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Duck with a prolapse type of problem - icky pictures warning

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

I have a duck problem. I have never experienced this before and I'm not sure what to do about it. I do not have qualms about attempting my own vet work on a duck, so any advice is much appreciated.

Yesterday we found one of our ducks with the symptoms in the picture. She has no other wounds or anything. To me, it looks like a prolapsed something-or-other. When she breathes, the sort of pinkish part at the bottom fills with air, and then goes down again. The drakes were after her (they are always after the females) and I was horrified to see her being pursued with this problem. She was actively bleeding at the time. I have separated her and gave her food and water. I was not sure she would make it through the night, but sure enough, this morning she was not only fine, she had also laid an egg (ouch). The eggshell had blood on it but was otherwise normal.

She is behaving normally, she can run, she can eat and poop. That said, this looks awful and seems like it is a prime area for infection of some sort. Ducks have two "openings" in the rear and both of the openings are part of what has been pushed outwards. If I try to push the material back in, it seems to cause pain (she flaps around a lot) and it pops right back out when the sac part fills with air.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I could do a suture (or several) if I knew where to do it. Should I treat with antibiotics to prevent infections? As I said, she is otherwise behaving normally, eating, drinking, etc, and not appearing to be on death's door or anything (despite the horribleness of how it looks) so I wonder if it is best to just leave her alone for a few days, or to take active steps.

Claire

Thumbnail by DrDoolotz
Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

This is a better view of how much the material is protruding from her body.

Thumbnail by DrDoolotz
Richmond, TX

Wow! I have no idea. How can air get way down there when she breathes? Ordinarily prolapses are cleaned up, pushed back in and held by suturing the opening partly shut. Does the mass recede at all if you hold her upside down? Sounds like a job for a vet.

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

Erg. I'd be inclined to take her to the vet. But, I found some information on prolapses in ducks here:
http://www.longshadowfarms.com/FAQ.html

And some information on prolapses in hens, which may be applicable, here:
http://fowlfacts.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=afflictiondiseaseff&action=display&thread=1442

Good luck!


Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

The mass does not recede if she is held upside down. I wish it did! It has to be pushed back in by hand.

I would normally take her to the vet but we had a difficult goat birth about 2 weeks ago necessitating two vet farm calls in one day. I haven't paid for those yet and summer class tuition is due at law school, so I just can't incur any more vet bills right now. I know that sounds harsh but it's reality at the moment. That's why I'd like to try to deal with it myself. The vet actually had to do a purse suture on the goat because her intestines had entered her uterus due to birth trauma and she died the next morning, but at least I saw him do it. I could try that because those links do suggest it.

Those links were very helpful - looks like she needs to be kept in the dark to prevent further egg laying and the induced molt would be good too. I think tomorrow morning I will have Kelly hold her while I do the wash-push inside procedure and then we will keep her in the basement for a week or so to see how she does. It's the darkest place I have. Oh dear, it's just bad timing and unfortunate circumstances. I will do my best.

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

I know you will do your best. From what I read (quickly) it's a tough problem to solve. Don't feel bad if it doesn't work out.

Lodi, United States

It does look bad...but I don't know what else you can do but try to reduce it. I think I would try an antibiotic as well, given how long it has been out.

The best of luck....at least she isn't stressing over it.

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

I washed it this evening and pushed it back in when it was clean, but that made her whimper - a noise I never heard coming from a duck. It was quite sad sounding. When I put her down in the hutch, it came back out. I think what I shall do is bring her into the dark, wash daily and apply antibiotic ointment, and then see how it looks in a few days. Maybe the swelling will go down and it will be easier to put back inside. If I can induce a molt, that would be even better, because it would stop her laying for quite some time. The problem is that I think she will be prone to it happening again....

At least she is still eating, drinking, quacking, and doing all the other usual duckly things.

Richmond, TX

Yes, you can scarcely stitch her if she is still laying. Sounds like a plan.

(Zone 6b)

Cmoxon I'm so sorry for you and the duck. We all admire the pretty healthy poultry, but things happen to them sometimes, and it is stressful to deal with.

It makes me wonder if my chickens are getting enough calcium.

I hope she gets better soon.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

oh poor baby. I hope she recovers

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

She is faring well today and has been improving. I have her on a very restricted diet but always water available. The swelling has reduced significantly. She has stopped laying eggs since she has been on the restricted diet. I think this is helping because of course she does not have to do the pushing that would be required to lay them. There is still some flesh pushing out but it's much less. I will start her on limited rations soon and see what happens. She has no other symptoms or problems though.

Richmond, TX

Well done Dr Moxon.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Whew! Great save Claire! At least so far! Best wishes..

North Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

CM, how is little duck doing?

Oxford, NS(Zone 5b)

She is still fine. I have her on a fairly small ration of feed now, and she is still not laying eggs, which is good. The prolapse has decreased in size, but has not gone away entirely. I'm not sure if it will continue to decrease in size or not. I'm also not sure what to do about reintegrating her with the flock. The males are very...umm....randy.

North Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I am glad that she is better. I have only had one duck with this problem and not to the degree as your female. She was fine in a week of so and did lay eggs again. However, she stayed away from the boys for quite some time ;o)

Good luck!

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