets for now until they get bigger..

I have never had this happen, but I can share an experience I had once with you and maybe that'll help some..

We had 2 baby muscovy ducks several years ago. They were out in a pen and it started raining. I didn't know it was raining out until I looked outside, so I went to get the babies cause it was raining so hard. I got out there and one of the babies was fine, but the other baby was lying completely on his side and looked dead! I carried him in and my mom ran some warm bath water and put him in it, then she blow-dried him with the hair dryer. Belive it or not he slowly started sitting up and was truly a miracle and the same with your ducks--a miracle that they are still alive after 5 long days.

Just keep him warm, maybe even inside your house if you can in a box and put some warm towels,blankets in with him. You could keep him near you at night so you'll hear him and cna check on him during the night.

I sure hope he makes it and you are able to carry him to the vet. Let us know what happens please!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

I wish I knew enough to give you good advice. The only thing I can think of that you don't mention is giving the duck some unflavoured Pedialyte -- it's for sick children, to help keep their electrolytes in balance, but lots of people use it for their poultry. It might help and I doubt it could hurt... but the vet is your best bet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 9:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thank you both for your response. Actually, the duck is fully grown. We raised them from little peep ducklings to the size they are now..which is a full grown white peking duck. They are probably 3 months old...which is why we figured they got in the pool and therefore could get out.

I have what I hope is good news. I went up to the farm this morning and at first was discouraged to see him/her laying there very "dried out"..I picked him up and put corn pellet mash up to his beak and he gobbled it up..then followed it w/water and he drank that too. I then poured water w/ a sport bottle over his head and cleaned his one eye up and continued to wet his whole I said, he was all mucky from being in the tub and his fethers dried out w/ the muck on them. Within just a little bit of taking water and food and wetting him down he perked up and pushed himself up. sitting best as he could.

Fed him some more..gave more water..then filled the k iddie pool we have w/ about 4 inches of water and held him in it, bathing him off. His feet pattered a bit instinctively. I think he liked getting wet (plus is over 90 degrees here today )

Put him back in his hutch and he actually sat up and started to put weight on his bad foot.

So, i organzed a few other volunteers including myself and we are going to continue this regime throughout the day every hour or two (minus the kiddie pool which I think we'll only do at the end of the day one more time)

Please keep your fingers crossed...

Any other advice is welcome.

Thank you

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

That is good news. It sounds as though he is a fighter. Water therapy (supervised swimming the kiddie pool) is good therapy for the injured foot - in moderation, of course. My geese don't have a pool (limited water resources) but when one turns up with a limp I sometimes bring them into the house and let them paddle in the bathtub. They get a bath and I get a shower! LOL. It's a bit of a mess to clean up but nothing is too good for my geese!

Good luck with your duck and plese keep us updated.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HI! I'm glad he's doing better today!

I thought he was a baby, maybe since he's bigger he'll be stronger than a baby normally would and he'll be able to fight this and get better!

That's good that you're putting him in the water and letting him exercise his foot--like Maggie said that's good water therapy ;)

Does he have a name?
Good Luck!!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Well, good news today. I was pleasantly surprised when I went up to check on the duck this morning. He/she actually looks like a duck now..not so much like an emaciated seagull as it did earlier. I'd like to think this is a sign that he's better..perhaps it means he is fluffing and preening his feathers .

More notably, he/she is sitting up right and appears to be much more comfortable. He was also frequently helping himself to fresh water and his bowl of corn mash had a good size indentation in it which presumably was made by him eating throughout the night.

He sat up and flapped his wings a couple of times while i was there...which shows some improvement with his bad foot.

HOWEVER...I do detect a wheezing sound which to me sounds like a respitory infection. I know that if I could just get a vet to give me an antibiotic it will do wonders.

I am actually having a hard time finding a seems the "big animal" vet we use doesn't "do birds"..just treats the cows/sheep and goats.

I called a vet who treats birds but won't treat a farm duck...they referred me to "wild life rescue" who then told me they do'nt treat domestic farm animals...they gave me the name and # of a vet who they said definitely treats ducks but i just called and he's closed until monday. There is one place who said I could bring him in and they would examine the duck but if any treatment was needed they would most likely pass him on to the wildlife rescue...which I just explained is telling me they don't treat domestic farm life. I am..posting here...and googling "duck antibiotics"....the only info that has come up pertains to raising ducks for human consumption.

I'm going to start a new thread here specifically asking for info on respirtory treatment for ducks...hopefully someone will have some advice.

Thanks again for your replies.

PS> i think we are naming him/her "one eyed willie" one of his eyes is closed more than the other as result of the trauma ...(i'm trying to clear that up too..rinsing it thorughout the day w/ fresh water..and misting his head w/ a spray bottle...)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem with a adult magpie duck I have been reading and baytril seems to be what is recommended however it is not working immediately I have also been giving her poultry vit..she has been taken into the house as we have extrememlt cold weather this yr in NJ plus deep snow..Alot of TLC has been added to her care but I hope I dont loose her please give any solutions if you hav email thank you sharon rinaldi

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mink Attack
Though I thought our duck pen was perfectly set and...
Tethering steers
Hi all, just wanted to know if anyone has done this...
Need help on choosing raw milk farmer
Hello, everyone, I have a little dilemma: I have a...
Trumpet vine + chickens = ???
Yes, its a horror. Neighbor has one planted on our...
ducks mating with chickens???
I went to our local co-op today to gather some supplies...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™