Baby 1 week old mallard duckling, loud, heavy breathing, can't chirp, keeps opening mouth and small

CharlotteB

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
17
0
22
London
I heard it could be something serious like Aspergillosis but I took it to the vet and he said if it is that there was no cure, and he gave me antibiotics which would get rid of any infection if it's there (the antibiotic is called Baytril) there doesn't seem to be much improvement after 24 hours of taking the antibiotic :/ I heard that putting the duckling next to a hot shower to breathe the steam so I did that today but still no change? I have no idea where any places that sell probiotic or duck supplements to get them for him so they can't be given to him and I don't know what else to do! The two are inseperable and it would be awful if one died! Please help, does anyone know what I could do? They are being fed chick starter crumbs suitable for ducklings and always have heat and water, any advice would help! Thank you
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
108
161
What is your brooder temp? Do they have water deep enough to clean their nares? I doubt it is aspergilloses.

Clint
 

CharlotteB

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
17
0
22
London
What is your brooder temp? Do they have water deep enough to clean their nares? I doubt it is aspergilloses.

Clint

Not sure the temp, they are in our garden shed and my dad made a light bulb on a flowerpot contraption which apparently heats up the whole shed, it's a 60watt bulb and is a 30 mins on/ 30 mins off rotation. Their water is about a quarter of an inch deep and I put them in a tub of like warm deeper water yesterday and they both had a very good wash, the heavy breathing seems to get worse after moving around/stress from handling etc?
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
108
161
Check the temp.... really sounds too hot...should be 85-90 if a week old....reduce 5°/week after. Give deeper water daily.

Clint
 

CharlotteB

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
17
0
22
London
Check the temp.... really sounds too hot...should be 85-90 if a week old....reduce 5°/week after. Give deeper water daily.

Clint

Would that be causing the problem though? I wondered if maybe it was too cold? But the other duckling is perfectly fine so it's not that he is panting or anything like that, I've never seen the other duckling act similarly
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
108
161
Panting is normally associated with things being too hot....stress adds to that. Just as people respond differently to stimuli, so do ducks.

Clint
 

CharlotteB

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
17
0
22
London
I left them in a pen outside and it's quite chilly where I am, and he was still breathing very loudly and heavily. Also, how would panting and heat affect it's ability to chirp/quack?
 

HollyDuckFarmer

Songster
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
2,683
165
208
LP Michigan
Not exactly sure how to answer your question, but constant temperatures are better than the two extremes of either warm or chilly.

Do you have a thermometer? You should aim for the temps advised by Clint above, and you should just keep things steady. Im not saying a "bug" of some sort is 100% impossible, just not very likely. And it sounds to me like you've got brooder temperature issues. At one week old, they're too little to be outside unless outside = 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Or unless they are safely near a Broody Mom ready to share some body heat. Loud heavy breathing says stress.

When I had littles without a mom, they were inside of a Rubbermaid tote, lined with straw or wood chips, and I used a red heat light. I would position it so that one area of the brooder box was lit up and warm, but the other side was not getting quite as much light, and so therefore was not quite as warm. That way, ducklings could go where they needed to go to be comfortable. Into the light if chilled, for warmth, or off to the shady side if too warm and needing to cool off.

A thermometer is your best indicator.
 
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