Oct 17, 2012: Every month one of Britain’s leading poultry vets, Victoria Roberts, answers readers’ queries in Vet’s Forum in Country Smallholding’s Poultry magazine. Here is a typical question and answer:

QUESTION: Jemima is an adorable pet Aylesbury duck. She came to me 4 ½ years ago, already fully grown, in need of a home via the RSPCA, so I have no idea exactly how old she is. A couple of months ago she became lame on one leg, but recovered over a couple of weeks. Last week she was desperately lame again on the same leg, to the point where she ‘belly flopped’ when trying to walk. I took her to the local vet. They could not find any obvious signs of a problem – no heat nor swelling. They have put her on a seven-day course of Metacam for cats, as there was not a licensed anti-inflammatory for ducks. Is it possible that she could be suffering arthritis or rheumatism? I would be very grateful for any advice as obviously I do not want her to suffer. Many thanks, Deirdre Bell, via email VICTORIA’S ANSWER: The first thing to do when a duck is lame is to make sure that it has been wormed with Flubenvet, the licensed product. This will very often cure the lameness. Your duck may also have arthritis as you do not know how old she is and old ducks do indeed get arthritis. The medication will certainly make her feel better, but make sure she (and any others) are regularly wormed.

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