Mallard #20-0142

Admission Date: 
March 4, 2020
Location of Rescue: 
Fauquier County
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Likely hit by vehicle
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On March 3, a citizen found a male Mallard duck limping in a ditch by the side of the road in Fauquier County, Virginia. The rescuer was able to catch the duck and took him to New Baltimore Animal Hospital. A Wildlife Center transporter was able to pick up the duck the following day and drove him to the Center. 

Dr. Karra, the Center's senior veterinary intern, examined the duck upon admission. The duck's left leg was badly injured; radiographs confirmed a complete fracture of the leg near the duck's tarsometatarsus (ankle). The Mallard was extremely thin, and blood work confirmed that he was anemic. 

Dr. Karra began prepping materials to fashion a "boot" for the duck; this padded splint offers the duck's ankle some stability and protection as it starts to heal. The duck also received fluids and pain medication. 



In the following days, the veterinary team carefully checked and changed the duck's boot as needed, and continued to feed, hydrate, and medicate the duck. On March 13, another set of radiographs were taken to check on the fractured leg; overall, the soft tissue at the site of the injury was less swollen, and it appeared as though an initial callous was starting to form over the fracture. 

On March 17, the duck started to acclimate to the outdoor aviary; an enclosure (without a swimming tub) was set up for the duck so that he could spend more time outside during the day. The duck walked well on both feet and began eating a little more consistently, so on March 20, the duck was able to stay outside. Radiographs confirmed that a callus was forming well. 

The Mallard is scheduled for additional radiographs on March 27; the boot may be able to be removed at that point if the fractured leg is adequately healed. 

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this injured Mallard. Thank you for your support!