Linda is an 11-week old Pekin duck who lives inside as a house duck with her older brother, Harry. Late one afternoon, Linda and Harry were foraging around in the grass nearby the riding arena, where their owner was teaching horseback riding lessons. Suddenly without warning, a dog on the scene grabbed Linda. Fortunately, her owner witnessed it happen and was able to get to Linda very quickly. Linda was immediately taken to the Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston as an emergency case. Upon arrival, Dr. Rebecca Gounaris initially assessed Linda’s mental status---and found her alert, but subdued. She proceeded to give Linda a thorough physical exam in order to evaluate the extent of her injuries.
Linda receiving an exam
Dr. Gounaris found a rug-burn type wound over the duckling’s tail, and an open wound right near her vent/cloaca, which is the area in which birds excrete waste. She was concerned about the vent wound, as the attack actually had torn a hole in the cloaca itself, and if not repaired properly, Linda would not be able to pass droppings normally.
Linda’s dog bite wound
Luckily Dr. Gounaris was able to suture up Linda’s cloaca and subsequent skin under anesthesia. “The rug-burn wound was too raw, and there was not enough surrounding skin to stitch up the wound, so we left it open to heal on its own (second intention),” Dr. Gounaris explained.
Linda was discharged from the vet hospital that evening with antibiotics and pain medication. “Antibiotics are very important in any type of mammal-on-bird attack,” said Dr. Gounaris. “As the bacteria in their saliva can be deadly to birds.”
Dogs are known for harboring a variety of potentially harmful bacterial organisms in their mouths, which get passed to the bird during the attack. Some of the most frequent are from the Pasteurella, Streptococcus
, and Staphylococcus
Once back at home, Linda’s humans’ made sure to keep Linda’s injury clean and dry—which included no swimming! They applied Manuka honey to the injury on a daily basis to help encourage healing. To help keep Linda from picking at her injury, they came up with an adorable cape for her to wear that covered the wound to help protect it.
Linda in her adorable protective pink cape!
Within 5-7 days, Linda’s feathers were already growing in. Linda went back for a progress check up with Dr. Gounaris 9 days after her initial injury. Her wound was healing wonderfully and there was no complications. By week 3, Linda’s wound had fully healed. She also grew quite a bit and made a transformation herself.
Linda’s wound fully healed (in just 3 weeks after the attack!)
“This was a wonderful case we wanted to share, due to the owners’ quick response time and nursing care at home, Linda wounds recovered beautifully!” said Dr. Dr. Gounaris.
You can follow Linda and her brother, Harry, @the_duck_named_linda
Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, located in Fallston, Maryland, is a family-owned, full-service hospital that provides veterinary services for dogs, cats and birds. Their expertise in the field now spans over three family generations, and they are very proud of this unique heritage. The hospital has an in-house laboratory, allowing for rapid diagnostic testing for critical care patients, digital radiography (xrays), surgical suite, and an on-site pharmacy. Dr. Scott Gounaris has been practicing veterinary medicine for 35 years and founded Pleasantville Animal Hospital in 2002. His daughter, Dr. Rebecca Gounaris, now works alongside him, and they approach each case as a team.
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About Dr. Rebecca Gounaris
Dr. Rebecca L. Gounaris is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and is Dr. Scott Gounaris's oldest child. In addition to her lifetime love for cats and dogs, she has a deep passion for birds and participated in externships at several exotic veterinary clinics during her senior year. She has also worked for many years at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, DE, starting while she was earning her undergraduate degree at University of Delaware, and continues to provide veterinary care there to wild birds in need. After spending much time away from home for her education, she is thrilled to be practicing medicine back in her hometown and alongside her family members. She is a member of the Avian Association of Veterinarians, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Maryland Veterinary Medical Association. She also competes in synchronized ice skating and has two cats, Arwen and Pippin, a Sun Conure, Nino, and a Green-cheek Conure, Dutch.
About Dr. Scott Gounaris
Dr. Scott Gounaris graduated from the University of Florida Veterinary School in 1982. His lifetime love for animals drove him to choose veterinary medicine as he wanted to help animals that could not help themselves. Dr. Scott Gounaris enjoys the teamwork that we and the pet owners employ to work together for the welfare of their pets. The greatest reward for him is a positive outcome for his patient and their owners. With over 40 years of experience in the veterinary field, Dr. Scott Gounaris has seen it all. Prior to opening Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, he worked for his father, who was also a veterinarian. Now the father of a recent veterinary school graduate, a current veterinary school student, and a college undergraduate, he has shared his love of the profession with the next generation of Gounaris doctors.