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Sick EMU

(Emus, Rheas, Ostriches, Cassowary)

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espade
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Sick EMU

Postby espade » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:21 pm

Hi, I'm new to the board but, I hope that some of my questions may be answered. We live in Central PA and the winter has been a hard one. We purchased 10 EMUS last year around this time and are new to the EMU Farming. We've lost two birds this year and they were coming twos. They were perfectly fine and then lost a ton of weight almost over night and then layed around on their final day very disoriented. The two that passed were pen mates. Now we have one that was limping on it's left leg and is very alert but, has lost a ton of weight. Pooping very small amounts, not eating or drinking very much. We gave him some Ivomec in a couple grapes and he ate them. Also, gave him Metamucil in case he was impacted. I'm at a loss because his health is deteriorating. Not, sure why we've lost two birds and nobody seems to have issues with their birds getting sick. I'm hoping it's not something on our property or in our soil. Looking forward to any information... thanks, Eva
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pat
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby pat » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:44 am

Hi Eva,

I honestly don't know why you are losing your emus. is there a vet that could look at them?

the only thing I know of that kills emus, is "menigerie" worm. they need to be treated with ivomec often.
I think especially in the fall. I have lost several emus and llamas from this. once they get it, oral medicine will not work.
even when an emu begins to show signs of this, the injection might not even work.

how did the emus that died act prior to them dieing? were they losing their balance?

what are you feeding your emus?
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
Nicophorus
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby Nicophorus » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:11 am

Routine worming like Pat said, also to be safe you can give your emus the same yearly shots for EEE/WEE/WestNile that horses yet.

What you can do now that your emus are underweight and sick? There should be at least one vet in the local area with experience with Emus and I'd get their help.
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:31 pm

Thank you both for your replies. We've called all vets in our area with absolutely no success. We live in rural PA zip code 15536. Nobody in this area knows anything about Emus. The first two that died show no signs of anything wrong, lost a ton of weight and then they lost their balance. Prior to.the one passing it lost control of it's neck movement. The way I describe it is the bird would stretch it's neck out on the ground and it would move as to almost mimic a slithering snake. The bird now is more alert but, heading downhill fast. We gave him an antibiotic doxycycline this morning after reading that it may be Avian Chlamydia.... I'm not a vet but I want to save my bird. Have either of you heard of that? How often are we to give our birds ivomec? You hear a lot of farmers don't use it they use the Diotonacious Earth (spelling??)...please let me know your thoughts....:-)
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:36 pm

My husband gets our local feed store to blend a feed. I believe it's a mix of the emu feed and chicken. I will ask him and repost...
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:07 pm

Mazuri Emu maintenance mixed with poultry layer 50/50
Nicophorus
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby Nicophorus » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:38 pm

That food is fine, food is not the issue here.

Something has gotten into your Emu's nervous system.

Read this about Eastern Equine Encephalitis:

http://aea-emu.org/node/582

The other thing is the parasites shed by (mostly) Raccoons. This is the reason I administer invermectin to my Emus every two months or so:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baylisascaris

one last thing, but I'm sure this is not your issue, check your emus for any signs of cat scratches/bites. And are the emus hot to the touch? I just say this because I could not figure out why my emu was sick, throwing up, super hot and weak until I found the claw rake marks under her feathers on her neck, she survived a bobcat attack but got "cat scratch fever" that hurts birds especially so much. I nursed her back to health, only to have the bobcat finish the job a couple weeks later... oh well.
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:32 pm

Thank you all again... My husband spoke with some farm owners and members of the AEA and they thought he may have gotten something lodged in his gizzard. I'm very unsure of what is wrong with him. He is very alert not acting like something that would be neurological. He is very weak and isn't eating or drinking and he isn't walking around. This morning he was having a very difficult time getting up but, stood for a good while. Does anyone think I should still give Doxycycline?
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:34 pm

@ Nicophorus, we are very rural and we do have raccoons, I did read the link about the baylisascaris, it very well could be something as such. He tries to get up now and basically falls over and has no strength. This can be a result from dehydration, malnutrition, worms... it's very challenging when there are no answers. My husband and I gave him a supplement that has B vitamins, and other vits and antioxidants. Also, some fiber. If he should pass can we draw some blood and have it tested? Are there other organs we should send for testing? I'm very nervous that it's something that may pass to the rest of our EMUs... like every here, you get very attached and it's not fun to watch him suffer. Everything that is posted here is very appreciated... Thanks, Eva.
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby pat » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:48 pm

eva,

the symptoms sure sounds like "mengerie" worm. I had this happen to several of my emus and llamas.
when they get to this point, usually, there is no hope :cry:

from what I have read, it could be due to some type of deer slugs where it starts.
does your property have a slight hill to it where drainage can flow? if so, that could be the culprit.

for future, you need to give them ivomec paste almost on a monthy basis.
but, for now, they all will need the injection, which will be pretty difficult to do if they are still
seem healthy.

you should be able to get the injectable ivomec from a farm store.

I can't say for sure that is the problem, but, it sure sounds like it. I have lost most of my emus and
llamas from this.

please keep us updated..
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:19 am

Thanks Pat. Our home is built on the side of a mountain and the field the emus are on is a hill. I see that you are from PA, where in PA are you from and did you draw blood to test for the Menagerie worm? When you say treat them all with Ivomec can we give it to them orally in a grape like we gave Gaston, the sick one? Should we give him more Ivomec? He's still hanging in there, He's not eating at this point. We give him electrolites and vit b supplement drink, a doxycycline in the morning in case it's an infection. He's not eating at all. A couple days ago he picked at the dirt and was eating and now he can't get up but, is still very alert. Were the emus you lost very alert at this point? Thanks again.
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby pat » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:29 am

the fact that you live near a mountain is not good. maybe depends on what animals are out in the wild nearby :shrug:

I have done a lot of research on this problem, and talked to a few vets. the symptoms my emus had fits the menagerie worm.
it's not a pretty site when they are near death.

as for the maintenance, you could give them the paste. it comes in a tube (safe-guard)that lets you dispense the proper dosage. but, this is only for "maintenance". since you have had problems with the others, you should try and get them the injectable ivomec. I know it is hard to give them a shot. but, that is the only way to possibly save them depending on the stage they are at. worse case, you could get the liquid injectable and give it to them orally using a syringe. wouldn't be a bad idea to do this for all of them. then go to the maintenance if they recover.

hubby did give one of the emu's an injection, I think it was in his leg. it's been awhile, so can't remember.
but, it was too late. it is crucial to get the emu before it goes into this stage.

I can't remember how alert my emus were that were sick. I believe they were, it was just they started out losing their balance, and got to the point, where they would actually roll and fall. it was horrible
I am not saying that is what your emus have, but, it sure sounds like it by the symptoms.

the antibotics and eloctrolite can't hurt. try the injectable for the antibotics and give it to them orally.

as for your feed, I am not so sure the chicken feed is good. you might want to try another mix.
I use to use turkey finisher. they did well on that. my emus did good on this feed. it was the closest to ratite feed.
it is also important you don't get feed that is old. (that happened to me when I had baby rheas)
you can also use rabbit feed, horse pellets with high protein additives.

I live in western Pa. (30 miles N. of pgh)
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby pat » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:49 am

here is a list of some of the parasites emus get:
http://www.redoakfarm.com/parasites.htm


Nicophorus,
never heard of baylisascaris, until you mentioned it. seems to have the same
or similar symptoms as eva's emus'.
sounds like the ivomec is the only potential treatment for most the emu's problems?
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:28 pm

Hi Pat... I just checked the post and saw your reply. So, will this worm spread through beedding, water troughs, and feed. Are we doomed to lose all if this is the worm? I have no.problem giving them all ivomec. It most likely will be giver orally. Should I give the sick bird another dose? We just gave it three days ago... Thanks.
espade
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Re: Sick EMU

Postby espade » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:56 pm

It's very hard to find literature on and my managerie worm. Is it the same as the meningeal worm? I've tried to look it up on Google and there's really nothing out there. Thanks again... :icon-frown:

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