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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We have a baby duck that's 10 days old that was walking fine,

Customer Question

We have a baby duck that's 10 days old that was walking fine, now she's stumbling around and can't keep her balance. What do we do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site much less who attend to waterfowl. To answer you directly, you can't know what to do without the help of an avian vet (please see here: and even with such a vet attending to her you're likely to find that the testing involved to determine why she's ataxic ("drunken sailor") will be prohibitively costly with a very uncertain and guarded prognosis for recovery. Ataxia can develop secondary to brain trauma, intoxications such as from mycotoxins in feedstuff or chemicals such as pesticides, as well as both bacterial (botulism, e.g.) and viral infections that involve the central nervous system. Pragmatically speaking, this duck should be brought inside and force-fed if she can't eat or drink on her own. A slurry of duck pellets dosed with a small poultry baster (oh the irony...) placed under her tongue and dripped into her lower beak is usually well-accepted and will not only supply calories but also hydrate her. May I have an update on her, please?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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