Duck opening and closing bill and making rasping sounds

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
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Carnation, Wa
When my welsh harlequin had a respiratory infection the only initial sign was a frequent hiccupy noise. The vet could hear slight respiratory noises with a stethoscope after several months passed, and then after a few more months passed we could see changes in her x-rays. After about a year she was open mouth breathing and we could hear her breathing noises without a stethoscope. She did have aspergillosis, diagnosed by the vet via necropsy. We live near Seattle where it is very wet.

I'm not saying I think your duck has aspergillosis, just that this is my experience.

 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
When my welsh harlequin had a respiratory infection the only initial sign was a frequent hiccupy noise. The vet could hear slight respiratory noises with a stethoscope after several months passed, and then after a few more months passed we could see changes in her x-rays. After about a year she was open mouth breathing and we could hear her breathing noises without a stethoscope. She did have aspergillosis, diagnosed by the vet via necropsy. We live near Seattle where it is very wet.

I'm not saying I think your duck has aspergillosis, just that this is my experience.

Oh my. That's exactly what she does. That's bad news for her, as, from my understanding, Asperpillosis is very difficult to completely get rid of. Did the vet indicate Asper before she died or was it just diagnosed with the necropsy? If the vet did indicate Asper, was there a protocol.

Thanks so much for the video and info. Even though it's bad news, it's incredibly helpful.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
When my welsh harlequin had a respiratory infection the only initial sign was a frequent hiccupy noise. The vet could hear slight respiratory noises with a stethoscope after several months passed, and then after a few more months passed we could see changes in her x-rays. After about a year she was open mouth breathing and we could hear her breathing noises without a stethoscope. She did have aspergillosis, diagnosed by the vet via necropsy. We live near Seattle where it is very wet.

I'm not saying I think your duck has aspergillosis, just that this is my experience.

My Solrikka looks so much like Gingersnap, with that beautiful flash of blue/purple feathers on her wings.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
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Carnation, Wa
Oh my. That's exactly what she does. That's bad news for her, as, from my understanding, Asperpillosis is very difficult to completely get rid of. Did the vet indicate Asper before she died or was it just diagnosed with the necropsy? If the vet did indicate Asper, was there a protocol.

Thanks so much for the video and info. Even though it's bad news, it's incredibly helpful.
My pleasure, but I'm very sorry to hear the symptoms sounds the same.

So, with Gingersnap it progressed very slowly and at first my vet thought she was just eating her food too quickly. The frequency of the noise increased, and I brought Gingersnap back to the vet a few months later. Then the vet could hear some faint noises but not see anything on the x-rays. They started Gingersnap on a month of antibiotics. That didn't help so they gave her a month of antifungals. That also didn't work so they gave her a more serious antifungal that isn't allowed for ducks. At this point the noise stopped increased in frequency, but didn't decrease in frequency. This is also when they started seeing a mass in her respiratory system. They weren't sure if she had aspergillosis or not, they suspected it as an option. They wanted to scope her, but we afraid to dislodge the potential fungal plug. I think we did the more serious antifungal for a few months until the noise started increasing again. The x-rays showed that the mass was much larger. We started nebulizing an antifungal medication for her 3 times daily and that helped her a lot. She was actually getting better, but then she began getting worse again. Eventually it got to where she was clearly miserable, breathing was very difficult, and we had her euthanized. The vet was surprised with how entirely full half of her chest was with aspergillosis. The diagnosis was only entirely confirmed with necropsy. I should point out that in the last 3 months of Gingersnap's life alone I spent about $8,000.

However! When my other duck, Pigweed, started making that noise I made an emergency appointment at the vet the next day. I asked that they give me itraconazole - the medication that worked to stop Gingersnap's noise from increasing. Pigweed made less of that noise within a week. I gave her the medication for 6 weeks only. A year later she's fine. The total necessary cost was about $300. I opted for extra blood testing to monitor organ function. The drug can be hard on the liver and I wanted to give it for as long as possible without hurting her. Obviously my ducks are pets.

My understanding is that aspergillosis can grow at different speeds. Sometimes medication just keeps it from growing, but doesn't shrink or kill it. It is REALLY hard to treat - but acting quickly is critical. I really hope your duck doesn't have this.
 

Fuchsia

🌷 Anna 🌷
Jul 19, 2020
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NY
When my welsh harlequin had a respiratory infection the only initial sign was a frequent hiccupy noise. The vet could hear slight respiratory noises with a stethoscope after several months passed, and then after a few more months passed we could see changes in her x-rays. After about a year she was open mouth breathing and we could hear her breathing noises without a stethoscope. She did have aspergillosis, diagnosed by the vet via necropsy. We live near Seattle where it is very wet.

I'm not saying I think your duck has aspergillosis, just that this is my experience.

Now I am worried! I have a duck that makes sounds like that some times! :hmm
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
1,580
281
Carnation, Wa
Now I am worried! I have a duck that makes sounds like that some times! :hmm
oh no! :( If it is much quieter than Gingersnap and when eating dusty food I might not worry.

If it is loud, they shake their heads after, they do it frequently or when not eating, I would worry.

Gingersnap did start by doing it when eating - but not exclusively with dusty stuff. She did it even when foraging. At first she did it only about 3 times a day.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
1,580
281
Carnation, Wa
Now I am worried! I have a duck that makes sounds like that some times! :hmm
And just because I would worry doesn't mean it is an actual problem. After what I've gone through with aspergillosis and my ducks, if my ducks even think about making an odd respiratory noise I worry.
 

Fuchsia

🌷 Anna 🌷
Jul 19, 2020
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476
NY
oh no! :( If it is much quieter than Gingersnap and when eating dusty food I might not worry.

If it is loud, they shake their heads after, they do it frequently or when not eating, I would worry.

Gingersnap did start by doing it when eating - but not exclusively with dusty stuff. She did it even when foraging. At first she did it only about 3 times a day.
I would post a video to so you could hear but I can't because I don't have a youtube.
 

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