Duck Rehabilitation

Duck Rehabilitation


The Wildlife Center had two very special patients this fall. The first was a small female Mallard mixed duck brought to a WR&E rehabilitator, Margaret Pickell. After closer examination, it was determined that a dog had attacked the Mallard.

Normally, wildlife is not given a domestic animal name, but this special creature had been named Ducka by the family who brought her in. For you see, Ducka has lived in a local pond for several years and had a unique problem. She had no feet, only little stubs but had obviously adapted quite well.

Margaret transported Ducka to the Wildlife Center where she was treated for scratches and a sprained wing. Following a short recovery period, she healed and is now enjoying life at a ranch pond with other ducks – and no dogs.

The other memorable patient was a Peking duck mix who was admitted with the tip of her beak hanging by a thread. Yet another caring family caught her and brought her to the wildlife center for proper care. One of the Wildlife Center’s valued and long-term volunteers, Diane Cheadle, an area veterinary technician, was able to use her years of experience and expertise to reconstruct the bill.

Diane cleaned the wound, and then used a special dental product , Ortho-Jet (an acrylic resin used to make dental retainers) – to reconstruct the bill.  The dilemma was that the duck wasn’t going to sit still for a fitting and  anesthesia is always tricky in birds.

As feared, the duck’s heart stopped during the operation and Diane had to resuscitate it. Some extra oxygen and chest compressions – and everything was ducky again. After a few weeks of recovery, SUPER duck (with the bill of steel) was returned to her original area all to the welcoming wing flaps of her quacking comrades.

WR&E sends a very special thank you to all the families who broke their schedules to pause long enough to pick up injured or orphaned wildlife, transport them to WR&E and thus enable us to be there for them. THANK YOU!!

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By |August 22nd, 2009|Categories: Duck, Wildlife Rescue|Tags: , |2 Comments

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  1. Amanda June 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    I live on a lake and one of our male ducks has an injured left foot. I have been feeding our ducks bird seed but it appears he cannot get back in the water to drink because he cannot swim. I could be wrong, he may be getting in the very shallow area that is enclosed for plants. Yesterday when I got home he was lying down with his neck and head stretched out in front of himself. I thought he was dead, but he was still okay. He looks terrible and beat up. Is there anything that can be done in an instance like this? Either he was bit by something or ran over. He is hopping around on his right foot some but seems to be in pain. His web foot is hanging down at a 90 degree angle. We have lots of ducks on the lake and I realize it isnt my place to interfere, but I hate to see him suffering. Should I let nature take it’s course?

    • cyndi June 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      If you can catch him and bring him to the Wildlife Center, we will treat his injury. If the injury is too bad for treatment and he can not be released, we will humanely euthanize him so he won’t continue suffering until he dies or is killed.

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