Why Is My Duck Falling Over? (5 Menacing Symptoms)

Duck farming is an interesting profession. People love watching ducks breed and hatch. And watching the ducklings grow and mature is even more fascinating. Sometimes we can see the strange behavior shown by the ducks by losing balance or can’t walk properly. If you are experiencing this for the first time, you will have this question definitely in your mind.

Why is my duck falling over? One possibility is duck falling over due to toxoplasmosis. The sign of toxoplasmosis can be seen in young ducklings with the inability to get back when they are flipping over. If it reaches adulthood, this condition can be chronic because it is often unnotified and becomes more severe.

Several other possibilities occur when your duck falls over and can’t get back up. Let’s read this article to get information on treating your duck, and how to overcome this problem.

Why is my duck falling over
Why Is My Duck Falling Over?


Why Is My Duck Falling Over?

If the ducks could get up shortly after falling over, there wouldn’t be any serious problems for them. But if they start from ducklings they can’t get up and experience duck balance problems, then something is going on.

Before your duck experiences something worse, you have to find the main problem of the duck losing balance. Several possibilities occur, such as toxoplasmosis, botulism, niacin deficiency, or wry neck. These possibilities can cause ducks to lose balance and fall over.

You need to bring them to the vet to find out the right course of action to treat them before the condition gets worse.


Why Does My Baby Duck Keep Falling On Its Back?

Check their behavior if your baby duck falls over. If your duck is tired, then one of the most common signs that they are going to fall is drooling. Drooling is a sign of dehydration. It’s important to get your duck fresh water all the time to avoid dehydration.

If they fall on its back several times, your baby duck may have a niacin deficiency. This nutrient deficiency makes baby ducks have problems in the leg and nervous system. Try to give your baby ducks 100 to 150 mg of niacin per gallon of water, and see how they develop after that.

Niacin is required for proper bone growth. You can give foods that contain niacin or vitamin B3, such as insects, worms, and small fish.

Why is my duck falling over? If baby ducks have niacin deficiency, they become reluctant to walk and duck losing balance. Another possibility is that baby ducks are exposed to the toxoplasmosis infection.


How Do Ducks Get Toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis can be a worse disease. It causes the infection by altering the normal balance of microorganisms in the duck’s body. If the microorganisms (Toxoplasma gondii) are not in the correct balance, they can become unbalanced and cause illness.

In most cases, toxoplasmosis is transmitted through fecal matter. It is usually found in bird feces, urine, and dead animals.

Some ducks may have an immune system that is less effective at fighting off microorganisms, and the lack of an effective immune system allows the unhealthy microorganisms to take over.

Why is my duck falling over? Microorganisms unbalance the duck’s body and make them fall over easily. The chronic effects of this microorganism are infections that spread to brain cells and muscle cells.


How To Treat Toxoplasmosis In Ducks?

If your ducks are infected with Toxoplasma gondii, you can take them to the vet and have them perform blood and tissue tests. If it is proven that the ducks have an infection, the ducks need to have treatment. Antiparasitic and antibacterial medicines for about four weeks are beneficial for recovering ducks.

Why is my duck falling over? The symptoms start from the short-term effects of toxoplasmosis, such as muscle pain, fever, and fatigue. The infection can become long-term that cause damage to the brain and other organs. If the affected organs are the legs or other body parts that become weak, suddenly the ducks can fall over.

The treatment can be longer or shorter depending on the severity of the infection in the vital organs. If you start to see the duckling flipping on back, immediately take the duck to the vet to be resolved quickly.


Symptoms Of Toxoplasmosis In Ducklings

Toxoplasmosis in short-term effects can cause diarrhea and also cause other types of problems. Malnutrition can result, in turn, in weak muscles, anorexia, or even death. The table below will describe some of the symptoms of ducklings affected by toxoplasmosis and explanations.

Central nervous system disorderCan not balance when walking or standing, easy to fall on the back.
Weight lossDue to less appetite and lethargy make ducklings lose weight gradually.
TorticollisTwisting of the neck
BlindnessInfections to the eye ranging from impaired vision to blindness.
OpisthotonosSevere spasm in which the back arches

You need to ensure your duck is getting the proper nutrition. Ensure to separate their food from any others that might cause contamination. If you think your pet might be unwell, you should take them to the vet.

Why is my duck falling over
Why Is My Duck Falling Over?

Even if your pet has been treated successfully before, you should still get them to have a full physical examination to check for signs of trouble.


Wobbly Duck Syndrome

If you see your duck acting drunk, can’t walk, or is unbalanced, pay attention to whether your duck has botulism. The toxin from botulism can cause paralysis in the legs, wings, neck, etc. The duck will be floppy which makes the duckling throwing head back.

The disorder is sometimes known as the Wobble Effect, which describes that some ducks’ legs appear to be jittery and disjointed while walking. It will make ducks unbalanced and easy to fall.

Why is my duck falling over? The neck paralysis makes the duck’s neck hard to enforce, and the symptoms of a twisting neck can make the duck’s condition worse and lead to death. Botulism in ducks needs antitoxin before symptoms get worse.


Floppy, Shaky Duckling Who Keeps Falling On His Back – What To Do?

If you have many ducks in one place, immediately separate the ducks that have sick duck symptoms. Keep the duck warm and quiet by providing nutritious feed and available water until you find the main problem.

If your duckling’s condition is Riemerella anatipestifer, do regular cleaning and disinfection where you treat your ducks with strict biosecurity. Vaccines and batteries should be administered to ducklings in their entirety and separate diseased ducklings for temporary quarantine.

If you see clinical signs on ducklings such as watery green feces and neurologic disease, immediately take them to the vet for vaccination and treatment.


Duck Keeps Falling Over Cant Walk, Now What?

If your duck cannot walk, you can treat it by cleaning the affected foot with bactericide, removing the hardcore, or putting out the abscess if present. Recover the duck with clean swimming water and fresh grass.

If the treatment is still not enough for your duck, consult with your vet whether the duck needs niacin or poultry vitamins to overcome their falling over problems.

Why is my duck falling over? If the duck is losing balance due to niacin deficiency, it can still be treated by giving several types of food with vitamin B3 and other supplements.


My Duckling Keeps Falling Backwards, How To Train?

If you are caring for ducklings and they are still trying to maintain a balance to get used to them on land, you need patience and understanding how to train them properly.

If they can still swim well, then it won’t be a big problem because it’s just a matter of them getting used to standing on land. Try putting on weight on him to maintain his balance.

Remember that nothing stops your duck from flopping back onto your back every time you put weight on him. The key is to make sure that you are watching for when he starts falling back. You can make slight adjustments in your stance or increase your weight and allow him some added stability.


How To Help Duck Losing Balance Falling Over?

Check the legs of your ducklings for red and swollen feet that can’t help them hold their position when standing. If the problem is niacin deficiency, you can give enough niacin and sprinkle it on his water.

If the duckling’s condition does not improve when given niacin, take him to the vet immediately if there is a possibility of toxoplasmosis or botulism.

The initial symptoms are often associated with the flu, but if left unnoticed, the infection can spread to the brain cells and make the ducks’ bodies become unbalanced and fall.

Giving antibiotics and eliminating the infection by taking him to the vet is the right step. If bacterin or vaccine is needed, consult your vet whether it can be used to eliminate falling over problems before the condition gets worse.


Final Verdict – Why Is My Duck Falling Over

Why is my duck falling over? Duck falling over can happen for several reasons like ducklings are young, niacin deficiency, toxoplasmosis and botulism.

If you’ve had a duckling that’s only been a few days old, and they still can’t keep their balance while standing, it’s their adaptation to adjust to standing on land which is taking some time.

If ducklings are not given enough niacin, they can develop niacin deficiency. You can feed ducks with food containing vitamin B3 or niacin sprinkled into drinking water. See for the next few days if it solves the unbalanced problems.

If the falling over problems continue when the ducks have reached adulthood, then there is a possibility that the ducks are exposed to toxoplasmosis. It is a disease from a parasite that can cause brain damage, severe illness in vital organs, and unbalance in ducks.

Why is my duck falling over
Why Is My Duck Falling Over? Why is my duck falling over after birth? Why is my duck falling over and flipping head back?

Many do not notice that their ducklings get toxoplasmosis because the short-term symptoms are just like the flu. But if left unchecked, it will lead to severe disease that can interfere with brain function, skeletal muscle, eye, and heart muscle.

Another possibility is ducks falling over due to botulism. Problems like can’t walk, paralysis in legs, and duckling throwing their head back are symptoms of botulism. Immediately take him to the vet to be given an antitoxin.

As a Pet Lover, it is your duty to learn about pet ducks more and make sure they have comfortable life as pets with you.

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