Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Old swan can
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 8 May 2014
In Response To: Old swan can't hold her head up (Paul)

Hi Paul:
Any failure to hold the head erect could be the result of many issues. She could be older and the muscles have weakened, she may have an illness or toxicity, or in pain. How is her appetite? If she is still eating, pooping and able to keep her feathers tidy, then these would all be good signs. If any or all of the above behaviors have changed, then she definitely may be in distress. Has she been allowed to swim in a VERY structured water feature so that you can retrieve her should she not be able to float or exit the water alone? She may need to swim, since she seems to perk up when you water her and speak to her, this could be a sign that she might be somewhat depressed. However, we would strongly suggest that you first, have her examined by a veterinarian to ensure that nothing else is occurring.

We have contacted Bob Knox, of Knox Swans and Dog, Barrington, Illinois to see if he can advise you of the possible problem or provide you with the name of a local experienced waterfowl/swan veterinarian. Bob’s number is (847) 875-3947.

If you are feeding her a mixture of poultry layer pellet, cracked corn and lettuce, she should have most of the nutrients that swans require. However, since she is an older bird, just like humans as they age, nutrient levels change and she may need some supplemental nutrients. If she is in pain from arthritis or other such neuromuscular compromise, the veterinarian may prescribe a medication such as Medicam which will control any pain and allow her to continue her mobility. The bottom line is that she needs to be seen by an experienced swan/waterfowl veterinarian. We hope that this information is of benefit. Please let us know how this works out. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Old swan can't hold her head up -- Paul -- 8 May 2014
Re: Old swan can -- The Regal Swan -- 8 May 2014