My Duck is sick!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Shion, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Shion

    Shion Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Hello, I'm a first time duck owner and currently have two pet ducklings just about 3 and a half weeks old. One of them in particular I'm assuming is a boy at the moment starting from earlier last week has been wheezing quite frequently. At first I had assumed he had a cold but after doing a bit of research I had read that ducks can not catch colds. I have frequently made sure to give him lukewarm baths and blow dry him on low heat just so he doesn't get the chills, I have also been giving him a cup of water every now and then deep enough for him to wash his eyes and dip his nose in to clear them. But it wasn't until lately that I've come to realise how nothing I was doing was showing any effects of getting better. Although his poop is sometimes blocky like when I first got them, sometimes its so similar to diarrhea that I cant help but feel paranoid, my brother had assumed it was due to the baths and water that I give him more frequently now but I still can't be sure. Its just past summer here so the day and nights aren't so chilly, they're kept indoors so there aren't exactly any drafts, he also has dry bedding.

    Unfortunately being a first timer, I don't have a heat lamp to support them at night, but whenever I'm free during the day, I allow them to forage for a few hours outside after school, and then after bathing him and drying him again, I allow him to sit on my lap, still making sure to give him water every now and then. However, to be specific, today his wheezing has become unbearably noticeable, I tried giving him lukewarm water but after getting a few sips he just sat still not clearing his nose like usual. His temperature feels rather normal, not too hot not too cold, his appetite is fine, he loves to run around and rests around my feet when tired, when I'm not in sight he calls out energetically.

    Can anybody please tell me whats wrong with him? Even if your not sure, am I doing anything wrong as his owner? Any advice on how I should raise him and fix up what I'm doing or change? Please help, I'm so worried about him right now. I don't know any local vets around here since I have also never been to a vet. I have read that should give him some vitamins, but I am also not sure which and where to get them. Please help, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  2. BooBoo45

    BooBoo45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    Worcestershire, England
    The trouble is this could be so many things and only a vet will be able to tell you for sure. As he is eating, drinking and walking around OK I don't think he has something lodged, but he could have an infection that needs some antibiotics. The problem with ducks is that they carry on and don't show they are really ill, they often mask it.

    Duck poo is often runny, the time to worry is if there is blood in it and by swimming he won't get pasted up.

    I've done some research for you and found the following:

    ~Aspergillosis - this happens when ducks inhale spores from the mold that grows on the ducks' straw or feed that has become damp. These inhaled spores can cause numerous swellings or plaques in the lungs. Symptoms include gasping for breath, listlessness, and dehydration. To prevent this, always use fresh straw to avoid molds, and make sure it does not get wet.

    ~With ducks also, you must clean out they food area everyday because ducks make everywhere wet, the food gets soggy and mouldy, so can also lead to breathing problems.

    Hopefully someone else will have some ideas for you, hope you sort this out. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Try posting this in:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures

    You stand a better chance of someone helping you there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    This is a good overall guide. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, and The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook are very good hard copy resources as well.

    Since ducks are waterfowl, if you are careful, then baths - no soap, just water, and the proper temperature - as long as you don't take your eyes off them and take them out when they get tired and dry them off are fine, in my experience. Some folks wait two weeks. We waited two days.

    In my experience, help with ducks is generally easier to get posting here on the duck forum.

    Many of your questions will be answered by reading the first post on that link I gave you.

    Please look it over and get back to us with more questions.

    He may have a respiratory infection, or it could still be in the sinuses. A vet is best. Perhaps you could ask a vet a very specific question, if you had only asked if they treat birds or ducks. Are there any waterfowl rehabilitators or universities you can contact?

    And welcome to the Duck Forum
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  4. Shion

    Shion Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Thank you for the welcome and all the advice!

    Because I try to raise them domestically, they're mainly kept indoors or within the perimeters of my backyard so I often clean out their food almost after every 4-5 hours or so since I'm manually feeding them. So as of the moment, I don't think I have to be entirely concerned about mold being inhaled and the such. However what does bother me is that sometimes they do gasps for breath and in times of those I simply give them a cup of slightly cooler water to drink. :\

    I have read the link and it was a great amount of help on how to properly raise them, thank you. Unfortunately, as much as I want to bring them to a vet, I'm actually still quite young and dependent on my parents for financial issues and as far as disapproving me owning a duck, my parents in particular are completely against bringing them to a vet despite my pleas. If possible, I am planning to return to the place where I had first bought them and check if they have any vitamins or antibodies to boost up their immunity and the such, does anyone have any recommendations on what kind I should be looking for?

    Also, my other duck has begun getting the sniffles much like this one although not as bad but what worries me is that today not so long ago, she vomited a total of 3 times! Just about half an hour after foraging and taking a bath. From the looks of it, it looked like a mixture of mainly grass and dirt. It was large and clumpy, a bit like their solid poop but with strands of grass sticking in and out of it. Is this normal? I had made sure to have a water source around whenever they went foraging in my backyard, other than eating some cherry tomatoes, fallen persimmons, and some spiders (I think) under our pot handles, they haven't really touched on any of our herbs and only wandered around the bottom picking up bugs and the sort. Should I be worried about her vomiting? Did she simply just eat to much? (Because between the two shes always eating more) Or is there something I should be careful of in her diet when concerning them foraging?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Is she getting grit? They can get impacted digestive systems without sufficient grit.
     
  6. Shion

    Shion Out Of The Brooder

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    No, I'm afraid I'm not exactly sure, though its most likely a no since I give them basic starter feed about 18% protein given they're still young and I let them freely forage around. I don't believe my backyard has many small pebbles either. What do you suggest I should use to give them some grit? I've read that some people used small pebbles and sand though I may be able to get some, I'm not sure how to apply it.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Miss Lydia wrote that she would bring some grass with roots and soil in to the ducklings - it would need to be from a spot not fertilized or poisoned.

    Or a tiny bit of clean sand, a quarter teaspoon sprinkled on the food.
     
  8. Shion

    Shion Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Understood, thank you very much, as a novice and first timer, I believe you have taught me many things and I still have many things to learn, its somewhat brought piece into my mind. I was honestly a bit confused with the pebbles and sand because I wasn't sure if they would swallow it or not (because my duck previously had choked on a cherry tomato she found which forced us to assist her in removing it I'm a bit paranoid).

    And I'm so sorry for the trouble, but since I have someone here with so much more knowledge than me, has your ducks ever had red spots/marks on their webbed feet? Just today some had appeared on him and although when I touch it, he remains calm and asleep he refuses to sit down and fold up his feet, I'm a bit worried if this is an injury or infection, its completely flat and other than its look, it doesn't pop up or feel out of place.
     
  9. ktduck

    ktduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed are your ducks?
    This happened to my little boy too , he would gasp and pant non stop for hours. The best I could do was just make sure he always had water nearby and fed him kale and bok Choy with their food, it made a good difference.
    The vets cost me just over $400 ( ahh!!!) and he had a heart murmur. Which he has now grown out of, but they did give me some
    Duck medicine to ease any pain.
    I guess it is up to you if you wish to go to the vet, it helped to ease my mind, but I now know that my ducks would have been fine without the $400 trip to the vets, but it's so hard not to worry about the little babies.
     
  10. Shion

    Shion Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    To be honest, I am unsure of their breed since my mother had chosen them from a breeder without asking but one of them I believe to be a pekin (since her beak has begun changing to a lovely orange) however although the other should seem to be a pekin as well, his beak remains a fleshy pink so I'm in a dilemma if there's something wrong with his health that makes it pink, or if his a cross-breed/pure-breed aylesbury duck or even a muscovy, I'm honestly not sure.

    My ducks would pant but then after a nice drink of room temperature water/cool water, I would take them off my lap for a bit to cool down and they would stop. So I wasn't so much concerned, they would also bob their heads continuously after a drink of water so I had assumed they were hungry and fed them. I wanted to feed them kale! But unfortunately the market is way out of my budget and surely the vet was too since I'm still relying on my parents. In the end what was wrong with your ducks? Was it life threatening?

    I know! After every snuggle, I can't help but squeal on how lovely and cute my babies are, I'd feel like crying whenever they hurt themselves or squealed out of fear.
     

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