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Eye Infection

Eye infections can be viral, bacterial, or fungal. They are called different things depending on the location of the part of the eye affected. For example, when involving the conjunctiva (the membrane of the inner eyelid and the inner corner of the eye's surface), it is called conjunctivitis (otherwise known as pinkeye). When the cornea is involved, it's called keratitis. This is just two examples of the most common types of eye infections found in ducks. There are many other parts of the eye that can be affected. Eye infections are also classified according to the cause.

Symptoms

Eye discharge
Swollen eyelids
Eye redness
Tightly closed eyelids
Aversion to bright light
Tears
Constant blinking
Milky discharge
Crusting over eyelid
Impaired vision

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests

Treatment

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.
Topical antibioticsadministered into the affected eye(s)
Oral antibiotics

Prevention

  • Observe flock behavior daily---to look for any signs of (even seemingly small) aggression towards other flock members, as it can quickly escalate to an eye injury, loss of an eye, and even death.
  • Provide shelter that is large enough for all flock members to go in during strong storm events, as high wind can increase the risk of sand and other substrate particles blowing in the birds' eyes.
  • Do not allow large concentrations of dust to accumulate in duck houses by dusting regularly (however making sure that no ducks are present in the area while dusting or sweeping).
  • Be mindful when mowing the lawn or when using landscaping tools while in the vicinity of the ducks.

References

Risk Factors

  • Windy days
  • Mowing the lawn and use of landscaping equipment around ducks
  • High accumulations of dust
  • Eye trauma