Duck Heroes of the Month!
Sometimes the hardest time to be a duck hero is when we lose one of our dear feathered friends.
We would like to take a moment to thank Cindy and Allen who, following the loss of their Max (Maxine), went to their local sanctuary and made it possible for Dewey to be rescued from a pond, so their dear little Molly would not be lonely.
You are duck heroes... Bless you...
Molly and Dewey
As many of you may know our founding duck Young Jeffrey (who will be 11 years old in April!) fell ill in January. Thankfully, he has fully recovered, but as always, we want to share what we've learned in the hopes it will help others.
When Young Jeffrey's phallus prolapsed, we immediately separated him from the other ducks to prevent any accidental injury. We brought him in the house into our sunroom to ensure he would not suffer from damaging frostbite.
We started him on precautionary antibiotics (Baytril) just in case he was harboring a hidden infection and we also started him on Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory/pain medication).
The following morning we brought him to the vet and ordered an immediate fecal culture to rule out a bacterial infection. With a long weekend ahead of us and limited access to veterinary care, we opted for immediate surgery in lieu of waiting in order prevent things from getting any worse. He was intubated and anesthetized while his phallus was carefully tucked back inside his body by our vet, then a few stitches were placed outside of his vent to help hold his goodies inside.
We brought him home and continued with the Rimadyl and started him on Torbutrol to manage any pain or discomfort he was feeling.
Unfortunately, Young Jeffrey managed to pull out his stitches in record time and everything came tumbling out again by the following afternoon. Under vet instructions, we used Vaseline to lube up his phallus, which helped it retreat back inside his body again the following day. The Vaseline also prevents drying and chaffing, as did daily swims in a tub of clean water--which also kept his spirits up.
Young Jeffrey during his daily tub time
But now we had an added complication... While in surgery, Young Jeffrey's intubation tube irritated his throat and he was no longer eating. To remedy this, we began Syringe Feeding a mixture of Ensure, Critical Care, A/D wet cat food, Manna Feast and Avi-Culture probiotics.
Intubation irritation resulting from surgery can result in appetite loss that can last for 10-14 days.
A few days later Young Jeffrey's fecal culture came back negative for bacteria, but it did show elevated yeast levels. We took him off of the antibiotics (which proved unnecessary), but continued with the Rimadyl and Torbutrol twice daily. In addition, under vet advice, we added regular white vinegar to his drinking water (16 mls of vinegar per liter of water, which is about 4 mls per cup of water). Vinegar is a natural way to help reduce the yeast count in his body without having to add further medications to his prescription list.
After a week of syringe feeding him, our good friend Kat came by with the gift of nightcrawlers and Young Jeffrey braved eating again. And a week after that, he finally returned to his regular diet again.
So what have we learned from this experience?
While surgery seemed a good idea at the time to prevent things from getting any worse; in retrospect, because his phallus was unharmed, just bringing him into the warm indoors (and away from other flock members), applying Vaseline and prescribing Rimadyl to reduce swelling were far more productive.
The fecal culture provided invaluable information about the potential cause of his phallus prolapse, enabling us to treat the potential root cause of his symptoms. A second potential cause may have been overstimulation from his three lovely lady friends, so the time he spent indoors also gave his testosterone levels a chance to decrease.
Thank you to everyone who sent their prayers and well wishes during this difficult and emotional time--Young Jeffrey is doing GREAT and has rejoined his flock outside!
Nelly-Nell, Jodie-Dee, Alice & Young Jeffrey
While on the subject of prolapse, here are a few tips regarding oviduct prolapse in females:
Immediately bring the duck inside and keep her very clean. Do not let her sit in fecal matter. Change the towels underneath her frequently.
Coat the prolapsed oviduct with lubricating ointment (regular formula, non-irritating, K-Y Jelly) to keep it moist and then spray it with sugar water to help shrink the swollen tissue.
Call your vet immediately. She will need surgery to tuck and stitch the oviduct back inside. As with males, do not attempt to do any of this tucking back inside yourself.
Do NOT administer Rimadyl or Metacam; they can promote bleeding. However, Torbutrol can be used for pain and administered up to every six hours.
Purse string sutures are commonly placed around the circumference of the oviduct, allowing for the egg to fit through (they don't restrict the expansion of the oviduct or cloaca). Medications for platelet replenishment (blood loss) may or may not be necessary depending on severity (especially if there is any torn tissue).
After coming home, your duck should be kept on pain medication for the first 7-10 days (Torbutrol is very effective and safe for waterfowl). Your duck will also need to stay on a general antibiotic like Baytril for a couple of weeks, administered twice daily to prevent infection.
The oviduct is a fast healing portion of the body and internal mending can occur as soon as 5-7 days, although your duck may still need to be kept separate from other ducks (especially males) for longer.
Vet follow-ups are vital part of your duck's post-surgical care, so remember to bring her back for check-ups!
Bring a Duck (or Goose) Along With You!
Our new Micro Mini Tin Necklaces are now available in exchange for your donations!
Each tiny tin dangles from a 24" necklace and inside you'll find a magnet-based duck, goose or swan tucked into a flowery and scenic little space! Plenty of styles to choose from!
Click Here for details and to view more of our Micro Mini Tins--some featuring the tiniest ducks, geese and swans you've ever seen!
Bring a Goose along with You!
Minimum Donation: $15.00
Majestic Mini Tin Rescue Game!
This Mini Tin cover features artwork by Kim! The four ducks from left-to-right are: Reggie-Obama, Jessie, Macy Gray & Hazel!
Game: Prepare your waterfowl sanctuary for operation and then be the first to rescue some abandoned ducks! The top half of this mini tin is a board game, while the bottom half features a small playscape!
Tin includes: two Silver Appleyard ducks, a tree, a fence, two bags of feed, two bails of hay, two mini duck guidebooks, two rescue cards and one itsy-bitsy dice.
Minimum Donation: $20.00
Click Here for more information and to view additional styles!