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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Hatchling
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Hello everyone,

Please forgive me if I'm asking an obvious question but I have searched online and have not been able to identify a problem that we have just noticed on one of our Muscovy ducklings. A very crusty scab has appeared on top of his/her foot and also on the beak - it even cover the nostrils to a degree. It is six weeks old and is one of fifteen otherwise healthy ducklings. We noticed the 'scab' a week ago but thought it was mud or something at first. The ducks are in a fairly big enclosure and forage for insects but are given 'duck mash' from the local produce shop, some seed too for the Mother which they nibble a bit of, some greens, some worms from the worm farm...

The duck is a little timid compared to its siblings and is limping a bit but it's not the runt by any means. We are hoping it's nothing serious and will pass but, as an accidental duck owner with zero experience, I don't know how worried I need to be.

Any advice or info would be gratefully received.

Matt


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hi Matt and welcome to BYP.
No questions are silly, that's why we are here and how we all learn.
Your duckling's bill looks to have had an injury - maybe it had it's head some where it shouldn't. Duck's bills are much softer than chook's beaks and are quite easily injured, especially when they are young. I would bathe it, paint it once with some Betadine (don't continue the 'B' as it can delay healing) and continue to watch it's condition. The foot also looks like it may have had an injury to the webb. Bathe it and see if the crusty bit soaks off - if it is hard and crusty let it soften first with some vaseline, but if it looks to be a scab don't force it off. If it's mobility doesn't seem to be affected, leave it to heal. If it is limping or having trouble keeping up, consider separating it (with a friend) for a few days.
Your ducks are on a good diet and it looks to be otherwise healthy. Please keep us informed of it's progress.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:49 pm 
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Hatchling
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Thank you very much for the advice Old Mother Goose :)

It may well have had an injury to its beak and I will put a little disinfectant on it. The scabby material you can see in the photo is in fact on both feet and between all the toes in equal measure. It is causing the webbing to tighten and curl up at the edges. I can't imagine how it would have had both feet so beaten up, but then the worlds made of predators! I have I will try pasting them with some vaseline to soften the scabs up and hopefully let whatever it is heal without too much scarring.

Thanks again. I will let you know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:10 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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I'd say that the bill issue is an injury but the foot problem is an infection or disease. It does not look like an injury. The foot issue is really odd and I've never seen anything like that before. I would say that that's a matter for an avian vet.

With the bill make sure you put only very mild things on the bill. Betadine diluted so it looks like weak black tea, for example. Don't use Betadine or anything else undiluted. Putting anything harsh on an open wound will just disrupt healing because it will kill developing new cells. A duck's bill is basically like your finger - covered in skin, with a massive nerve supply and a good blood supply. The best thing would simply be to make sure the bird has clean water at all times to wash his head and bill in.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:22 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Follow 70%cocoa's advice. She is a 'duck person'


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:38 am 
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Hatchling
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Thanks so much for all the information 70% cocoa. I really appreciate you all taking the time to offer great advice.

The little duck is definitely improving rather than deteriorating. It's got a great appetite and the scabs are smaller and smaller. One thing I did notice is that it is the only duck among all its siblings to have the top of its bill shorter than the bottom. I found this old forum thread from 2006 and have pasted in the link. It was a very similar situtation though much more pronounced, and with the foot condition as well. Unfortuanately also unsolved, though incubation issues were sited as a potential cause? Very puzzling...

http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.ph ... mp;start=0


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:04 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Interesting find, especially the feet. The reference to rabbits, I assume, is that the poster is suggesting rabbit fleas on the feet? A touch with some insecticide would test this (finger or cotton bud) Sometimes my cats get them on their ears - they do appear as scabby areas but not to the extent on the duck's feet.
Glad to hear that it is improving.
The beak size doesn't look to be extreme but keep an eye on it as the duckling grows.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:02 am 
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Hatchling
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Thanks for clearing up that reference to rabbits, Sue55. I did wonder what that meant. Fortunately we don't have rabbits here. Thanks too for your ongoing interest in our duckling.

It is still puzzing us but meanwhile the little duck is doing really well, so while that's the case I think I'm just going to leave it be. None of the other ducks has any symptoms and they're all growing like weeds, so..

Thanks everyone, it seems like it's going to stay a mystery for the moment.


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