Duck shaking head and having a new quack


Jun 6, 2019
I'm linking videos of my duck Mable who started shaking her head now and then, a couple months ago. Her quack has changed and that can be heard in the first video. She now has this a more croaky quack that she does when she's eating. She hasn't been herself lately, stands around more staring into space more, when she used to be my most energetic and curious duck, always quacking to get out of the run. But she also just went through a molt and I didn't know if that was why she was off. She still eats and drinks and runs out to forage, but sometimes she seems disinterested in treats - it's just random. She's on day 4 of Safeguard to make sure it's not gape worms, and I have a message in to the vet to ask what diagnostics they would do for possible aspergillosis. The other option is something she inhaled. Does anyone have any strong thoughts after seeing the videos? Thanks in advance.

Her quack:
Her head shake:
Her nostrils are clear. She swims every day, so has lots of opportunity to clear them. I don't see any other respiratory symptoms.
@isaac o - you responded to me as I jumped on someone else's post a few days ago about their duck shaking its head, and I thank you for that information. That's why I decided to start treating her with Safeguard for possible gape worms. You sent the diagram of the trachea, etc. and I thank you for that. If you have other thoughts after seeing the videos, let me know. Thanks!
Looking at the video, it seems to me she's attempting to dislodge something in her throat. To be more specific, I would say the trachea since you're noticing a voice change, so the syrinx may be getting involved.

I can't rule out Aspergillus over the internet, but in most case's your going to see a pretty fast decline in health, and it's not going to be sporadic symptoms such as you're/we're seeing.

The same goes with something like Egg Yolk Peritonitis, where you have a build-up of fluids in the abdominal cavity, that might put pressure on her respiratory system, and cause some dyspnea. You may feel her abdominal area, but her symptoms seem to be leaning more towards tracheal obstruction to me.

As far as seeking vet care, I would be more focused on having a tracheoscopy, and radiograph done to determine if there is anything in her trachea restricting air.

Sadly, whether it be a piece of shaving lodged in her trachea or a sharp object lodged in her esophagus, it's way too far down for anything to be really done at home, and I'm hesitant to suggest any antifungal or antimicrobial therapy, as I mentioned in the other thread, that could potentially make the problem worse.

I wish we could be more of help, but I think vet care might be best, especially if she's getting worse.
Most certainly wait to hear what your vet says. What's suggested above is purely an educated guess basing off her symptoms, and is by no means a diagnosis.

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