It has been a very sad and horrible day in the household. Nothing really feels real. Last night, when everyone got home (it was after dark), Sissy (Boys sister) went down to get the ducks. She comes racing back saything that the gate was open and the ducks werent in the pen :onsetpaniccmode: We start calling for them and from the other side of the pool (across the yard) we hear Sissy’s female Peanut just shrieking and quaking and carring on. As soon as she saw Sissy she raced toward her and was just talking and shrieking away. The we realize our male, Mister isnt with her. So we start looking for him and we couldnt find him anywhere. Peanut is still freaking out so at this point everyone, except for Sissy, realize soemthing is wrong and it isnt going to be pretty. We send her in the garage to start getting Peanut ready for bed and to try and get her calmed down while everyone else searched the yard, and I took the field. I walked the entire perimitor of our property (14 acres) and then started searching the field grid style. At this point I wasnt really looking for Mister, I was looking for a body. When I got the the middle of the field it where its thick with brush and what not, I stopped and was listening to see if I could here him quaking, because he always quakes and thats how we were looking for him by trying to listen and see if we could hear him. I heard some ruslting in ther brush and I stopped to listen, but I didnt hear any quakes, figured it was a rabbit and kept searching. I was all up and in the thick but I didnt see anything. We gave up after an hour and said we’ll look for him in the morning because it was all we could do. And by “we” I meant me, boy and his mom to look for a body so Sissy didnt have to see it.
Well our phone rang at 4:30am and it was Boys mom saying that the duck had come back, but it had been attacked really bad and we needed to take it to the vets. I got up and put clothes on then went over there. I wasnt really sure what to expect, but it sure as hell wasnt what I saw. It was just horrible, and Ive seen some really nasty stuff working in the pet store. Sissy was on the floor hugging him and she was in shock and she just said “Look Jess, my baby came home.” I dont think she even really saw what was wrong or understood what happened (she is mentally retarded for those of you who dont know). I took one look, held my breath while my stomach just fell through the floor and told her I had seen worse and we’ll take care of it and everything will be okay. We finally tracked down a 24 hour ER vet that saw birds and hour away, I grabbed the GPS, and at 5am, Boys mom, sister, duck and I jumped in the Jeep to the Vet. Sissy explained from the back of the Jeep that she had gotten up to pee and she was standing at the window in that bathroom and she saw Mister walk up from the field, hop through a hole in the fence around the pool and jumped in the pool. She went running out there before anyone could stop her and as soon as he heard her voice and she got the the edge of the pool, he swan straight over to her so she coud pick him up and bring him in. I guess once he was safe in the garage he just kinda collasped in a sort because he was finally safe. I have no idea how that duck made it back from anywhere.
This is what I saw. His entire beak was shredded. It was just aweful. There were chunks of it just hanging everywhere and there was blood from it everywhere and his tongue was just laying out among the pulp. I couldnt decipher the top beak, which was pretty much gone, from the bottom. I dont have any idea how that duck made it back home. Seriously. It should of been dead. I wouldnt even take a picture to show you guys how bad it is because its so bad. I can bearly stand to look at him, and Boy just freaks out and wont look.
The second we got to the vet, which was empty, they took him in the back, despite Sissy insisting she go with him, and gave him some WAY over due pain meds and to look him over and asses what was going on. She came in a little bit later, with a chair, and sat down. She layed it out very simply and very nicely. He was hurt really bad. He had been attacked and she want sure why, whatever attacked him, didnt finish the job. She said putting him to sleep was not a bad option. This is imediatly shot down by Sissy. She said his beak was obviously really bad. Her main concerns where him being able to eat again, because so much of his beak was torn off and missing and they cant eat with out a top bill. He aslo had three other bad bite marks, one really deep one right on top of his head and two on each side of his neck. I asked if they could put in a feeding tube, and she said normally yes, but since he had the two bite marks on both sides of his neck, she was afraid it would get infected and therefo wasnt a option, for right now. We talked back and forth about what potiential problems could be, and she said if he makes it, because he is missing so much beak and it wont grow back, that he is going to have to have a prostetic beak made for him and put on so he could eat normally again. A prostetic beak? I was speechless. She said she was going to put him under so she could explore the wounds better and clean up his bill and see what other damage there was. If he had severe trauma to the underside of his beak and was slit on both sides all the way down, then there wasnt anything we could do for his. There would be too much damage that wasnt fixable. It would also give her more time to check out the other wounds on him. She said give her about an hour, and she would call us back and discuss what her findings were. She said she wanted to keep him sleeping incase some other actions needed to be made, like putting him down. So we took a freaked out Sissy to McDonalds and got breakfast, tried to re-assure her that it wasnt her fault, that Mister should be fine, but if for some reason he isnt, she needs to think about whats best for him, instead of whats best for us. We then walked around the little farmers market for a bit, got her to smile, then went back to the vets and she was just getting done. She said he was very slowly waking up in the back. She said she removed as much of the damaged beak as she could, surgical glued the one slit on his lower jaw, which she said was in very good shape considering what the top looked like, plucked all the feathers out around his neck to she could see the wounds and clean them. She said luckly his nose and pallate were still in tact and fine, but about less then a half of an inch from his nose and down was missing. His tongue is almost fully exposed. She said she honestly wasnt sure if he was going to make it. He was a strong duck. He made it through the attack, then back home hours after the attack. She said he was more then likely protecting Peanut and then got dragged away. He was probably the reason she was still alive. And trust me, things would of been a 100 times worse if this had happen to Peanut. Sissy would die if anything happened to Peanut. So she gave us liquid pain meds, antibiotics, antibiotic cream, Petrolium Jelly to put on his wounds to keep them from getting dry, and a special powered food stuff that I have to mix with warm water and feed him every four hours with a big plastic serenge because he cant eat on his own.
We are keeping him in the basment because its very, very, very, very important that he stay clean at all times (no poop), stay warm, have clean water, and stay away from flies (maggots). He’s still really groggy from them knocking him out. But when I fed him for the first time he responded by eating ask much as I could squirt in. Then I discovered that if you put it in a deep bowl of water, he can drink, which the doctor didnt think he could do. If the waters deep enough, he can get enough of his beak in to where its missing for him to “drink normal”. He really is trying, its so wonderful. Our biggest challenges right now are fighting the infection, and nutrien because he cant eat on his own. So were keeping him warm and clean, and feeding him and weighing him. He looks just aweful and I can bearly look at him but I have too. I have to be the strong one. I dont want Sissy to freak out, so if she see’s me fine, she stays calm. So Im on duty 24-7 taking care of the duck who shouldnt be here with half a face.