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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28996
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 2 month old Muscovy duck started acting strange yesterday,

Customer Question

My 2 month old Muscovy duck started acting strange yesterday, very lethargic and not eating much. He also has a very bright green diarrhoea, and is breathing very heavy. He seems to be getting worse very rapidly. Is there anything i can do? I tried separating him from the others but it seemed to stress him out more. Any advice would be very appreciated, Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's very likely that you're going to lose him. Duck plague (duck virus enteritis) should be considered when greenish diarrhea is seen (also the nonspecific symptoms of sluggishness and ruffled feathers). This is a highly fatal disease most likely to affect mature ducks but is also seen in the young. Various bacterial gastrointestinal tract infections (E.coli, e.g.) can also result in green diarrheas.
Whatever the etiology, those symptoms indicate a critically ill duck in need of hospitalization and critical care. I understand, however, that such care isn't readily available in the great majority of cases. Ideally an avian-oriented vet (please see here: should attend to such a patient. Viruses don't respond to antibiotics. Your home care might include keeping him in an 80F environment and syringing an infant fluid and electrolyte solution (Pedialyte) into him hourly at a dose of 5ml (one measuring teaspoon).
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.