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Salmonella Infection, Keel Disease, Paratyphoid Infection, Paratyphoid, White Diarrhea

Salmonellosis is an infectious bacterial disease caused by bacteria of the Salmonella genus. Salmonella can infect a wide range of animal species, as well as humans. Infection with Salmonella most commonly manifests as a gastrointestinal disease, but can also present itself as acute septicemia, arthritis, or as a respiratory disease. Many times, ducks can become infected without showing clinical signs of illness, however they can still shed the bacteria either continuously or intermittently in their feces, leading to increased risk of infection of other flock members, including humans and other domestic animals.

Salmonellosis can usually resolve itself without treatment 5-7 days after infection unless the bird becomes severely dehydrated or if the infection spreads.

Outbreaks in backyard flocks are usually associated with contaminated feeders or exposures to wild bird feces, or housing mixed species of birds. Carrier birds can persist in the flock and continue to infect the flock due to their intermittent shedding, especially during periods of stress.


Sudden collapse
Ruffled feathers
Dry sunken eyes
Leg swelling
Huddling near heat source


  • History
  • Clinical Signs
  • Physical exam
  • Salmonella culture
  • Real time PCR
  • Tube Agglutination


MethodMethod Summary
Report diseaseSalmonellosis is a reportable disease in the United States, meaning that if you suspect that your duck has this disease, by law you need to report it to your veterinarian, or a state or federal veterinarian.
AntibioticsSpecific, based on bird's individual sensitivity
ProbioticsAdministered in the form of oral supplements or yogurt


  • Minimize or eliminate wild rodent populations near where ducks are kept
  • Ensure feeders and waterers are protected from potential contamination by wild bird feces
  • Reduce biting fly populations


Age Range

Young chicks or immune-compromised adult ducks are most susceptible.

Risk Factors

  • Presence of rodents
  • High populations of biting flying insects
  • Wild bird feces regularly accessed by ducks