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Eye Injury

Ocular Trauma

Eye injuries are one of the most common preventable causes of blindness in ducks. Injury may be caused by conflict with another flock member, self-inflected from sharp toenails, exposure to sharp objects (thorns, wires, etc.), and from heavy winds blowing sand or other abrasive material into the duck's eyes. Types of eye injuries can include minor irritation to lacerations of the eyelid, third eyelid or cornea, and punctures or abrasions. Eye injuries need immediate attention to prevent the duck from losing their eyesight.


Frequent squinting
Swelling of eye
Eye discharge
Eye redness
Tightly closed eyelids
Obvious trauma to the eye


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Eye exam


MethodMethod Summary
Topical aminoglycoside antibioticsto prevent secondary infection; drops are preferred to avoid risk of bedding and other materials from sticking to the eye area.
Surgical repair of lacerations


  • Minimize exposure to sharp and/or protruding objects within duck enclosures
  • Provide shelter that is large enough for all flock members to go inside during strong storm events, as high wind can increase the risk of sand and other substrate particles blowing in their eyes.
  • Do not allow large concentrations of dust to accumulate in the environment where ducks are kept. Dust regularly (however making sure that no ducks are present while your dusting or sweeping).
  • Be mindful when your mowing the lawn or when using landscaping tools that your ducks are not nearby.



Risk Factors

  • Overcrowding
  • Windy days
  • Mowing the lawn and use of landscaping equipment
  • High accumulations of dust
  • Disagreements among flock members