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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29770
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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She has swollen bill, texture is softer than usual. Bill is

Customer Question

She has swollen bill, texture is softer than usual. Bill is warmer than normal. She is still eating, but not much, drinking some water. Resting a lot. 15 month old female Pekin
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Bathsheba
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bathsheba?
Customer: She is a pet, lives on a dairy goat farm. I added sulfadimethoxine to her water starting Friday night at rate recommended for chickens
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her bill seem sore, can I put some Arnicare Gel (ingredients: alcohol, carbomer, dimethicone copolyol, purified water, sodium hydroxide) on it? Or can I use ICY HOT NATURALS PAIN RELIEF CREAM, menthol 7.5%? Or is there other like Benedril--don't know if they have a salve, maybe a lotion?
Thinking this problem could be caused by infected bee sting or cat scratch...
I have her isolated where she can rest and her water supply is limited to sulfa med in water.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Please let me know if you still need help.

If Bathsheba's bill just recently swelled as it might after being envenomated, the tincture of time should suffice to normalize it. It's best to avoid applying anying to the skin or bill unless absolutely necessary because preening inevitably results in ingestion of those products and birds don't tolerate them well. If this has been a long-standing problem, however, I have to consider a nutritional imbalance or infection/trauma where the bill grows out from the face. Please clarify this for me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not know what "envenomated" means.
This has not been a long standing problem. I first noticed Bathsheba was resting more than usual about 3 days ago--Tuesday probably. This pattern continued for a few days then on Friday afternoon I noticed her bill was not normal, it was swollen and misshapen (not smooth on top); it was also very warm and seemed sensitive to my touch. I forgot to mention there were some small green dots on the bill. Between Tuesday and Friday she ate less than usual and continued to be less active, and laid no eggs, but was still on upright and walking around a little and swimming in her tub some of the time.
I started her on sulfa-water Friday night. She seems a little bit better this evening (Saturday) but her bill still out of shape.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

envenomated = venom introduced by a flying insect or spider bite (or snake)

Because this change in her bill is so sudden, envenomation or trauma makes sense and so continuing to "watchful wait" is reasonable. I don't know how valuable the sulfadimethoxine is but it's unlikely to be harmful. I don't know what the small green dots represent. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason for the sulfa: it's an antibiotic and I was trying anything I could think of. Seems like a duck could get a bacteria for her environment. Bathsheba has a bit more pep today and her bill is not getting worse. I am keeping her restricted to only water with sulfa; she has to wait to enjoy her "tubbie."
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Wonderful photo, thanks! Bathsheba is now in my customer photo folder. Is the photo pre-bill swelling?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
photo was last winter, Nov. or Dec. She lives in Minnesota, so every day a duck can swim, that duck is happy! We keep a heater in the tubbie as long as we reasonably able. We take it out while she swims and dives for minnows.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

This is a very lucky ducky. Keep me posted, please.