Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Majestic Diary

January 26, 2011

While preparing for the storm we went out to Louisville and discovered Rilo had pushed his head through the wire of the portable playpen fencing that seperates him and Ranger from the other 3 boys (Jocamo, Oh Henry! and Obama). Ranger was on the other side of the fence entirely with the other boys and poor Rilo was trapped on the opposite side with his head stuck through. The bars were wide enough that his throat was not compressed at all, but he panicked when he could not pull his head back through. He flapped his wings while trying to pull free and his right wing smacked into the metal fencing, over and over again until he scraped up the outer edge of his wing. There was blood everywhere.

Tony went out to the pen first and I heard him call to me. I went running out to the pen and nearly had a heart attack when I saw him trapped there... blood... I ran and picked him up on my lap and tried to keep him calm. His head was swollen from him pulling back and trying to get it out. Tony was back in a blink of an eye with heavy duty wire cutters. One snip and he was free. I ran to the house with him cradled in my arms. Isabel opened all the doors for me and helped me get him settled into the tub. Then she ran and started grabbing prescription bottles from the duck medicine cabinet.

As soon as the water started filling the tub around him, his eyes came into focus and he came to life. I let him drink and relax for 5 minutes and then I took him out and gave him a Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory), Baytril (antibiotic) and a Torbutrol (pain killer). I put him back in the tub and he began splashing and preening and drinking. I had to drain and fill the tub 3 times to wash away the blood as he worked. When he came out of the tub an hour later, he was as white as the snow again and feeling much better.

I checked his wing very carefully. No breaks and no broken blood feathers, so I sprayed his boo-boo wing with wound wash and then let him settle on some towels in the tub for another half hour before bringing him out to an empty barn stall. I knew he'd be less stressed if he could be around other ducks instead of in our house. Unfortunately, I couldn't put his brother Ranger in with him because I didn't want him to pick on Rilo (and he sometimes does). We have the camera on him, so we can keep an eye on him and so far, he looks a whole lot better.

He will have to stay on antibiotics for 7-10 days to avoid infection and he will be on anti-inflams and pain meds for the next 3-5 days.

Thank goodness we had all the meds and know-how to handle this situation because it started snowing just after I brought him in and there was no way we could have made it to the local vet safely before they closed--and the ER vet is in Rhode Island... too far to go during blizzard weather.


When I went out to check on Rilo this evening I saw that the swelling in his neck has come down tremendously and he is very happy to be in his own spacious pen in the barn, but I told him going forward he only has to ask to go in the barn!

He is eating and drinking well and he talks to all the women in the neighboring pen. I feel bad for poor Ranger… I keep telling him his buddy is fine, but I don’t to put them together until Rilo has made a complete recovery (10-14 days). We’ve taken the fence out of the bachelor pad and they will just have to all get along when Rilo goes back out there.




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