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


An abscess consists of a localized collection of pus within a cavity and often encased in a fibrous capsule. Abscesses in ducks can present in multiple different forms, depending on the cause and it's location. An abscess may initially present as a slow-growing, firm lump or soft tissue swelling--which can be single or multiple. Usually behavioral changes are a clue to examine the duck where an abscess can be felt as they can grow quite large and feel hard when touched. Ducks living in dirty conditions or with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to getting abscesses.


Firm lump
Soft tissue swelling


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiography


MethodMethod Summary
PoulticeCoating the abscess with a poultice and bandaging/wrapping the area may help draw out the infection in early stage, uncomplicated cases.
Surgical drainageDrainage of abscess fluids may be required by your veterinarian.
Antibiotic therapyBest if done in conjunction with other therapy methods, as just antibiotic therapy alone doesn't tend to work. It also requires a minimum of at least 4 to 6 weeks to be effective. The choice of antibiotic is also a huge factor, which is why it's best to ask your veterinarian to submit a sample of the pus material within the abscess to a laboratory testing facility to conduct antibiotic sensitivity testing to ensure that your duck is receiving the appropriate antibiotic that targets the specific pathogen.
Surgical debridement




Risk Factors

  • Wounds (penetration, fight, and skin)
  • Bumblefoot