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Date Posted: 22:24:23 06/02/15 Tue
Author: Stephanie
Subject: Successful treatment of slipped tendons in bantam duckling

I had a bantam silkie duckling hatch late, unassisted, after 31 days of incubation. She scooted around on both hocks after she was born, unable to straighten her legs to get into a normal walking position. She gave the appearance of a bird with slipped tendons--a condition I've been unable to treat successfully in the past. Determined to get an early start on treatment, I repeatedly stretched her legs out straight behind her over her first day and rolled the tendon at the hock joint between my thumb and index finger. I didn't see any improvement; the legs would just go back to their bent, slightly spraddled position. So I gently stretched the legs out straight behind her and snugly wrapped the hock joint on both legs with thin strips of VetWrap. I also taped both feet with the toes spread out, as they were beginning to curl. I then suspended her in a cup so her legs would hang down without touching the bottom of the cup. I did this by stretching VetWrap over the cup and securing it with a rubber band. I cut two holes for her legs and a third for poop. I rigged up more VetWrap around her so she couldn't escape, propped up the whole contraption with a rolled towel to keep the cup from tipping over, and left her in the brooder that way overnight with 3 other silkie ducklings hatched at the same time. I continued to dip her bill in water dosed with a little NutriDrench overnight and offered her little bits of crumbled food every so often. This was definitely a frustrating experience for the duckling, and she fussed and wriggled throughout. By morning, the other three ducklings had climbed up on this setup and all four were sleeping peacefully together. In the morning, I freed her from the cup and let her down on the floor of the brooder, which I'd covered in shelf liner, to see how she would do. I left the tape on her feet, and left her hocks wrapped. She began to try to move around, falling over a lot, but clearly trying to get upright. I took the tape off her feet (which were now spread out nicely) to give her more traction, and, over the next couple of hours, she began walking upright! By that evening, she was running, and she has continued to do well. If it weren't for the bright yellow VetWrap, I'd have trouble distinguishing her from her buddies.

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