INCOMING: New Foster Duck
Today we got a call from our vet’s office, asking if we could foster a duck if they could get him feeling better.
Sometimes when they call I can’t help. But today I could. And I love helping a sick duck, so I asked if I could help treat him right away.
This duck came to the vet with a bad infection that probably started with a scrape on his foot (our own handicapped girl Danny gets the same kind of scrapes on her feet). The scrape got infected and spread system-wide. It’s basically septic arthritis. The duck went home with some antibiotics, but he got much worse, and his family brought him back in to be euthanized.
Specialty vet care can be expensive, but it’s something to expect when you have a special pet. In this case, his family decided they’d rather euthanize him. But the vet didn’t want to do that, so she offered to take the duck and keep him to treat him.
By that time, he was dehydrated, hadn’t been eating and his infection had gone from bad to much worse. A normal white blood cell count (WBC) in a duck is about 10-13 (10,000-13,000). This duck’s infection is at 115 (115,000) which in itself could kill him. So he started intravenous antibiotics and he has thankfully started to improve. He’s now on injectable and oral antibiotics.
Even though he was very sick, it’s tough to euthanize a duck that just has a leg infection that went systemic. It’s not like he had an open belly wound or even broken bones. In the grand scheme of things, an infection is pretty easy to treat, but it can be expensive. A bum leg is no reason to take a life away though, especially when he’s such a young duck (probably less than a year old). So we’re glad the vet convinced his family to give him up.
His name was Crispin, but I thought that name sounded too much like Crispy, and I don’t like food names for pets. So I asked him if I could call him Teddy Crispin instead and he said “bwah.” I’m pretty sure that means yes. He’s a silver appleyard domestic duck.
The vet is paying for all of Teddy’s medication, so we don’t need donations for him. He’s here until he has recovered from his infection, and then we’ll start looking for a forever home for him. He’s not out of the woods yet because his infection is very serious. His white blood count is actually the highest I’ve seen. So keep your fingers and webbed feet crossed for his recovery. He’s in isolation right now, in the dining room pen. Once he’s feeling better he can move outside in his own space near the other ducks, which we think he’ll like.
So let’s welcome foster duck Teddy to Ducks and Clucks and make him feel at home. We’ll keep you posted on how he’s doing on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DucksAndClucks.
Quacks and clucks,
Tiff and the flock
P.S. I’m not a vet, so the above description is my lay-person interpretation of what the vet said. Take it with a grain of salt.