Whilst we tend to think of ducks as being bulletproof in terms of disease there are a few deadly conditions that can infect them. One such disease is Riemerella. The disease is caused by an organism related to Pasteurella called Riemerella anatipestifer.
The bacteria is often spread between birds by mucus that has been exhaled. The bacteria can be carried by and shed by infected birds which have no clinical signs themselves. Furthermore geese and turkeys can also become infected.
Once infected, the birds may show clinical signs in as little as 24 hours after infection. Clinical signs may include:
- Sudden death
- Ruffled feathers
- Runny eyes and nose
- Coughing and sneezing
- Green droppings
- Nervous tremors
Whilst the clinical signs may be suggestive of the infection, your vet will need to take swabs to confirm the disease.
Antibiotics can be given to sick birds together with their healthy flock mates. However for birds that are very ill the outcome may be poor.
There are several different strains of the bacteria and as such there is no vaccine available. If you have a problem with Riemerella infection on your holding then it is very important to keep the pens as clean as possible using an approved disinfectant. Furthermore rats and mice can carry the disease and as such their populations should be eliminated.
The bacteria cannot infect people.
There are a number of diseases which can produce similar signs:
- Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)
- Newcastle Disease
- Goose Parvovirus (Geese and Muscovy Ducks)
- Duck Viral Enteritis
- Duck Viral Hepatitis
Tip: The tags under the related articles below allow you to view other articles on diseases with those symptoms.