How to Help an Injured Duck

By Jo Jackson

Pet and domestic ducks can suffer injury from accidents, animal attacks and misadventure. If you have an injured duck, you will need to catch it and place it in a container so you can transport it to a veterinarian or avian care center. An injured duck can be stressed by being caught. Keep family pets and young children out of the way and keep her in a quiet and dark environment.

What Type of Injury?

Visually determine whether the duck is bleeding, limping or has a drooping wing. If it has a cut of less than ½ inch, you may not have to take it to a vet. If there is a possibility of a broken bone, it will need treatment. Small cuts can be treated with water and antiseptic solution after speaking to a professional. Sometimes ducks can get tangled in fishing line, wire or string. You will need a helper to hold the duck while you cut the tangle away before deciding if any serious injury has been caused.

Catching the Duck

A pet or domestically raised duck who is accustomed to humans may allow you to pick her up, even though she is injured. A frightened duck may require a net to catch her. You must be steady and gentle when using a net and be careful not to hit the duck with the metal rim. Remove her from the net as quickly as possible. When you pick up a duck, you should cradle it close to your body with the wings tucked in, and with a hand around the neck.

Containing the Duck

Use a pet carrier or a cardboard box big enough to hold your duck comfortably. The container should be well-ventilated and have a lid. You can punch air holes in the box before you place the duck inside. Have newspaper on the floor and cover the container with a towel or blanket as ducks will quieten down and be more relaxed in the dark. Place the container somewhere quiet.

Contact a Professional

Contact your veterinarian or avian caregiver and describe the type of injury. For minor injuries that do not need bandaging, they may suggest you cleanse and treat the wound yourself. In most cases you should take her to a veterinarian to be treated as soon as possible. Keep the cover over the box while you transport her. The sooner the duck receives treatment, the better the chances of a good outcome for her.