Please help Injured Duck
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 limp..it's weird..it's not like it's twisted or broken looking..it'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 own..so 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.