We awoke on Thanksgiving Day morning to something that was definitely not worth celebrating. One of the Aylesbury males was limping around the back, last one in the line of his peers and just trying to keep up. Although we usually spend a good 15 minutes trying to catch a bird, this one was easy as he couldn't shuffle away from us fast enough. A quick look at his left leg and we could see it was swollen and warm to the touch.
* He also seemed kinda grumpy, like the old man in the movie UP, so I have decided to name him Mr. Fredericksen. No word yet on who will be cast as Russell.
The diagnosis for him now: Bumblefoot. It's essentially a staph infection that happens when chickens or ducks cut some part of their feet, then get bacteria in the cut. It is fairly common for birds, but it isn't something we see often here on our little farm.
Here's how we treated it, until we have any other indication that we've misdiagnosed.
First, we grabbed poor Carl and flipped him over on the stainless steel table and his legs were slightly extended to inspect a bit further for any other injuries. Carl was not amused by the indignity of it all. *I feel ya Carl. I hate that shit too.*
Then we filled the sink with water and a bit of epsom salt. FF got the lucky job of trying to hold a full grown (and rather nervous) Aylesbury duck in the water so his foot could soak for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile I prepped for surgery. Or at least as close to it as I've gotten since doing necropsies on dead dolphins in college. *Don't tell Carl that all of my other "patients" were of the non-breathing variety.*
Feeling upward toward the hock, nothing felt broken just swollen, and upon closer inspection of the pad of the foot, I saw a small scab.
While FF attempted to hold down Carl, lest he be sliced to duck nuggets, I gently cut away the scab on his foot with a razor. Yes number one, it is as gross as it sounds. And yes number two, I was fully gloved-up. Staph infections are no joke, y'all.
We both tried and failed miserably at coaxing the plug out, even after soaking. Finally I just sprayed Carl's foot with Veterycin, put some gauze on it, then covered it with self-adhesive bandage tape. We'll have to do this 2-3 times daily until it heals.
From now on, Carl is in solitary, which is a good thing if he really did sprain his "ankle." But I'm guessing that bright pink bandage and the limp probably wasn't helping him out with the ladies anyway.
From what I can tell, if our ducks aren't eating, drinking, digging holes in the yard, or pooping, they are doing the deed. So, he's still in the game for three of the five. Not bad for a pink-footed, grumpy duck named Carl.
I'm the wife of a Fledgling Farmer(FF) and mom to Fledgling Farmer Boy(FFB) and Fledgling Farmer Girl(FFG).