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Respiratory Infection

Respiratory infections can occur in ducks for a variety of different reasons and can be bacterial, nutritional, toxic, fungal, viral, traumatic, or parasitic in origin. Respiratory disease can occur in the upper or lower respiratory system, in which each system has specific clinical signs associated with infection which can be ruled out through the use of various diagnostic techniques by your veterinarian.


Foamy or bubbly eye
Sitting hunched up
Open-mouthed breathing
Difficulty breathing
Bubbling and/or gurgling sounds
Stained or matted feathers around the nares
Audible breathing
Change in voice
Labored breathing
Weight loss
Head shaking
Stretching the neck
Exercise intolerance
Sinus swelling
Plugged nares


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Sinus flush
  • Cytology
  • Radiographs
  • Culture & sensitvity
  • Tracheal lavage
  • CBC


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.
Nebulization therapy
Treatment of the primary cause



Risk Factors

  • Ducks living in unsanitary environments
  • Poor ventilation
  • Large amounts of dust or mold