Veterinary advice should be sought from your local veterinarian before applying any treatment or vaccine. Not sure who to use? Look up veterinarians who specialize in poultry using our directory listing. Find me a Vet

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common, painful musculoskeletal condition in ducks. In one study, almost 50% of waterfowl kept in a zoo exhibit developed arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic, degenerative process characterized by progressive cartilage deterioration, loss of joint space, bone remodeling, and inflammation of the joint tissues.

Clinical signs
Ducks with arthritis usually have varying degrees of lameness and swelling of the associated joint. In one study, 50% of ducks with arthritis developed bumblefoot in at least one of their feet as a result.

Treatment
Ducks with arthritis are most often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs (meloxicam, carprofen, ketoprofen, buprenorphine, and butoorphanol) to help with the pain, on an as-needed basis. Other therapies used include Adequan injections, acupuncture, and physical therapy sessions.

Symptoms

Lameness
Stiffness
Lethargy
Falling over
Reduced activity level
Reluctance to walk or stand

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiographs

Treatment

MethodMethod Summary
Ketoprofen1 mg/kg IM SID for 1-10 days
Analgesic drugs
Adequan

Prevention

  • Provide a balanced diet
  • Allow frequent exercise

References

Blogs

Age Range

This condition is most often seen in older, adult ducks.

Risk Factors

  • Heavier breeds
  • Overweight birds
  • Prior wound involving or adjacent to the joint