Duck opening and closing bill and making rasping sounds

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
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.

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
Thanks for looking. All of the locations, except for Davis and Turlock locations, are about 11+ hours away. I can see about Davis and Turlock, but even they are about 2 hours away and to be quite honest, taking my ducks to a location that far away is stressful for me () and for the duck. I've gone to an avian vet that was an hour away and it wasn't helpful at all (still left without a diagnosis), and really stressful for everyone involved. My ducks never seem to lay down when they are in their carrier, so they are jostling around the whole time. Solrikka is still eating, drinking and active and I think that taking her on a round trip of 4 hours would be really stressful for her and would make things worse.
I'm going to keep on trying to find a sooner appointment. Sometimes people cancel, so I'm going to see if I can get in sooner.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
183
Oakland CA
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.
I actually have some on hand from 3 years ago. I brought in my runner duck who was breathing with her body (probably asper) to a vet who prescribed it too her (didn't tell me about the liver damage bit). She had initially been brought to that other terrible vet when I saw that she was breathing with her whole body. He had taken x-rays and then told me that her egg looked large and that was the cause of her breathing problems (even thought she was laying eggs just fine.) I took her home and apart from the breathing, she was still very active, with good appetite, activity, etc. By the time I brought Fanny to a second vet that I had discovered (for something else that ailed her), many months later, she was way beyond the beyond, but was prescribed the Itraconazole and some antibiotics (because even with all the tests, she still could not definitively pinpoint what ailed Fanny). This vet will prescribe anything. She'll just tell you 'by the way, don't tell anyone I'm giving you this.'
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
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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.
Ah, the story of my duck parent life: "We don't know what is wrong with your duck. We need to do $1000 in testing." Results comes back. "The results were a inconclusive. We recommend more testing." Results come back. "Well that one was perfectly normal let's do a barium swallow test for $500." That's normal, too and they have no idea why my duck has chronic diarrhea so they casually suggest I give her 6 capsules of anti diarrhea medication twice daily for THE REST OF HER LIFE. Yeah... I'm still doing that. About to go do it now.

Of course... Sometimes they do an x-ray and see something right away. It's just so frustrating when I spend thousands and stress my ducks out by taking them to the scary vet and get no results. It is still worth it because my 3 remaining ducks would be dead without veterinary care.

My theory is that even if a vet is knowledgeable about birds ducks are different medically in some ways. Since most people don't bring their ducks to the clinic vets don't have the opportunity to be as practiced as they would be with parrots. Since my pets are little dinosaurs I forgive the vets and go into appointments knowing what to expect.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
183
Oakland CA
Ah, the story of my duck parent life: "We don't know what is wrong with your duck. We need to do $1000 in testing." Results comes back. "The results were a inconclusive. We recommend more testing." Results come back. "Well that one was perfectly normal let's do a barium swallow test for $500." That's normal, too and they have no idea why my duck has chronic diarrhea so they casually suggest I give her 6 capsules of anti diarrhea medication twice daily for THE REST OF HER LIFE. Yeah... I'm still doing that. About to go do it now.

Of course... Sometimes they do an x-ray and see something right away. It's just so frustrating when I spend thousands and stress my ducks out by taking them to the scary vet and get no results. It is still worth it because my 3 remaining ducks would be dead without veterinary care.

My theory is that even if a vet is knowledgeable about birds ducks are different medically in some ways. Since most people don't bring their ducks to the clinic vets don't have the opportunity to be as practiced as they would be with parrots. Since my pets are little dinosaurs I forgive the vets and go into appointments knowing what to expect.
6 capsules of anti-diarrhea meds! Wow!

You describe my experience to a T. It's not the money aspect as much (although yes, that part doesn't feel good) as it's the stress and letdown of wanting your loved one aka duck, to be well, but feeling like your efforts are in vain, as the medical support is just not there. And if your pet dies, it's truly heartbreaking. I cried for days when one of my ducks died.

I think the prevailing thought in the vet industry is that if a duck is ailing, let it ail and get another one. I'm hoping that will change, now that more and more people see ducks/chickens, etc as pets rather than egg machines. Hopefully, in the future, we'll see just as many poultry vets as we do dog and cat vets. The industry just hasn't caught up yet.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
1,343
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6 capsules of anti-diarrhea meds! Wow!

You describe my experience to a T. It's not the money aspect as much (although yes, that part doesn't feel good) as it's the stress and letdown of wanting your loved one aka duck, to be well, but feeling like your efforts are in vain, as the medical support is just not there. And if your pet dies, it's truly heartbreaking. I cried for days when one of my ducks died.

I think the prevailing thought in the vet industry is that if a duck is ailing, let it ail and get another one. I'm hoping that will change, now that more and more people see ducks/chickens, etc as pets rather than egg machines. Hopefully, in the future, we'll see just as many poultry vets as we do dog and cat vets. The industry just hasn't caught up yet.
I'm right there with you.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
183
Oakland CA
Got Solrikka to the vet, which in the age of covid, which was even more stressful than it usually is, as I couldn't go in with her and it took forever for me to get her back when I surrendered her at the vet. Vet suggested both antibiotics (sulfa) for any possible respiratory infection and Itraconazole for any possible Aspergillosis. I've already starting giving her the antibiotics, but had to order the Itraconazole. She also told me that Solrikka seems to have lost weight. Not good. I do see that she has slight in-appetance. She's still eating, but not with gusto. The only thing she attacks are the black soldier fly larvae I am giving her. She's molting now (I can see her pin new pin feathers coming in), so I am also giving her cat food, which she has quite an appetite for. She's turning her nose up at her maintenance food and only has somewhat of an appetite for peas, tomatoes and lettuce. She'll eat them but not attack them, as she usually does.
It was supposed to be windy and cold outside today, so I kept her in one of those large plastic totes with a heat lamp and gave her nutri drench and homemade ACV in her water. She absolutely hated it and didn't rest the whole time and wouldn't eat much of anything. Unfortunately, my house is such that she can hear her sisters outside no matter what room I put her in. The other Welsh Harlequin she grew up with was quacking for her the whole time and she was quacking back. I tried to cover the top of tote with a flannel sheet, but I could tell she still wasn't settling down to rest and seemed stressed. My husband said that since the wind stopped and it was sunny outside, we should let her see her sister, which I decided to do. Once I did, and she saw her sisters, she started joining them in meals. It's so much easier to keep ducks inside when they are really quiet and sick. If they even have a bit of energy left, they just seemed stressed by it all. It is supposed to get cold tonight, so she's staying in. Her sisters will be sleeping and quiet and I'm hoping that with the dark, she'll just hunker down to rest.

I noticed that when she was inside that she didn't 'hiccup' at all unless she ate something or started foraging in the pine shavings I had lined her tote with.

Everyone say a prayer to the saint of not quite healthy ducks for me.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
1,343
3,377
341
Carnation, Wa
Got Solrikka to the vet, which in the age of covid, which was even more stressful than it usually is, as I couldn't go in with her and it took forever for me to get her back when I surrendered her at the vet. Vet suggested both antibiotics (sulfa) for any possible respiratory infection and Itraconazole for any possible Aspergillosis. I've already starting giving her the antibiotics, but had to order the Itraconazole. She also told me that Solrikka seems to have lost weight. Not good. I do see that she has slight in-appetance. She's still eating, but not with gusto. The only thing she attacks are the black soldier fly larvae I am giving her. She's molting now (I can see her pin new pin feathers coming in), so I am also giving her cat food, which she has quite an appetite for. She's turning her nose up at her maintenance food and only has somewhat of an appetite for peas, tomatoes and lettuce. She'll eat them but not attack them, as she usually does.
It was supposed to be windy and cold outside today, so I kept her in one of those large plastic totes with a heat lamp and gave her nutri drench and homemade ACV in her water. She absolutely hated it and didn't rest the whole time and wouldn't eat much of anything. Unfortunately, my house is such that she can hear her sisters outside no matter what room I put her in. The other Welsh Harlequin she grew up with was quacking for her the whole time and she was quacking back. I tried to cover the top of tote with a flannel sheet, but I could tell she still wasn't settling down to rest and seemed stressed. My husband said that since the wind stopped and it was sunny outside, we should let her see her sister, which I decided to do. Once I did, and she saw her sisters, she started joining them in meals. It's so much easier to keep ducks inside when they are really quiet and sick. If they even have a bit of energy left, they just seemed stressed by it all. It is supposed to get cold tonight, so she's staying in. Her sisters will be sleeping and quiet and I'm hoping that with the dark, she'll just hunker down to rest.

I noticed that when she was inside that she didn't 'hiccup' at all unless she ate something or started foraging in the pine shavings I had lined her tote with.

Everyone say a prayer to the saint of not quite healthy ducks for me.
Thanks for the update, I've been thinking about you both and hoping Solrikka was doing ok. I'm so glad she's starting some treatment. Did the vet hear any abnormal respiratory noises with a stethoscope?
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
183
Oakland CA
The Vet tech also said that I should look out for neurological symptoms one she gets on the Itraconazole....seizures, wierd tics, depression. She told me as I was picking Solrikka up, not as part of the vet consultation.
 

austroberta

Songster
Oct 1, 2017
457
636
183
Oakland CA
Thanks for the update, I've been thinking about you both and hoping Solrikka was doing ok. I'm so glad she's starting some treatment. Did the vet hear any abnormal respiratory noises with a stethoscope?
She didn't mention anything over the phone and I wasn't there to see her examination. She gave me a lot of information and I should have asked, but didn't. I'm glad I brought her, as the lost weight is disconcerting, but man oh man, it really is stressful taking your pet to the vet these days. I hated not being in the room with her. She was also really spooked/stressed when I took her home and wouldn't eat anything for hours (despite not having eating for the 4+ hours she was away from home when I was taking her to the vet.)
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
1,343
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Carnation, Wa
The Vet tech also said that I should look out for neurological symptoms one she gets on the Itraconazole....seizures, wierd tics, depression. She told me as I was picking Solrikka up, not as part of the vet consultation.
Pigweed did great on it - I couldn't notice any side effects. And I accidentally overdosed her for the first week. I thought it said twice daily instead of once daily. Oops. Hopefully Solrikka won't have side effects either. At 6 weeks Pig's liver enzymes started to become very slightly elevated, and the since hiccuping had stopped we stopped the meds, too.
 

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