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Preen Gland Infections

Blocked Oil Gland

Pleen gland infections occur when a duck's oil gland becomes blocked, resulting in the duck's inability to produce oil for preening.

Clinical Signs of Preen Gland Infection


Upon close inspection of the duck's preen gland, the gland and surrounding area will be enlarged and swollen. It will usually contain purulent or caseous material. Affected ducks will usually have poor plumage and will not be seen preening, a behavior which should normally occur multiple times daily. Ducks may also avoid accessing swimming areas.

Diagnosis of Preen Gland Infections


Preen gland infections are diagnosed based on clinical signs and history. Cultures of the preen gland fluid are useful for pinpointing the species of bacteria present. Candida species may also be present.

Treatment for Preen Gland Infections


Treatment is usually dependent on the results of the culture---whether to give antibiotics or antifungal therapy, depending on the organism responsible for the infection. Other therapies performed differ on the severity, and may include flushing the gland, infusing it with a proteolytic enzyme ointment, or in severe cases surgical removal of the gland may be needed to avoid eventual rupture and secondary septicemia.

Symptoms

Unthrifty appearance
Poor plumage appearance
Lack of preening

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests

Treatment

MethodMethod Summary
Antibiotics
Antifungal therapy
Flushing the gland
Infusion with a proteolytic enzyme ointment
Vitamin ALess than 20 KIU/kg administered IM once a week until resolved
Surgical removal in severe cases

Prevention

  • Encourage increased time spent in swimming pool
  • Provide access to small pools for ducks to swim in.
  • Encourage preening activities

References

Blogs

Risk Factors

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Poor plumage
  • Non-preening ducks who do not molt regularly
  • Sedentary ducks with decreased swimming patterns
  • No swimming access