An acute disease affecting the liver is called viral hepatitis. This disease causes high mortality among young animals, which causes severe economic damage to the farm. The mortality of small ducklings from hepatitis is an average of 30 to 95%. Ducklings who have suffered the disease then lag behind in growth, development. Because of this, tribal work is disrupted and productivity is partially lost.
The causative agent of the disease is the virus. The disease with viral hepatitis is not afraid of geese, chickens, adults, rodents, primates, sheep, people, snakes, horses. The disease virus is resistant to the influence of external factors. It can persist for 60 days on the wings of the ducklings.
Fig. 1 Duckling infected with viral hepatitis
Weekly ducklings are affected. Older ducks, as well as adults, are not exposed to the disease. A day after the disease the virus goes along with the droppings. The surviving ducklings virus can be virus carriers for 300 to 650 days. Young can get infected in natural conditions by eating contaminated food or drinking water. Infectious ducklings can also be aerogenic. In the economy, the disease can get in a different way: transport, with tare, various implements.
Symptoms of the disease
Manifestations of the virus begins suddenly, sharply and is characterized by the following features:
– very quickly spreads;
There are factors that adversely affect the course of the disease:
Compactness of young ducklings;
– dampness and drafts in the mattress;
– low temperature in the mattress.
The infected virus spreads throughout the body. At the time of the disease, the virus concentrates in the liver and blood. With the passage of time, the concentration of the virus in the liver increases, causing her deep lesions.
Signs of the disease
More often the course of the disease is acute. Characteristic symptoms:
– decreased appetite;
– severe drowsiness;
– ducklings are inactive;
– during movement, coordination is disrupted;
– ducklings are lagging behind in development.
Additional symptoms that can manifest: diarrhea, rhinitis, conjunctivitis. A couple of hours after the manifestation of the symptoms of the disease, ducklings can begin to convulsions. They can fall on the back or side. If such signs are observed for a couple of hours, such a duckling will die.
In ducklings 3-4 weeks old there is a chronic form of the disease. It lasts from 10 to 20 days. The first sign of the disease is diarrhea. Young animals move little. Some individuals develop tumors of the joints of the paws.
The sick ducklings are added with medicines for food and drink. Regular disinfection should also be carried out.
Fighting the disease and preventing
The main issue for the prevention of disease is compliance with the basic rules for the maintenance, care, feeding of poultry. It is also important to fulfill all veterinary and sanitary requirements to prevent the introduction of a virus. It is forbidden to bring eggs, reproduced from ducks on dysfunctional farms. It is necessary to disinfect the eggs of ducks that are incubated twice. Overexposure of ducklings in the incubator is prohibited. It must be constantly cleaned and disinfected. Carefully prepare the poultry house before receiving new ducklings. Also important in the prevention of disease is the provision of ducklings with adequate nutrition and the creation of the right conditions for their maintenance.
If viral hepatitis is found on the farm, quarantine is imposed on it. From the farm it is forbidden to export eggs or ducks. The diseased bird is separated from the healthy one. Vaccination of ducks is used as a preventive measure.
Fig. 2 Vaccine against viral hepatitis ducklings
Viral hepatitis of ducklings