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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33245
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a call duck that suddenly developed a problem with it's

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I have a call duck that suddenly developed a problem with it's right leg. It is unable to use it, even when it is on the pond it just trails the leg behind, when holding the duck the left leg paddles the air normaly but the right leg is motionless. I have taken it to my vet, last night, who examined the leg an said thre did not appear to be any broken bones, he gave it some pain killer but there dose not appear to be any change this morning.
Is there any thing you can sergest?
My email address is***@******.***
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. When such peracute (sudden) paralysis appears in female ducks obturator paralysis should be considered. A duck or goose found with its legs paralyzed and splayed out behind them for a few hours during egg-laying is likely suffering from obturator paralysis.
Obturator Paralysis occurs when an egg passing through the oviduct applies pressure on the obturator nerve, which runs just inside the pelvic canal. Compression of this nerve results in short term paralysis. This condition usually occurs when the egg is soft, larger than usual or malformed, which results in it rotating at a slower-than-normal rate down the oviduct. The result is an egg that remains pressed against the obturator nerve for a longer-than-normal period of time, which leaves the bird basically paralyzed for a few hours until the egg moves further along the oviduct, at which point the symptoms are relieved and the legs can move normally again.
Provided the egg is moving along the oviduct, there is nothing really to be done other than keeping your duck safe and comfortable, which includes protecting them from other members of the flock. Keep a watchful eye without disturbing them to be sure the symptoms pass. The condition usually lasts two to three hours and then the bird slowly begins to regain control of their legs again. It’s usually a few more hours after that before the egg appears although it sometimes won’t appear until the following morning—at normal egg-laying time.
If Diddly's paralysis has lasted longer than a few hours, she may be egg bound or obturator paralysis isn't the issue. We also consider a niacin deficiency, botulism (expected to progress into a paralysis of the neck and wings and finally death), other toxins such as aflatoxins (molds), castor bean poisoning (wild ducks, usually), rapeseed meal, insecticides and rodenticides. Septicemias - spread of infection - in this case into joints can also cause a painful reluctance to use a limb but not an actual paralysis if, indeed, this is the case.
Pragmatically speaking, an X-ray is indicated in an attempt to detect an egg causing obturator paralysis and you can supplement with niacin by dosing Diddly directly into her beak with an avian vitamin found at your agricultural merchant. There are no specific therapies for toxins and ducks are rarely hospitalized for the critical care necessary to treat such toxins.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Please disregard the info request.
May I have an update on Diddly, please?