How To Help A Dying Duck? (Do This Instantly)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Imagine your favorite duck sick and on the verge of death. That’s definitely not  a nice condition for your duck and I bet you would be feeling very apprehensive and unsure of what to do.

Well, I’ve got good news. First is, you are reading the right article and at the right time and second is, be calm, your duck would be fine.

There are several tell tale signs of a dying duck.

These signs are noticeable symptoms that you can identify in your flock of ducks.

How do I know if my duck is sick or dying?

How To Help A Dying Duck

These signs include:

  • Eating disorder – a dying duck is likely to eat lesser than usual or more than before.
  • Sluggishness and withdrawal from the rest of the flock
  • Diarrhea – the duck’s poop might be stained with blood or may even contain worms.
  • Laboured breathing, especially in breeder ducks.
  • Discharge of mucous from the mouth
  • Infections – on eye, nose and other vital parts of the duck
  • Weight – a dying duck lose weight rapidly or might gain more weight than normal
  • Intensive itching
  • Distorted form of bones on the neck and leg regions.

How Can I Save A Dying Duck?

Saving a dying duck requires patience. Yes! A great deal of patience but you’ll be glad you exercised your patience.

Here are some detailed step by step instructions on how to save your dying duck:

1. Identify the dying duck.

The first step to take is to identify the dying duck from your flock.

You can use the above tell tale signs of a sick duck to identify which one of your duck is very ill and needs immediate attention.

2. Quarantine

Have you been able to identify the dying duck? Now, you won’t like it if all your ducks fall sick at the same time, right?

To prevent such, quarantine the dying duck. This is to prevent the spread of contagious disease from the duck to the rest of your breed.

Also, isolating the sick duck makes it possible to track and record how well she is responding to treatments.

Here’s a tip on isolating a dying duck – take her at least, 40 feet away from the flock and put her in a warm, cozy and well ventilated place. Cardboard boxes or pet carriers can be improvised as the hospital bed (with a temperature of 80-85 degrees)

3. First aid treatment.

Obviously, getting an avian vetenarian if you don’t have one before might be quite stressful and could worsen the health of the poor duck.

That is why first aid needs to be administered to the dying duck before contemplating any other thing.

A preventive and corrective first aid for home use is Oregano and fresh garlic.

Oregano and garlic is a great natural antibiotics and can be added to the ducks feed to help build their immune system.

Fact: do you know that some antibiotics for birds given by the vet contains oregano and garlic? Now you know using the fresh ones would really help your ducks!

4. Water

Just like first aid, the water treatment goes a long way in saving a dying duck’s life.

The truth is, a dying duck is often dehydrated because of the reluctance to drink water or inability to move to a water source.

Drinking water would regulate the duck’s body system, and would also help reduce dehydration, heat and diarrhea.

Simply put, water would boost the duck’s system and improve her health.

Here a tip on water administration for a dying duck – add  electrolytes or apple cider vinegar to the water you want to give your dying duck. You’ll thank us later after adding this natural antiseptic to the water for your sick duck.

5. Diagnosis and treatment.

This is the final (and maybe the most difficult) step to save your dying duck. At this point, the help of an avian veterinarian is needed.

If you do not know what exactly is wrong with your duck, it is advisable to bring in your avian veterinarian to make a professional diagnosis.

In case you do not have an avian veterinarian for your flock, we have some resources to help you search for one:

Association of Avian Veterinarians

Directory Listing of Poultry Veterinarians

What Causes A Duck To Die Suddenly?

A duck can die suddenly when she gets contacted by some deadly contagious bird diseases. These diseases can be:

1. Duck Viral Enteritis (DVE)

Duck viral enteritis (DVE) is an acute, highly contagious disease of ducks, geese, and swans of all ages, characterized by sudden death, high mortality (particularly among older ducks), and hemorrhages and necrosis in internal organs.

2. Pasteurellosis or Fowl Cholera.

Pasteurellosis is caused by the bacterium Pasteurella.

This infection causes inflammation of the respiratory tracts and can lead to sudden death in ducks.

What Can I Give My Duck For Pain?

Do you know, ducks, like humans experience pain too and they need some medicines to alleviate that pain?

Carprofen and Meloxicam are great pain relieving pills for ducks but they require the vet’s prescription.

A prescription free pill is aspirin. To administer aspirin treatment for your duck, dissolve five pills of the tablet into a gallon of water and make the duck drink this solution during her period of illness.

If your duck is experiencing pain in the foot, you can let her float in a warm bath of Epsom salt (make sure she doesn’t drink the water).

What Do You Feed A Sick Duck?

A sick duck is most likely, not eager to eat like before. This is quite bad because she needs to eat before taking her medication.

There are some foods you can feel a sick duck:

  • Cat food
  • Boiled sweet potatoes (you can mash it for easier feeding)
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Supplements like garlic, bee balm, and turmeric can be added to their daily meal to promote a strong immune system.

However, not all dying ducks can be saved and this can be quite painful especially when it is your favorite pet.

What you must have in mind is that everything happens for a season and sickness can affect any flock no matter how well kept they might be.

On the other hand, we believe that your dying duck can be recuperated, provided you identify her on time, isolate her, administer the right treatments and make a quick visit to your veterinarian.

Then, with love, patience and hope, your dying duck would come out victorious and ever ready to join the flock once again!

Do you enjoy this article? What other ways do you think is helpful to save a dying duck? Let us know in the comment section

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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