Duck opening and closing bill and making rasping sounds

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
1,580
281
Carnation, Wa
Would they quack too if they had aspergillosis, or just make the squeaky sound?
Gingersnap did loose her ability to quack. The hiccup/squeek seemed involuntary.

Pigweed's aspergillosis never progressed far enough to affect her quack, and she shout quacked at me the entire time.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
21,209
81,810
1,051
Iowa
If she's still having a hard time breathing, I think it would be in the best interest of your duck, to see a vet.

Heavy breathing like that, could be due to a blockage in the airway, a fungal problem, a reproductive disorder such as EYP which will build up pressure in the body, leading to pressure against the lungs which can result in a hard time breathing, respiratory disease is a possibility, but it's unlikely as you'd expect to see other symptoms.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
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.
I'm wondering if it might be too late for her. Her mouth breathing is slighter today, but I definitely see strong tail bobbing (when her whole body starts to move to breathe.) I'm going to take her to the vet (although the next available isn't until 11/6) , but I'm thinking that with Aspergillosis, when they start mouth breathing, they're beyond the beyond. I could take her to the ER, but in my experience, animals don't receive the same attention as scheduled appointments, especially where 'exotic pet' vet visits are concerned. I'll try specifically requesting itraconazole.

I've read the same thing about Asper...that it can be slowed down, but it's very difficult to completely eradicate and that one stress event can make it come back with a vengeance.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
If she's still having a hard time breathing, I think it would be in the best interest of your duck, to see a vet.

Heavy breathing like that, could be due to a blockage in the airway, a fungal problem, a reproductive disorder such as EYP which will build up pressure in the body, leading to pressure against the lungs which can result in a hard time breathing, respiratory disease is a possibility, but it's unlikely as you'd expect to see other symptoms.
I'll definitely take her to the vet, but the next open appointment is 11/6.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
21,209
81,810
1,051
Iowa
I'll definitely take her to the vet, but the next open appointment is 11/6.
Could you take her to another one that could see her in the next few days? CA has quite a few vets.

California Animal Health & Food Safety
Davis Branch Laboratory
P.O. Box 1770
Davis, CA 95617-1770
Phone: (530) 752-8700
Fax: (530) 752-6253
California Animal Health & Food Safety
San Bernardino Branch Laboratory
105 West Central Avenue
P.O. Box 5579
San Bernardino, CA 92412-5579
Phone: (909) 383-4287
Fax: (909) 884-5980
California Animal Health & Food Safety
Turlock Branch Laboratory
P.O. Box 1522
Turlock, CA 95381
Phone: (209) 634-5837
Fax: (209) 667-4261
San Diego County Veterinarian Office
Building 4, County Operations Center
5555 Overland Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123-1219
Phone: (619) 694-2838
Fax: (619) 571-4268
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
Could you take her to another one that could see her in the next few days? CA has quite a few vets.
Not 'exotic pet' vets and even among those exotic pet vets, not all of them are worth visiting. They'll tell you I don't know what she has, here's some N-Saids. I've gone to different ones and found that their knowledge of birds is very limited. I brought my Runner Duck to a vet one time and he asked me, 'does she always stand tall like that?' Uh yah...she's a Runner Duck.
Covid is also making it difficult to get even cat and dog appointments, let alone exotic pet appointments.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
1,580
281
Carnation, Wa
Not 'exotic pet' vets and even among those exotic pet vets, not all of them are worth visiting. They'll tell you I don't know what she has, here's some N-Saids. I've gone to different ones and found that their knowledge of birds is very limited. I brought my Runner Duck to a vet one time and he asked me, 'does she always stand tall like that?' Uh yah...she's a Runner Duck.
Covid is also making it difficult to get even cat and dog appointments, let alone exotic pet appointments.
Lol about the vet asking about your runner standing tall! It would be hard for me to trust them to give me appropriate duck advise.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
441
618
183
Oakland CA
Lol about the vet asking about your runner standing tall! It would be hard for me to trust them to give me appropriate duck advise.
I didn't trust him at all at that point. He was my first vet experience with a duck (I was a new duck parent) and I was really soured on exotic pet vets for a while. Most of the ones that have followed have been better than him, but still are seemingly lacking in knowledge and what they lack for in knowledge they try to make up for with very expensive tests. Even with the expensive tests, they still don't seem to be able to pinpoint what ails the ducks I've brought, or they prescribe protocols that don't work at all and then want to do more tests. I'm having a heck of a time finding a duck vet I can feel confident about. I've even had a bad experience with an actual avian vet.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
866
1,580
281
Carnation, Wa
I'm wondering if it might be too late for her. Her mouth breathing is slighter today, but I definitely see strong tail bobbing (when her whole body starts to move to breathe.) I'm going to take her to the vet (although the next available isn't until 11/6) , but I'm thinking that with Aspergillosis, when they start mouth breathing, they're beyond the beyond. I could take her to the ER, but in my experience, animals don't receive the same attention as scheduled appointments, especially where 'exotic pet' vet visits are concerned. I'll try specifically requesting itraconazole.

I've read the same thing about Asper...that it can be slowed down, but it's very difficult to completely eradicate and that one stress event can make it come back with a vengeance.
Unfortunately, I believe itraconazole is one of those medications that aren't approved of for use in animals that are part of the food chain. Technically vets can lose their license if they prescribe it to ducks. I believe it is regulated by the USDA, and so the rule applies regardless of state but I hope I'm wrong. Some vets seem to not care, others are very serious about it, and others will give these drugs only to established patients or after trying the approved possibly less effective medications.

I'm hoping your vet will diagnosis something else.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom