Successful Medical Procedure Performed on Neighborhood Duck

An unusual procedure was performed on a duck that the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic has never seen before.

For one-year-old Chester, he was suffering a penetrating wound and his esophagus and skin healed together.

But, the AU veterinarians were ready to take on this case.

Bob Schulz and his family live on a 300 acre lake in Newnan, Georgia.

They adopted some ducks awhile back and others started to show up. That’s where Chester came into the picture.

“We are kind of like the surrogate parents for him now,” said Schulz.

Around 130 ducks plus Chester hangout on their lake.

“He’s here every night and comes and hangs out. There’s a group of them that hangout together. We have a whole clan of them now,” said Schulz.

Schulz noticed a hole in Chester’s neck and saw food spilling out of it. That’s when he called a couple veterinarians in his area, but a surgery like that would have been tricky and pretty unusual.

“While they do a lot of wild rescues around here they said, well it’s a duck. Yeah he is, but he’s been a staple around here,” said Schulz.

So, they brought him to the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic and to their surprise as well they’ve never seen anything like this before in a duck.

“This penetrating wound caused this quarter sized hole and instead of feather skin healing to feather skin and esophagus healing to esophagus, the body got confused and the feathered skin healed to the esophagus. Basically making a hole from his esophagus out to his skin so when he ate some of his food would dribble out,” said Dr. Seth Oster, Assistant Clinical Professor.

Chester’s body thought it fully healed. But, the 45 minute very delicate surgery went extremely well and Chester is back on the lake with his clan.

“The human-animal bond is very interesting. You can’t assign value to I don’t own this animal or because this animal is inexpensive to get, doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable to people,“ said Dr. Oster.

Even though he is a duck, Chester is a big part of their community.

“We hate if he wasn’t here. I understand some people do extreme measures to save animals not that they do become part of your family, but you see them everyday and we would miss him so you put that cost value on what would you do and what you wouldn’t do,” said Schulz.

Chester is fully healed and doing very well.

Neither Schulz nor the veterinarians know exactly how Chester was injured. They speculate that it may have been caused by a protruding nail or other sharp object on the lake’s seawall.

Categories: Alabama News