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

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Majestic Diary

January 15, 2012

I haven't been in the diary pages lately because Young Matthew has fallen ill. His lethargy appeared last Wednesday the 11th, so I started him on antibiotics. I saw him shaking his tail feathers a lot while swimming on Thursday and suspected a prolapse, but didn't see anything when I did a quick check. By Friday morning he was in the vet's office. He had a slight tissue prolapse, but that was it.

We went from Dr. Otka's office up the road to Dr. Brown's office because Dr. Otka doesn't have his new digital x-ray yet. Our suspicion is that spring fever has him flushed with excess hormones that have caused swelling to his testes and other reproductive tissues. Since he's 10 years old, cancer is possible, but she didn't see it on his x-ray.

He isn't eating, so I have to syringe feed him 30 mls, three times a day. I make him fresh, organic veggie juice using my juicer. It contains broccoli, celery, leaf lettuce, brussel sprouts, asparagus and carrots. I mix some vet prescribed "Critical Care" into the mix along with some A/D cat food for protein.

On Saturday (yesterday) his penis prolapsed about a half an inch and it got really cold (8 degrees last night), so Matthew's in the house so he's safe from frostbite. Dr. Brown called yesterday and today to check on him. She called today to say she spoke with Dr. Echols (waterfowl vet expert) about Young Matthew and he advised to keep him away from other ducks--especially females who cause more hormones to flush through his system. He advised that we avoid handling or petting him except when necessary (during syringe feeding) and to especially avoid petting his back.

While Matthew usually likes attention, he pokes our hands whenever we move anywhere near him to let us know he's not feeling well and doesn't want to be touched, so no worries about too much handling.

Dr. Echols said it is rarely cancer and swelling is likely to come down in 3-5 days. In the meantime he doesn't want him on any inflammatory meds anymore, so we took him off of Rimadyl. He said it doesn't really help much and can risk his kidneys and liver. He said while Lupron is an option (it reduces the swelling of reproductive organs), it only has mild results and waiting it out is often the best option. In addition it is very cost inhibitive ($300 for one injection for a 4.5 lb duck).

If Matthew begins to improve, then he won't need an ultrasound on Tuesday, but if he doesn't the ultrasound can make sure there isn't anything else going on in there, like cancer.

Today Young Matthew had a nice warm bath and then I used the blow-dryer while he preened. He did a good job of oiling up. He's been relaxing in a pen in our sunroom all day and will soon move to the spare bathroom (because the sun room is starting to get chilly).

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