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Slipped tendon, also known as perosis, is a type of leg deformity that prevents the duck from bearing weight on the affected leg. If identified early enough when ducklings are still growing, and action is swiftly taken, sometimes the condition can be reversed, or at least improved. Slipped tendon is characterized by the enlargement of the hock joint, medial luxation of the Achilles tendon, and bending deformities of the mediotarsal and tarsal metatarsal bones.
Slipped tendon is thought to be caused by a manganese deficiency in growing ducklings. If the condition occurs during the first two weeks of the duckling's life, the deficiency is likely the result of a manganese deficiency in the diet of the breeder ducks (the duckling's parents). If slipped tendon occurs after the duckling is two weeks of age, it is most likely the result of a manganese deficiency in the duckling's diet.
Affected ducks may be seen having a difficult time walking, and continuously land with one foot on top of the other. Often ducks may present with a limp that worsens with time. In adult ducks, slipped tendons can often be misdiagnosed as sprains during the early stages of development.
Hong, Cai, and Feng Zeguang Experimental Pathology of Manganese (Mn) deficiency and effects of higher phosphorus upon manganese deficiency in broiler ducks ACTA Veterinaria et Zootechnica sinica (1997)