Strange behavior...kinda worried

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amykins, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    May 11, 2013
    We're tight on money thanks to some health issues, so a vet visit isn't in the cards until this Thursday. But Wobbles has begun to make rather alarming high-pitched sounds. He'll sporadically hunch, throw his head sharply downward and go "SQUEEK" like he's trying to dislodge something or it's the world's biggest hiccup. He also occasionally jumps up and starts quacking loudly, as if he's started or in pain. This happens even if there's absolutely nothing going on around him.

    I don't think it's an impacted crop. I've palpitated his crop and chest area and can't seem to find anything out of sorts. I'm having less luck locating his gizzard, having such a teeny body it's a bit tough to feel for organs externally. My fears are that he's either got a bruised air sac (probably from when he crash-landed into the fireplace last week), something's caught in his gizzard or he ate something bad. Being an indoor duck I'm paranoid about hardware disease, even though my husband and I are both careful about cleaning up any and all metal, you never know where a loose coin or paper clip could turn up. But even THAT seems iffy since he was just x-rayed last month and it takes a while for metal objects to dissolve to the point of blood poisoning.

    He's still eating, although not as much as he used to. However, it IS wintertime and it could just be run-of-the-mill seasonal appetite change. He's also just as active as always, the only signs of discomfort is when he does his painful-looking quacks and strange hiccups. I keep trying to capture it on video but it only happens a few times a day, so it's been difficult.

    If anyone is familiar with these symptoms, please let me know ASAP. I don't think he's in immediate danger, but his pain level concerns me as I know ducks are masters at hiding when they don't feel well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  2. tdd2

    tdd2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure...I've seen a mallard drake "mating dance" and this isn't it. He stands on his toes and his neck is kept straight, thrust downward towards the ground, not curved back into his neck and chest like your typical mating behavior. It's also just the one, sharp sound, there's no other sounds or movements along with it. It really does look like a violent hiccup, or even a dry heave.

    I've been searching Google trying to find a video like it and I can't find a single one. I'm still looking, if I can find a duck doing what he's doing maybe I can narrow it down. :/
     
  4. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mmm... I don't know. I do know my pekin would do the whole flip his head up and "hiccup". I thought something was wrong for the longest time. Turns out that was his mating call. It did scare me a few times and I though something was stuck. I can't say for sure if that is the same for Woobles though. I noticed after he did his thing all his feathers were usually fluffed up.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My first thought is you may be onto something that it could be bruising from his crash landing. Poor intrepid little guy.
     
  6. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Okay, I wasn't able to get a video of it, but I DID get audio. It's a shrill sneeze followed by a low hum, almost like air is being compressed and then gasped back into his air sacs. You can also hear his feathers ruffling because he's always fluffed when he goes into these fits.

    https://soundcloud.com/rothycat/wobbles-is-sick-for-vet-diagnosis
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  7. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    It sounds like the same sound my appleyards make during breeding season. It starts as a sharp whistle and seamlessly transforms into a low guttural hum. The sound is about 1 second in length. My appleyards also drop their heads and necks down low when making this sound. I don't think you need to worry.
     
  8. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have a video of it?
     
  9. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry, I don't. They don't do it all that often, and it's hard to know when they will do it. When the ducks start getting a little more "active", I will start carrying my phone around more. Maybe I can capture it.
     
  10. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Do they jerk their heads forward in a thrusting motion, or do they just sort of hold their necks out when they do it? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get to the bottom of it before Thursday when we have out vet appointment. It'd be nice to save the vet bills if this is just ordinary mating behavior. :p Although...that means he thinks I'm his mate which is a whole new can o' worms.
     

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