AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - A pet duck is the latest animal to be to be successfully operated on at Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Duck Chester Schulz was brought in for treatment from Newnan, Georgia after being found injured near the lake he was living on.
Named after the old "Gunsmoke" western TV series character, Chester was found by his human neighbors with an injury at he base of his neck.
After no local vet would take his case, Bob Schulz, who lives in the neighborhood, drove the 1-year-old duck nearly an hour and a half from Newnan to Auburn.
Chester was first seen in June by Dr. Seth Oster, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and the college's avian veterinarian.
Oster found that Chester was loosing food and water and eventually saw that the injury went into the duck's esophagus.
"The wound had started to heal," said Oster, but not in a normal manner. "The only way to correct the injury required surgery."
The 45-minute surgery, performed by Dr. Harry Boothe, a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and a soft tissue surgeon, closed the neck wound and put Chester on the road to recovery.Chester's neighbors held him in two weeks of isolation and loving care to allow him to heal completely before he was allowed to return to his life on the lake.
Chester's injury is suspected to be caused by a protruding nail or other sharp object in the lake's seawall. Seeing as ducks can't talk, the exact cause is not known.
Schulz said Chester is doing well and happy to be back on the lake. "To look at him now, you cannot tell that he was ever injured." Schulz credited the college with taking such good care of Chester.