Duck having trouble breathing...Update 3-22

classroomducks

Songster
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
350
2
119
Fort Worth, Tx
Hey guys, I havent posted in a while since my parents took my babies. However, They have run into an issue and my mom does not know what to do. One of our girls, a 4 1/2 month old pekin, is showing some signs of distress. I havent seen it, but my mom said she seems to be having trouble breathing. She said she breathes with her entire body...everything compresses in when she breathes in. She is also not eating her regular food. My mom says her eyes are not as bright as the others. I searched on here, but i didnt find much on ducks...found some on chickens, but I was wondering what you guys think. She did drink some water today i guess when she was swimming. But she has not eaten anything in a day or two. Any suggestions? Thanks guys....

Jodie
 
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FenDruadin

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
3,744
224
281
Charlotte, NC Area
That doesn't sound good at all. I wish I had more advice, but all I know is that shortness of breath is a danger sign, and if she can possibly get that baby to the vet, it would be a really good idea. It's possible the duck will recover with TLC, but I would be very worried about breathing difficulties. I'm sorry not to have more cheerful advice than that. I do hope she's able to get help!
 

froggie71

Songster
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
2,972
22
191
Shamong, NJ
Can she hear wheezing? We had a duck that did this over the fall last year. We immediately brought her inside. It helped to put her in a steamy bathroom. Did this everytime she seemed to have trouble. Doing research on what antibiotics are safe for ducks I came across Terramycin which most feed store were no longer supplying, but Agramycin is also ok and Baytril (which is what the vet for our local wildlife refuge always uses) These can be gotten at feed stores and online.
Hard to say what causes this respiratory issue without a vet, but can be from a change in weather, to bacterial infection to a virus. We just hoped what we did worked and it did.
Good luck and keep us posted.
ETA: As far as eating I didn't have this problem, because I think I caught it really early, but offer her favorite treats. Tomatoes are one of my ducks favorites. We put our ducks that don't want to eat in a tub with a bit of running water and add the treats. Once started then maybe she'll eat regular food as well. Other will tell you to make sure that she get yogurt/probiotics to protect digestive system. We didn't know about this and didn't do it. Our duck is perfectly healthy.
 
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classroomducks

Songster
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
350
2
119
Fort Worth, Tx
ok...i told my mom to try to get a video of her today so you guys can look at her. Vets are not really probable. But ill have her look into antibiotics and steam bathroom...what do you do just turn on the shower and put the duck on the floor and close the door? you dont put the duck actually in the water do you?


Just got off the phone with my mom...
she said when the duck breathes in, her whole chest caves in...shes really struggling...shes not eating anyting...treats or anything, but she is drinking a lot. Shes not quacking, but does stay with the other ducks. I told her about the antibiotics and the steam so shes gonna try to get the medicine today and stick her in a steamy bathroom with some tomatoes and fruit. Is there anything else we can do?
 
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froggie71

Songster
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
2,972
22
191
Shamong, NJ
Quote:
We put our duck in a large rubbermaid tub to keep down on the mess during the steam shower. But yes, closed the door. Only put her in the water when she was getting a bath or like I said if we were trying to encourage eating. I understand about the vet. I'm just saying diagnoses is something we can't do as we aren't vets. (Same thing I always say when someone asks me a medical question as I'm a nurse. We aren't allowed to diagnose, but I can give my opinion.)

ETA: ducks are surprisingly resilient. So far we have had 1 duck with respiratory issue and 3 drakes and 1 duck recover from attacks.
 
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Duck_feeder

Drowning in feathers!
10 Years
Oct 22, 2009
519
5
131
Chicago
See if your mom can quarantine the sick duck from the others. You don't want the illness spreading in the flock! It should not be sharing the same air supply as the rest of the ducks (keep in a different building if possible - a bathroom generally works well for this).

Respiratory infection or exposure to mold are the likely culprits. It would be wise to clean out their pen/run to prevent the spread. Vinegar and/or hydrogen peroxide are duck-safe and cheap antiseptics you can use (in fact using the peroxide immediately after the vinegar has been shown to be more effective than either alone - order does matter). Just put them in food-safe spray bottles and mist down the areas.

As far as caring for the duck, if a vet is out of the question look into the available antibiotics listed above. It's easiest to administer orally by inserting directly into the crop (using a liquid form of the medicine with a syringe). Be very careful with the dosages and never skip a dose (that's how bacteria causing an infection develops immunity to antibiotics).
 

classroomducks

Songster
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
350
2
119
Fort Worth, Tx
alright thanks...i am forwarding all of your help to my mom through email...the big jerk at the feed store gave my mom the meds but told her the duck would likely die and she shouldnt worry about her any more but rather turn the attention to the others. Oh well keep your fingers crossed...
 

classroomducks

Songster
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
350
2
119
Fort Worth, Tx
Update:

Well...10 days of antibioitics seemed to help her out a lot. She was eating again, seemed to be doing much better...4 days off antibiotics shes worse than she was at the beginning. Shes in the house and wont leave it. She has to open her entire mouth to breathe, her chest is caved in and its just not looking good. My dad is probably going to cull her tonight. Poor girl!

Question from my dad though...are they safe to eat after being on antibiotics?
 

froggie71

Songster
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
2,972
22
191
Shamong, NJ
I'm sorry to hear she is worse.
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I know you aren't supposed to eat eggs when giving antibiotics, so I'm gonna say the same goes for the duck as well.
 

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