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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 29786
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My duck is still hanging in there but she has picked up some

Customer Question

My duck is still hanging in there but she has picked up some kind of respiratory issue. We put her on the Tylan like you suggested. It has been seven days. I started giving her a VetRX which consists of camphor, oregano, and rosemary today. Just a couple drops. Is there anything else you would recommend.
Also she has really slowed down on eating, I have tried so many things. In the beginning I was force feeding her full fat yogurt and it seemed to keep her nourished but she started aspirating on it so I stopped. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

If the tylosin hasn't been helpful, you'll need a prescription antibiotic such as the potent broad spectrum enrofloxacin (Baytril) which also can be injected into her. You'll need an attending vet to prescribe this, however. As for force-feeding, making a gruel out of her pellets and administering it with a small poultry baster placed into her mouth (or tubing it into her but I would want a vet to show you how that's done lest she aspirate) makes sense. Avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida) and aspergillosis (a fungus) are important infectious respiratory agents in ducks. Enrofloxacin would address Pasterurella but aspergillosis isn't likely to be successfully addressed and so treatment is rarely attempted. I wish I had some magic for her. You've been very attentive to her. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have been removing as much skin/scab as I can. Sometimes I wonder how much is too much. Is there any way to tell? She looks like she is trying to form some new skin but it is white, should I remove that? Should I be bathing her, I did for a few days and her breathing got worse. Should the wound be covered? I have been covering it to keep her wings from infecting the wound.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

If you can remove it easily, it needs to be removed. Healthy tissue will be firmly attached. In general, the color of the tissue is the key - white/grey is dead tissue. Pink is healthy tissue. Leave scabs alone. I would prefer that the area remained exposed as long as she's not exposed to fly strike. This gives you the opportunity to treat topically by lavaging/disinfecting the area with dilute chlorhexidine or potentiated iodine (Betadyne, e.g.) which should take care of any contamination by her wings.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Should I still be treating it with Betadyne, I read that it was cytotoxic so I stopped treating her with that? I am using medical grade raw manuka honey.
What about baths? She has a oil like discharge underneath her eyes occasionally. Anything to be concerned about?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Stick with the honey. It will obviate the need for Betadyne. She would enjoy a bath or, at least, being able to swim around in a tub. An oil like discharge underneath her eyes is unclear to me. I would need to see photo(s) of this. Any discharge would be assumed to have come from her eyes which would be consistent with respiratory infections.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Would you mind looking over these photos of her?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Not at all. Give me a moment to look at these, please.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Wow...I'm concerned that this wound won't be able to heal without extensive surgical debridement. There appears to be muscle death as well as skin death. I must admit that such extensive trauma is rarely addressed in ducks.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is it hopeless?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Pragmatically speaking, yes.