Diseases / List of Physical / Traumatic Diseases / Disease description:

Salt Encrustation in Waterfowl

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL Accumulation of salt on the feathers; may become a heavy burden sufficient to prevent flight. Death may result from salt poisoning, drowning, myopathy or combinations of these.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

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Disease Type

Physical / Traumatic

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

  • Salt, saline water
  • May occur any time of the year. High winds constantly covering birds with salt water may contribute to accumulation on the feathers (B36.47.w47).
  • Sudden temperature drop in autumn or winter may freeze fresh waters thus encouraging birds to use saline waters, and may lead to sudden crystallization of salt and formation of salt agglomerates (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3).

Infective "Taxa"

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Non-infective agents

  • Salt (acting as a physical encumbrance)

Physical agents

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B15, B36.47.w47
J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3

Other References

Code and Title List

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL Gross salt crystal accumulation on feathers, ocular irritation, other signs depending on secondary problems.

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL Gross salt accumulation on feathers, sometimes also on bill. This may be considerable, e.g. 3kg of salt crystals on one goose. May be unable to fly. May be found dead with salt and ice adherent to feathers, frozen onto ice or even within a salt crystal layer on the lake bottom (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3).

Incubation

WATERFOWL --

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL --

Pathology

WATERFOWL Carcass covered with adherent salt crystals. Other lesions depend on proximate cause of death, e.g. lesions of drowning (Drowning), myopathy (Capture Myopathy) or salt poisoning (Salt Poisoning) (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3, B15, B36.47.w47).

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Human Health Considerations

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL Mainly seen in diving ducks, but other species such as geese may also be affected (B15, B36.47.w47).

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all waterfowl species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]
  • Canada geese Branta canadensis, lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens, Ross's geese Anser rossii, and Northern shovelers Anas clypeata (J1.23.w2).
  • Canada geese Branta canadensis, snow geese (Chen) Anser caerulescens, Ross's geese Anser (Chen) rossii, common merganser Mergus merganser, lesser scaup Aythya affinis (J1.23.w3).

Host Species List

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • Canada geese Branta canadensis, lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens, Ross's geese Anser rossii, and Northern shovelers Anas clypeata (J1.23.w2).
  • Canada geese Branta canadensis, snow geese (Chen) Anser caerulescens, Ross's geese Anser (Chen) rossii, common merganser Mergus merganser, lesser scaup Aythya affinis (J1.23.w3).

Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • May occur any time of the year. High winds constantly covering birds with salt water may contribute to accumulation on the feathers (B36.47.w47).
  • Sudden temperature drop in autumn or winter may freeze fresh waters thus encouraging birds to use saline waters, and may lead to sudden crystallization of salt and formation of salt agglomerates (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

North America (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3, B36.47.w47).

Country List

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

North America (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3, B36.47.w47).

Country List

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL Presence of saline water, gross salt encrustation, lesions suggestive of secondary related problems (myopathy, drowning, salt poisoning, lack of lesions indication other cause of death (B36.47.w47).
Related Techniques

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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL See Capture Myopathy, Drowning, Salt Poisoning.

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL
  • Provide access to fresh water, preferably by transporting to a body of fresh water.
  • N.B. Survival of transported wild birds unlikely to be 100% as may already have severe pathology e.g. myopathy. Provide food for birds which cannot be caught (J1.23.w2, J1.23.w3).
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

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Related Techniques

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

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Population Control Measures WATERFOWL Theoretically, discourage use of hypersaline lakes in autumn; this is unlikely to be practical (J1.23.w2).
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques
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