Ducks in many ways are similar to toddlers, in that they are very curious and like to explore their environment with their mouths. This can present a problem if ducks are allowed access to small foreign objects that can harm their bodies if ingested. Ingested objects can cause impaction, inflammation, metal poisoning, peritonitis, and/or if sharp enough, can penetrate their gastrointestinal tract.
Ducks are particularly drawn to any shiny objects. Some examples of objects which ducks have ingested (either on a one time or routine basis), resulting in harm to their bodies include:
- Small metal objects such as nails, nuts, washers, clips, bits of wire, screws, staples, etc.
- Pieces of glass, wood, plastic, string, feathers
- Floats and lures
- Woman's stockings
- Carpet fibers
- Loose change
Diagnosis and Treatment
Foreign object ingestion may be difficult to diagnosis, for even when radiographs are taken, only metal objects are able to be detected, which may not all be visible. Depending on the object in question and it's location, removal by endoscopy may be possible. Otherwise, surgery may be needed to remove certain objects which will cause internal damage or are toxic.