Antibiotics for Duck w/ Respiratory Infection?

shellybells07August 4, 2007


I recently posted "help with injured duck"...The peking duck (around 3 months old..looks fully grown) we rescued earlier this week sounds like it has a respiratory infection as I hear wheezing in it's chest. It's nostrils are clear but one of it's eyes is runny. mostly concerned about the wheezing..

i'm trying to find a vet who will treat the meantime I just know it probably needs an antibiotic. From what I have read so far in this forum and just by googling ..regular over the counter bird antibiotics migh not be safe for water fowl.

Anyone have any experience with this..suggestions..advice?


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I had a pekin with a respiratory infection once and all I had to give her were some of my tetracycline capsules. It's a prescription drug though ;(

When I called the vet and was going to get some more meds for her the vet said to just continue giving her what we were already giving her that it was even better than the meds. they could give us for her.

Unfortunately my little duck didn't make it, but I think that's because she was too far sick. She hadn't been very healthy when she was a baby and so she had always been weaker than the rest of the ducks growing up.

If I were you I'd just go to the vet and see what they can give you for him. I know you said you're already looking for one so I wish you luck and hope he gets better. I'm glad you're doing all you can in trying to help him like this, some people wouldn't...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:08PM
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Thank you for your help. I'm sorry your duck didn't make it..but it sounds as though you tried your best .

After going round and round w/ various vets and wildlife associations, I finally found a doc willing to examine him.

He took xrays which I have to say reminded me of a daffy duck cartoon when daffy would get electrocuted and flash into a skeleton...Sure enough, he has pneumonia. Oddly, despite his foot being totally limp, it shows no signs of breakage. Which the vet said might not be a good thing b/c if it's nerve damage or neurological damage from the trauma he endured, it might be permanent whereas a break would be treatable. (next post will be "help w/ lame duck foot")
The vet gave him a shot of an antibiotic called enrofloxacin and a shot of dexameth which is a combo of an anti-inflamatory and antibiotic. This was on Saturday afternoon ..and by Sunday morning he showed remarkable improvement. He seems to have stopped wheezing..his eyes stopped leaking and he was much more perky today. He has started trying to get his whole body into his water dish ..dunking his head around. The only thing is his foot looks to be paralyzed. When I hold him up in the air, he can move the top part of his leg but the bottom part and foot just dangle. He drags it around when he moves about this hutch.

Since he was eager to get in the water, I put him in the kiddie pool ... he could pretty much keep himself afloat and even sit up w/ out my help. He was loving it...dunking his head under flapping his wings. I didn't want to wear him out so only let him play for a few minutes. Then put him back in his hutch and misted him with water from a spray bottle. Gave him some chopped lettuce and more corn pellet mash w/ plenty of water.

He is eating so much which I think is very encouraging.

just don't know what to do about his foot.

any advice on that would be appreciated.


PS. I named him part because of his strong "will" to live and because he is a little prince..hee hee

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:31PM
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I love the name--that's a neat reason to name him that :)

I had a muscovy for 4 years and one of her legs was de-formed. Her left foot was curled upwards, so her 'knee' part was all she had to balance on. She practically had to walk on her knee and use her wings to support her body.

Her name was Troy. I got her when she was a baby. She couldn't walk very good, so every day for her entire life I would carry her food/water to her and help her in and out of the pools each day. She was such a sweet kind hearted soul.

If your duck's leg is paralyzed...broken...I'm sure he could still live a happy life. You'll probably have to sacrafice more of your time each day for this duck, but it's worth it if it will keep him alive. I know I don't regret a day I spent with my little Troy, she was truly a special girl. She didn't get to hang out with the other ducks since her leg was the way it was, but she seemed to enjoy life and she had such a strong will to live just like your little William :)

I had had her for 4 years this May...I went out to feed her and she wasn't there, I got to looking for her and found her dead at the end of the fence. During the night a raccoon had gotten in the pen and killed her. That broke my heart--Troy was the most precious duck ever and I felt terrible because Troy really counted on me to protect her....

Anyway I'm sorry I got to writing about this I didn't mean to write a story ;)
I think your duck sounds wonderful! It sounds like he is doing much better! Try letting him get in the pool each day and seeing if he will exercise his leg any. That would be good for him.... Let me know how he does please!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:43AM
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Hello Gennym,

I'm so sorry to hear about Troy. That is heartwrenching...especially after he overcame so many physical hurdles. I know some people would think we're odd for being so concerned about a duck...but I'm sure you're like me..unable to sit by and watch something so innocent and helpless suffer like that.

So, I have a good update on William. I convinced the vet by me to continue where the vet a h alf hour away left off..and taht is to continue w/ the antibiotic injections for th enext 10 days..every other day.

Do yo uknow that William has gained almost a pound since Saturday when I have him at the vet? Thats like a person gaining 20 pounds.

The day after the 1st injection, he showed huge improvements. He was trying to climb into his drinking water I have been giving him water therapy a few times a day now..he loves it...basically just letting him sit in the kiddie pool and splash around.

The antibiotics will continue to clear up his lungs and his eye..but i am still converned about this foot. Sometimes I think I'm seeing some improvement in that he is able to sit up on both hocks..but other times he's still dragging it under him..and it doesn't web's all curled up.

The vet today said that even if it is nerve damage there is still a chance he will regain some if not all movement. She said her dog got hit by a car once and had nerve damage and could'nt move it's leg for a long time but wound up regaining use of it. So we'll see...
I do think the water therapy is helping the leg and of course is letting him be a duck ..not a chicken sitting in a cage on a pile of hay.

I can't believe how much I love this little guy..pekin ducks are so sweet and they seem to have a smile on their faces at all times.

Tomorrow or the say after..depending on how he is..I plan to take him into the pasture where his 3 siblings are for a visit. The other 3 survived the ordeal just fine..but William almost drowned. There are other ducks who live in the yard where WIlliams's hutch is..nto sure what kind they are..they're black and white speckled..very funny..they travel in a p ack...they ahve been going over to William's hutch and looking in at him and i hoep that is making him feel less lonely.

Can't wait to see how the reunion w/ his sibs will go...eventually when he's 100% I plan to release him back w/ them in the pasture.

Ok..enough duck talk..i'm a crazie...

On to my cat who just had a tooth extracted today and is still recovering from the anesthesia..she's sitting there staring at the wall...poor baby.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 8:36PM
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Hi Shelly,

I'm so happy that William is getting better! That's great!
That's showing lots of improvement if he's gained that much weight!

Maybe his leg is getting better, but sometimes like when you said it's not flattening out--webbed out--maybe it just needs more time to improve. Like your vet's dog, it will just take some time for him to regain the strength.

I know! Pekin ducks have that look and it does look like they are smiling! I use to have one, her name was Apple. She was so pretty.

My grandpa loves the 'AFLAC' duck that comes on tv. I think it's a pekin too. When my muscovy hatched out 15 eggs this May I named one of the babies Aflac for him!
It's so cute.

Let me know how it goes tomorrow when you reunite William with his brothers/sisters for a little while tomorrow. I bet he misses them!

Sorry about your cat! He'll probably be feeling better soon!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:05AM
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