If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
I was so excited to get my 4 ducklings for my 40th birthday. One was noticeably smaller but didn't think anything of it until I noticed his feet were pointing in. On closer inspection I realized his legs weren't as long as they were suppose to be. He has the upper portion of his leg then the joint and then the ankle joint and foot. No leg between the mid-joint and lower joint. He has difficulty swimming but can. He stumbles and falls when walking across the yard. He's growing ok other than his legs but his siblings do pick on him some. Any ideas on how to help poor little Squirt would be appreciated.
Ducklings are an amazing gift for your 40th! Are these your first ducklings?
As far as the problem with Squirt's legs, if some of the bones are missing, there is probably not much that you can do. The plus side is that the two legs seem to be affected equally which is better than one being a lot longer than the other. Pekins are a meat breed so tend to be quite heavy when fully grown. If he is walking right now, then maybe as he grows, he will adapt to his shorter legs. If he doesn't, he may just have to mostly lie down and you can give him regular time in a pool.
You mentioned that the toes turn inward. I wonder if with some splinting or hobbling, they could be righted somewhat. Do you have photos?
In terms of his siblings, I would maybe watch them as they are together during the day, and put Squirt in his own crate at night, but in with the others so he can see them. In my experience, ducks are more mellow but birds in general can be ruthless and pick at those who are weaker or sicker. If all else fails, you may want to separate him completely.
There is a lady on here who performed miracles with her special-needs duck, Sebastian.
Thanks for the quick reply. I grew up having Pekin ducks. They were always "my" ducks. I fed, watered, and spoiled them. When they were grown I would carry them around like they were babies. I will try to post some pics of Squirt and my other 3 this weekend. They are so funny. They don't pick on him bad but because he is shorter he tends to be stepped on when the bigger ones get up, and he's learned to play a trick on the others at the food and water so he gets plenty to eat. They can't stand for me to take him away and let me know it in no uncertain terms. I will look into the splinting/hobbling and see if it might help.
Ducks really are my favourite out of all the birds out there, because they tend to be very gentle and comedians. My favourite are runner ducks, which as someone put it, are bowling pins with legs.
A picture would help us a lot in terms of being able to offer advice. It sounds like no matter what, you are committed to Squirt and that he is lucky to have you.
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