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2015 February 1

Raccoon Attacks are not Good for Ducks

[Scene: Sunday morning. Scared, worried mom on the phone.]

Duck down, but quacking and eating.

The little duck could not walk, but she could eat!

“Dr. Springer, I’m sorry to bother you on Sunday, but Bo-Etta’s hurt real bad. That raccoon got her and it doesn’t look good,” said Jenn, Bo-Etta’s concerned mom.

 I could hear the edge of controlled panic in Jenn’s voice. She is not a person to panic or give up. Yet I was worried this might be Bo-Etta’s last day on Earth. Raccoon attacks are no laughing matter; it’s a miracle the little duck survived at all. Well, a miracle named Jenn.

 I remembered her love for any and all of her pets (even all the unexpected baby hedgehogs). Bo-Etta was her gentle, sweet white duck. She and her mate lived in Jenn’s yard. The ducks enjoyed picking at worms and bugs in the yard, all the chow they wanted, a fresh clean duck pool every evening, and the company of two awesome chickens and a miniature poodle.

Each evening right before sunset, the ducks waddled over to their hut, up their duck ramp, and into the pool. Then Jenn closed the door for the night to keep them safe from predators, especially the marauding raccoons. Until Saturday night.

 “The raccoons changed their schedule. They showed up five minutes early,” said the injured duck’s mom. “He had her by her thigh. I had to wrestle her away from the raccoon. I thought she was going to die. This morning she can’t walk and there’s lots of blood. Can you come over?”

 Bo-Etta the Duck’s Injuries

Bo-Etta lay on soft green grass in front of a pile of corn and lettuce and duck feed. Her orange bill pushed as much corn out of her reach as it took in as she gobbled food.

 “She’s eating. That’s a sign she’s not in shock or septic,” I said.

 Bo-Etta’s right thigh was swollen and after we cleaned some crusted blood away, she had 2 puncture holes in her thigh. She was swollen and bruised, but not broken. Her internal organs escaped damage. She seemed playful and hungry.

 “She’s got a chance.”


Acupuncture needles channel stagnant qi around the little white dick's bitten right hip

Duck Acupuncture

We gave Bo-Etta antibiotics and painkillers. We cleaned her wounds. She had acupuncture treatments designed to decrease pain and speed healing.

 “She cannot move her leg. If we see improvement in nerve function within 72 hours, then we should continue treatment. If not, then…” I said.

 Jenn pointed out,”That drake keeps bothering her. I think I’m going to keep her inside at night.”

 Bo-Etta Prevails

 As Jenn and I set Bo-Etta in her pond 68 hours later, she touched her right webbed foot to the bottom of the kiddie pool duck pond. She kicked off and waved her right leg in the water 3 times as she paddled with her left leg.

 “Did you see that?” asked Jenn. “Did I just imagine that?”

 “I saw it too, she’s getting better.”

 Against great odds, Be-Etta fully recovered from her raccoon misadventure. She and her drake are now retired to The Dancing Goat Farm, far out of the reach of the raccoon’s schemes.

The bathroom with a tub of water and a pillow ramp (washable) up to the ledge, makes a fine, safe duck hospital room.

Duck Hospital Room



4 Responses leave one →
  1. Barb Robinson permalink
    February 8, 2015

    Wonderful story! I really like the Duck Hospital Room. 🙂
    Congratulations on your new adventure…and thanks for letting me know.

  2. May 1, 2015

    It is really lucky that your duck didn’t get any other injuries from that raccoon. It was a good thing you were able to take the duck into the hospital to get treated. You never know what one infection from another animal will do to yours.

    • Doc Truli permalink*
      May 3, 2015

      Dear Laila,
      The beauty of it was- she did not go to the hospital for treatment. Doc Truli visited her house so the duck never had to get frightened by the hospital environment. Plus- she has since had ducklings that a chicken at the goat farm is raising as her own! (You cannot even see a limp when she walks)
      Doc Truli

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