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Q&A: Why Does My Duck Have a Swollen Chest on One Side?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works with dogs, cats, exotics, and livestock.

Why Is My Duck's Chest Two Different Sizes?

"Apparently someone dumped a pet duck at a local city park here near Tulsa, OK. We’ve been feeding her twice a day while trying to figure out the best thing to do for her. We don’t want her to wind up on someone’s dinner table, but we are wondering about the difference in her chest sizes. Is there a crop problem? We may need to trap her and take her somewhere, but need a clue before we proceed." —Jeanne

Pendulous Crop in Ducks

It just looks like a pendulous crop. This can happen from time to time if something gets stuck and the crop is swollen with rough weeds and rubber pieces for a long time, which causes the muscles to lose their ability to shrink back to normal between meals.

Is Pendulous Crop Dangerous?

It is not dangerous in any way, just kind of strange-looking. Your bird appears to be in great shape, so the food she's eating seems to be passing through okay.

There is no way I can tell you for sure, however, without a physical exam.

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Read More From Pethelpful

How to Tend to Crop Problems in Ducks

When one of my neighbors has a duck with a crop issue, I usually recommend they sequester the bird for a day and give only water—no food—and see if the crop returns to normal.

If not, the crop might be blocked and will need to be cleaned out. (Some partial blockages lead to a sour crop, and the duck might need to be on antibiotics to clean out the local infection.)

What Are Next Steps?

There is a slight possibility that this is an abscess too, but based on the video this seems unlikely. If you are able to trap the bird, take her to a veterinarian and have them examine the crop, clean it out if necessary, and do a physical exam to see if there is an abscess.

Best of luck with her.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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