Do Ducks Sneeze? (What Are The Reasons?)

Ducks often sneeze, ducks sneeze to clear dust and other particles from their nose and sinuses. Ducks use their beaks to open the nostrils, and then they force air through the nostrils while sneezing. This is called “nasal clearing,” and it keeps the nasal passages clear.

Ducks also sneeze to get rid of extra water in their nose and sinuses. They do this, not by blowing water out through their nostrils, but by forcing water up into the nasal passage. If a duck does not have enough room to blow the water out through the nostrils, it will force water up into the nose and sinuses.

Why Do Ducks Sneeze?

Photo by Marco Willener on Unsplash

Ducks have a complicated nasal system. It has two nostrils on top of their beak, near their eyes, that help keep clean water away from the rest of their body. When a duck dives underwater, it sometimes splashes its face with dirty water. That’s when they will sneeze to clear out any unwanted debris.

A duck will spout out small droplets of water while it’s diving. The water is drawn up the duck’s nostrils and down into its trachea (the tube through which air passes through the duck’s body), where it expands and then travels back down into its lungs. When the duck surfaces, it stops breathing for a few seconds while the excess water is expelled -a process which keeps it warmer when it dives back under the water.

Ducks sneeze when they are eating something, such as grass or a fly, and feel something tickly in their nose. The extra-sensitive nerve endings in the duck’s nose can pick up the sensation.

If you’ve ever been sneezed on by a dog or cat, you may have noticed that the spray is made up of liquid and tiny particles of dirt. A duck’s nasal spray is also made up of these extra microscopic materials. But with their larger beak, ducks can force out bigger sprays of water than other animals (including humans).

Do Ducks Cough?

Yes, ducks do! When they cough, they open their mouths and expel the water they’ve inhaled with a force that’s equal to or greater than humans. Coughing also helps them clear out their lungs of unwanted debris.

Ducks have a special part of their lungs (called a “rachis”) that stiffens in response to coughing. Like ducks, many other birds have this special air-filled structure in their lungs, but the eider duck is the only bird that has the structure on both sides of its heart. The phenomenon is called bifid embryonic lungs.

Do Ducks Get Respiratory Infections?

Another reason why ducks will sneeze is because of respiratory infections. This can develop when the duck has been exposed to excessive levels of moisture and irritants, such as ammonia fumes.

Ammonia is found in hen droppings and during the early stages, a duck’s breathing system can deal with it. But as the pallet matures and becomes mature, the amount of ammonia that can be tolerated lowers.

When there is a high level of ammonia present, ducks will start to show signs that there could be something wrong with their respiratory system. Some signs include; being off balance, limping or immobile in one leg and sometimes sneezing or having nasal discharge that has a bad smell.

If you notice any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately as your duck may have developed a respiratory infection from exposure to high levels of ammonia in the environment where they are kept or from air pollution around your house.

Some respiratory infections also include; fast erratic breathing, rales, chest tightness and sometimes with ducks who have experienced acute bronchitis. The most common signs of bronchitis in ducks are abnormal breathing and wheezing, while the most common symptoms of acute bronchitis are dyspnea and coughing or retching. There are also some carriers of the disease that can be passed on to other ducks in your pond or through a shed or house where they live.