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Common Diseases of Ducks (part 1)

August 19, 2008 | By Anonymous

Duck Virus hepatitis

Duck virus hepatitis is a highly fatal contagious disease of young ducklings, 1-28 days of age. Ducklings are most susceptible at the younger ages and gradually become more resistant as they grow older. The disease is rarely seen in ducklings over 4 weeks of age. The onset of the disease is very rapid, it spreads quickly through the flock and may cause up to 90% mortality. Sick ducklings develop spasmodic contractions of their legs and die within an hour in a typical "arched-backward" position. The liver is enlarged and shows hemorrhagic spots. To prevent this disease, keep age groups isolated and vaccinate breeder ducks with an attenuated live virus duck hepatitis vaccine (to produce maternally immune ducklings).


Duck Plague (Duck Virus Enteritis)

Duck virus enteritis is an acute, contagious, highly fatal disease of waterfowl caused by a herpes virus. This disease is most likely to affect mature ducks, but is also seen in young ducks. Affected birds show sluggishness, ruffled feathers, greenish-yellow diarrhea that is sometime blood-stained. Dead birds often have blood-stained feathers around the vent and blood dripping from the nostrils. Hemorrhages may be found in tissues throughout the body. Eruptive lesions of the mucous lining of the esophagus and intestine are characteristic signs of the disease. Necrotic plaques may be observed in the cloaca. Regular immunization of breeder ducks with an attenuated live duck virus enteritis vaccine provides adequate protection.


Riemerella anatipestifer Infection

This bacterial disease of ducks is also known as Pasteurella anatipestifer infection, infectious serositis and New Duck disease. Anatipestifer infection causes high mortality, weight loss and condemnation. In the acute form, listlessness, eye discharge and diarrhea are commonly seen. Ducks show incoordination, shaking of the head and twisted neck. Birds are commonly found on their backs, paddling their legs. Typical lesions found in dead birds are infected air sacs, membranes covering the heart and liver, and meningitis. Preventive management and vaccination are effective means of control. Penicillin, enrofloxacin and sulfadimethoxine-ormetoprim (0.04-0.08% in feed) are effective in reducing mortality.


by Tirath S. Sandhu, DVM, Ph.D.
SOURCE: www.duckhealth.com/duckhlth.html
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