Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your bird and possibly your flock. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find me a Vet

New Duck Disease

Riemerella Anatipestifer Infection, Infectious Serositis, Pasteurella Anatipestifer Infection

New duck disease, also referred to as duck septicaemia, is caused by the Riemerella anatipestifer (previously referred to as Pasteurella anatipestifer) bacterium. It is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes neurological, respiratory and/or gastrointestinal signs in affected ducks. Some ducks may die without showing any signs of sickness. The infection causes more severe signs in young ducklings, less than five weeks of age. Ducklings usually start to show signs of illness 3 to 10 days after getting infected.

What is Riemerella anatipestifer

R. anatipestifer is a gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming rod. Over 21 different serotypes have been identified worldwide. R. anatipestifer infection was first reported in 1932. In the early 1980s a commercial antibiotic was developed against the disease, using a combination of R. anatipestifer serotypes and a particular strain of Escherichia coli. The overuse of antibiotics has contributed to the emergence of drug-resistant bacterial strains of R. anatipestifer. Currently, various vaccines have been developed as an alternative method of controlling the disease in farmed commercial ducks.

How Anatipestifer infection in Transmitted

The disease is spread to ducks through inhalation through the respiratory tract, skin wounds (especially in the foot), mosquito bites, and breeding ducks to their offspring. Adult ducks may be infected with the organism without showing any signs of being infected.


Greenish diarrhea
Eye discharge
Nasal discharge (may be purulent)
Coughing (mild)
Incoordination (ataxia)
Head/neck tremor
Head bobbing
Twisted neck
Laying on back paddling legs
Reduced movement
Abnormal circling
Inability to stand


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Lab testing


MethodMethod Summary
Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own duck "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Sulfadimethoxine-ormetoprim0.04-0.08% in feed
Sulfaquinoxaline0.25 g/kg administered in feed, once (in ducklings)
penicillin50,000 IU/kg IM


  • Maintain good sanitation
  • Establish biosecurity procedures
  • Do not overcrowd ducks


Risk Factors

  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Overcrowding ducks
  • Poor ventilation