This poor girl and her boyfriend weren't too far away, so I volunteered to drive to their location to attempt a rescue. AK happened to be driving home from a conference nearby and arrived at the park before I did. He located the duck, looking stranded just like in the photo. He was soon joined by Winnie, the woman who worked nearby and had worked diligently to find a rescue group who would help. Winnie explained that she walks around the park pond every lunch hour and noticed the duck had been suffering for two days before help arrived.
The Pekin duck and her faithful drake were an easy catch. We then relocated them to a separate section of our chicken coop reserved for birds needing a safe space. Upon examination it appeared she had bumblefoot- a foot infection that makes walking painful. In the photo to the left, the "bumble" is obvious—a round abscess with a dark core on her ankle. Inside of the abscess, a core of infection causing her leg to swell painfully.
After many calls we found a nearby vet—Exotic Animal Veterinary Center in Pasadena—who could see her today. During her two hour stay she received fluids for dehydration, a vitamin injection, an injection for parasites (Ivermectin), three X-rays, an oral antibiotic (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim), and an oral pain killer (Meloxicam). Luckily the vet didn't feel surgery to repair the abscess was necessary at this point, so we'll reassess after 2 weeks on antibiotics and foot soaks. Duck spa!
The yet-to-be-named hen looks disheveled, has arthritis, a heart murmur, and a slightly enlarged heart, but I've fallen in love. She and her boyfriend are so sweet together and, despite their aches and pains, look like they always have a smile on their face. Here's a video of them reuniting today after she returned from the vet:
With Easter coming up, this is a good reminder that ducklings are not meant for Easter baskets. They get big quickly, they eat a ton, their poop stinks, and they do not fare well in the wild once they've outgrown their novelty. Never release a domestic duck at a park or pond. Never ever. Ever. Our Pekins were release ducks and now they need special ( and expensive) care to relieve their suffering.
Follow us on Instagram to see updates of their bumblefoot treatment, as well as the arrival of our upcoming adoptees: EMPLOY-A-CATS!
Managed by Pasadena Humane Society, the Employ-A-Cat program live-traps feral and semi-feral cats, spays/neuters them, and then places them with families who want to employ the cats as rodent hunters. We refuse to use rodent poison on the rats and gophers invading our yard, so we hope the Employ-A-Cats will come to the rescue. Looking forward to introducing our two new employees over the coming week!