If your duck’s eyes are all crusted over and you don’t want the poor girl to die, one thing you might try is to soak some cotton balls in saline solution. Then, after wrapping a towel around her wings to minimize flapping, hold the soaked cotton on the duck’s head for say 15 minutes to soften the crud. Dab it gently with a soft, dry napkin to absorb some gunk.
Carefully, carefully, try to peel away as much of that crusty boogery stuff as possible. If you don’t, she’ll remain effectively blind and either starve or get pecked to death by the others in her flock. Make sure you’re peeling away crud, rather than attached duck parts, such as the eyelid, or even the eye itself, in case the eyeball burst and the crusty stuff is nastier than just duck snot. Then, flush the eyes generously and gently with more saline solution. Repeat twice per day.
In Peep’s case, we got lucky. Her actual eyeballs are intact. Her issue doesn’t seem to be a severe trauma or a malevolent fungus eating away her head. It’s just something around her eyes that got infected, like conjunctivitis. It looked worse than it was, thankfully, because it looked absolutely horrific and as if there was no hope.
It took a couple days to peel all the hard stuff away from her eyes and face, but things are much better now. I’m just flushing her left eye with saline solution once a day, singing the “Rubber Ducky” song to calm her down. Okay, to calm myself down. Ducks don’t actually like the “Rubby Ducky” song. She probably thinks I’m about to eat her, each treatment. How could she not?
Her right eye is now fine. The left one is a little watery, still, and a little pink around the eyelid. But she looks more or less back to normal and not like a dying duck. I’m grateful for the help of my vet friend for helping me through this. Peep probably thinks my antics have been just adding insult to injury, but it’s really human science and compassion that saved her. And opposable thumbs.
Mostly, animals aren’t difficult to take care of. Just give them fresh food and water every day, and lock them up safely at night. Easy. Except when something goes wrong. Then, it’s not so easy. Suddenly, you’re in a life-and-death situation, and you have to do things way outside of your comfort zone or else your friend will die.
There’s much to be said for stuffed animals.