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Dr. Salkin, my Pekin duck Piotr's leg is still badly swollen…

Dr. Salkin, my Pekin duck...
Dr. Salkin, my Pekin duck Piotr's leg is still badly swollen and an avian vet, Dr. Brian Speer in Oakley, Calif. that I took him to prescribed Tramadol HCL 50 mg tablets two twice a day, and Truprofen 25 MG FLAV 1 & 1/2 twice a day. The joint swelling has not gone down in over a month's time with twice a day doses of both medications. So I am back to scrutinizing the instructions from UC Davis where I took Piotr on April 7, 2016, and have lowered the dose to one Tramadoll HCL 50 MG, twice a day which is what U.C. Davis recommended.
I live in San Francisco and these drives to U.C. Davis and/or Oakley, Calif. are long drives. Most importantly the swelling on the left leg is not coming down. What should I do next? I love my duck Piotr and I want to save his life! Can you make any suggestions to me? Thank you.
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
1/3/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,541
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I'm sorry to hear of this with Piotr. What is causing the swelling? Tramadol is an analgesic and truprofen is an antinflammatory analgesic. Neither are antibacterial and I would expect that joint to be infected particularly because it hasn't responded to those drugs. Do you know of the Bay Area Bird Hospital on Taraval?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I spoke to you previously about Piotr and have taken him to the Bay Area Bird Hospital a year or two ago but I was not impressed with them. We've been to U.C. Davis and to Dr. Speer in Oakley and no body seems to be able to get this swelling down. Piotr can't walk as the swelling is so pronounced, and I just don't know what to do! He did have swelling in the right leg but this has disappeared. Any additional thoughts? Is Tramadol 50mg worth continuing after more than a month with no results? Is there another drug that you would recommend that would address the infection? l have to save my boy's life!

No, tramadol isn't doing the trick and should be discontinued. There are quite a few antibiotics that might be prescribed but if these vets don't believe that the leg is infected, an antibiotic wouldn't make sense. It seems that the vets believe that there's a degenerative arthritis present instead which is what the truprofen is supposed to help with. If it's not helping, I have to wonder if any drug can be of value. I'm also worried that the leg may be cancerous at this time. When were X-rays last taken, please?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Maybe I should try the other vet at Bay Area Bird Hospital...or maybe another drug might address the infection? I just don't know what to do!

I don't either. It frustrates me that I can't examine Piotr hands-on and I don't have any X-rays to look at. We don't know if an infection is present at this time.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
They took x-rays at UC Davis, and x-rays at Dr. Brian Speer's in Oakley, CA. Might I have these x-rays sent to you?
I am so worried. Given the size of the swelling, given that the medications of Tramadol and Truprofen have not helped, I am at wits end! I just called and made an appointment with Dr. Dustin at the Bay Area Bird Hospital for this Saturday. I've not seen her before but maybe she can help diagnose what infection Piotr has in his leg.

I'm please to hear of this. I would very much like to see the X-rays. You would need to give me the link to digital X-rays or photograph regular ones and upload the photos using the add file or paperclip icons but doing so usually loses too much definition to be diagnostic.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I'll call Dr. Brian Speer's office and ask about a digital link for these recent x-rays as the vet I will see on Saturday will need them as well.

That sounds good. I'll watch for your next post.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Dr. Salkin...I have decided to hang the cost and the long drive and take Piotr back to U.C. Davis tomorrow. The vet we saw a year plus ago is no longer there but Davis is probably the best choice. Keep your fingers crossed for Piotr and for me!

Ah! Well done! Fingers crossed!

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Dr. Salkin, I want to offer you my deepest appreciation for your kindness to me with Piotr. The detirioration of his joint had increased further and the wonderful vet and senior vet student at U.C. Davis helped me to understand that for Piotr the pain and severe discomfort would only continue. Thus I made the awful choice to let him go this afternoon. I can only tell you that their kindness, as yours, made this difficult decision a little bit easier. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.

My condolences for your loss of Piotr. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,541
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Dr. Salkin, I need your help as I am having such painful recriminations and regrets for having followed the vet's advice and letting Piotr go. He couldn't use his leg at all as the x-rays showed, but in that last time at U. C. Davis he still ate happily and played in his water bowl, ate grapes and greens and was one happy duck. I am having such painful regrets. I know the leg was only going to get worse, and the swelling wasn't going to go down, but could you, would you say something to me that would help me forgive myself for letting him go? I would be very grateful to you for any insight or help you could give me.

Yes, Piotr was one lucky duck to have you. You didn't wait until he was so badly debilitated that he had to be put down. Instead, you were proactive and had the final kindness performed.

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Thank you once again for your kind accept. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

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