Respiratory Infections in Geese - please help

Discussion in 'Geese' started by adrian, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    Hello everyone,

    For a while now I've been dealing with a goose who has sometimes severe respiratory distress, although it is intermittent. I have noticed her chest, where one of her air sacs is, expands and contracts very markedly with every breath. When she does have an "attack" she will breathe with her mouth open, gasping, her whole body moving with every breath, and sometimes will splutter dryly.

    I have taken her to my avian vet a number of times. This has been going on for months and first reared its ugly head after she started on a new diet. When she was eating grass alone, she had no breathing problems. However, she then started to eat mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, green beans) and pellets. The same pellets she ate as a baby, when she also sometimes showed respiratory distress. We thought the pellets were causing respiratory symptoms so took them out of her diet. However, the distress continued, although slightly less. We then thought it may be the corn she was eating - took it out, it seemed better for a day or two, and then was back to normal. We have added cooked brown and wild rice to her diet (yes, she is SPOILED) and it has been bad the past few days. While I think it might be allergies, as the vet surmised, even when she is eating peas, carrots, and lettuce alone she has respiratory problems. It seems located in the air sacs from simply visually inspecting her during an episode.

    I'm taking her back to the vet but I would be extremely grateful if anyone could post their ideas, suggestions, or experiences with respiratory problems in geese or other similar birds. My vet has not necessarily seen a lot of geese and I think some infections/diseases are species-specific. Mind you she was raised with other birds on the same pellet and none of them had the same reaction, so it was not mold spores in the pellet or anything else... I have no idea where she got it from because she is in a clean environment and not near other birds. [​IMG]

    Any advice?
     
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

  3. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
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    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    Thank you very much for the links. Seeing as she does not have sneezing or nasal discharge, I'm wondering whether she has a deeper respiratory infection, rather than an upper respiratory infection. I've heard of air sac infections. I'm not even sure how these would be diagnosed. My vet told me to bring her back in if she did not recover after going off of all allergens, which she did not, so we're going back in, probably tomorrow or Saturday. We might have to treat her with an antibiotic without knowing exactly what her ailment is, just to see if it fixes it for us... Sometimes it's very hard to diagnose these sorts of things. I was thinking about taking her in for x-rays; does anyone know how these work out for geese? I've heard horror stories of peoples' birds going under and not coming back. [​IMG]
     
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Hrmmm... what about worms... there's a throat worm I've heard about. Just trying to put stuff out there.
     
  5. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Hrmmm.. you said deeper than that...
     
  6. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Oh here...

    The full article can be found: http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/page12.htm

    A common nematode of the respiratory tract is known as the gapeworm, or Syngamus trachea. Many types of game birds, especially pheasants, as well as turkeys and chickens can be affected.

    Birds with gapeworm infestation show signs of respiratory distress due to both the damage to the lungs and to the trachea that is caused by the worms. Young birds and bantams are especially vulnerable due to their relatively small trachea. Symptoms include depression, gasping for breath, and head shaking in an attempt to remove the worms from the trachea. Tracheal rales (a gurgling sound made during breathing that accompanies tracheal irritation) can be heard in many cases, and can sometimes be mistaken for an upper respiratory infection of some other cause.
     
  7. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
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    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    She has always shaken her head, ever since she was a baby. She's had this since she was a baby then - and that worries me. Struggling to find out what was bothering her might have just caused more damage over time. [​IMG]

    My only concern is - where the heck would she get this? She's a house goose. As a baby, when this breathing problems/shaking of head started up, she was mostly inside the house. I'm not sure whether she could have gotten this from just her own poop or her small trips outside, or maybe even from her egg?
     
  8. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    [​IMG] I wish I could be more help. Hopefully before you get to the vet someone around here with experience will have more information for you. If not, take in some of the articles and ask you doctor about them. Another thing you may want to do is contact a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. They may know of a vet that deals with waterfowl.
     
  9. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

  10. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
    8
    141
    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    Good idea. The only thing is, my vet has listened to her breathing every time she comes in, and she could hear nothing wrong with it at all... So confusing.

    Thank you so much for your help, though. [​IMG] I just hope I can get to the bottom of this, because it definitely affects her quality of life.

    Just thought I'd ask: could it be a genetic fault?
    I have noticed since she was born, that her trachea is odd. It sticks out a little bit, it is quite visible and you can easily palpate it - it is in front of the esophagus rather than behind/beside... Hard to explain. But at one point she had NO breathing problems at all... So I just don't know if that's possible, because she's always had this deformity.

    In the summer, she'd go out to the beach with us and swim and run with no problem. [​IMG]

    Edit: We're in Canada so that's a little more difficult.
    I think there might actual be "livestock" vets in the phone book but our province is not known for waterfowl.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009

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