Twisted Neck in Male Emu, Anyone Experienced This?

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by juliefpc, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. juliefpc

    juliefpc Chirping

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    I have had a breeding pair of Emus for about 6 months now. The male has quickly developed a severely twisted neck. He is eating and drinking fine, but it is becoming difficult for him week to week and eating his grapes and other fruit is slow and difficult for him. Has anyone experienced this? I am not planning to breed him now as I am worried this could be hereditary. I have searched high and low for a bird doctor in the Ocala or Gainesville area with no luck. I give him a full dosage of Poly Vi Sol daily (baby multivitamin power booster from Enfamil). While this gives him extra energy, I have not seen any improvement in his neck. I love this little guy and his mate trys to help him when she can. Any other tips anyone can suggest? Any help would be most appreciated as I really do not want to give up on him. 20171126_112626_resized.jpg 20171126_112725_resized_1.jpg 20171126_112603_resized.jpg
     
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  2. Tiana's chickens

    Tiana's chickens Songster

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    Hmm.. I'm not too sure. Possibly Wry neck? Maybe contact some zoos that have Emus, they might be able to pass you on to a vet or give some good advice. I hope your emu gets better soon.
     
  3. juliefpc

    juliefpc Chirping

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    Thank you Tiana. I contacted the Miami Zoo and they too think it might be a version of Emu wry neck. They didn't have any suggestions so I will keep up with the Poly Vi Sol and increase the selenium and vitamin e.
     
  4. birdeo

    birdeo Chirping

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    ok, first have you looked here for a vet?
    http://www.aav.org/search/
    2nd, please go easy on the selenium, it can be very toxic if given too much.
    Vitamin E can also be toxic if given in excess amounts since it's fat soluble.
    OK, that being said...
    3 things come to mind...either injury , inadequate diet or brain worm disease.
    Has the bird hit the fence hard with his head or had some other kind of injury perhaps to his back/neck area ?
    Per the diet...you can try reducing the protein ( 15-20% is fine ) and add a good source of "MULTI" B Vitamins to his diet in the water, a treat, etc.
    Brain worm disease can be spread by blood sucking insects & via raccoon and skunk poop.
    You can try worming the bird with Ivomec in the brown box,( NOT the PLUS kind per my bird vet from years ago), but the regular 1% original cattle & swine wormer.
    EG: https://www.heartlandvetsupply.com/...MIuZXHxqH81wIVyxuBCh0omQIZEAkYBiABEgKY1fD_BwE
    1/2-1 cc would be fine, by mouth, 1 x a month for the next 4-5 months then 2-4x a year after that... I suspect you prob. have a high blood sucking insect problem in Florida.
    If it is brain worm & has already invaded the bird's brain then worming prob. will not help but what have you got to lose at this point ?
    Let us know how he does but he may be too far gone.
    IF he does live after you worm him and if that was his problem, he still could end up with a crooked neck forever perhaps from damage done to the spinal cord by the worms while still alive and/or blockages caused by the accumulation of dead worms after they have been killed by the ivomec.

    If it were me, I'd get on that Ivomec for BOTH of your birds ASAP, drop the feed protein and get those ""MULTI"" B vitamins in both of them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  5. juliefpc

    juliefpc Chirping

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    Thx Birdeo, I have both emus on a regular deworming schedule with Ivomec. I have only had them for 6 months so its quite possible the male had this problem before and they were not dewormed before I got them. The male was noticeably quite smaller than the female when they arrived but I didn't know much about emus at that time. Their diet consists of an all breed sweet pellet (protein 14%), rabbit pellets, dog food (20%) and cracked corn. Then throughout the day they get lots of treats, watermelon, bananas, green grapes (their fave), white bread, pineapple, kiwis, meal worms, cracked eggs now and then, basically anything they want. In my area, we surprisingly don't get much in the way of blood sucking insects, raccoon or skunks. We do get a lot of coyotes but these guys and the sheep are locked up at night in the barn and I have no predators inside the fencing so far. I scan the paddocks a lot and all the animals are rotated so that the poop has time to disintegrate and get destroyed by the FL sun. Thx for advice on the selenium and vitamin e, its in the Poly vi Sol and I'm seeing a bit of diff in his energy level finally, but will certainly keep an eye on the amounts.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    I agree Emu wry neck.

    I would NEVER worm an already sick bird without verification that's what it is. Could just make them worse if that isn't their issue. In addition, I don't know if Ivomec treats all worms, so a fecal float with species and load count could be helpful instead of worming for worms you may not have and just allowing them to build resistance to the drug you are using until it becomes completely ineffective. Though you seem to have more animals, so maybe you have a grasp on your needs.

    B vitamins will give energy, that about it.

    You are feeding too many treats and may be what's causing the problem.

    Though I don't know, I think emus would require at least as much protein as a chicken, which 16% is the bare minimum (it's the amino acids in it) for a light bodied layer like leghorn. Just about everything you mention except the eggs and meal worms are crud for nutrition. but they are both high in fat so should be fed as a treat not to exceed 10% of the total daily ration. Giving animals anything they want isn't "spoiling" them... it's killing them, slowly. :(

    I would offer a raw egg yolk. Loaded with nutrients and micro nutrients as well as easy to digest and good enough to sustain the life of chicks for a few days.

    Rabbit pellets, dog food and other things are formulated for THOSE animals. If you feed a sheep, goat feed you could actually kill them. It's important that you get the right feed and as far as I'm concerned that is your issue. They have more or less of a specific nutrient. Too far one way or the other could be detrimental to said wrong animal.

    Please understand that I mean no judgement or to sound mean. We all start our learning adventure somewhere.

    Good luck getting your issue corrected! :fl
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  7. TheNuttyChick

    TheNuttyChick Songster

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    Does look like wry neck, but always get another opinion. Keep us posted!
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    file:///home/chronos/u-8dddc19ebe5a812af6d3c24d8816a73a75dad5e1/Downloads/PM1696.pdf

    One link to feed guidelines for emus.
     
  9. birdeo

    birdeo Chirping

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    the worming in this instance would not hurt and could have been a help IF brain worm IS the problem, I listed the 3 main things that can be the causative agent .
    She's been worming them with the ivomec so am highly suspect brain worm is the problem now.
    B vitamins are essential for many proper growth issues, are water soluble ( excreted quickly ) and tend to be the most deficient in feed ...they can only help.
    The drop in protein is fine, too high protein can be a main cause of leg/other issues and the MULTI B vitamins could only help if too high protein is part of her problem .
    The most important thing to consider is a balanced diet, if she/everyone could get their hands on a diet made for Ratites...Emus specifically...that would be ideal but not always available to many minus the Purina feed which is a bit costly but worth it imho . ( grower being 18% protein, maintenance type 16%, breeder 22%. )
    Ivomec has been the choice of wormer ( for a very long time ) for brain worm IF this is what would be the problem with the bird.
    Not trying to flame/argue with anyone, just trying to offer help is all for have been raising these birds for quite some time now.
    Hope they bird gets better... all you can do is try ...would be ideal if you could find an avian vet near you and proceed from there.
    P.S.
    Julie, IF you had the nematode ( roundworm) in your soil it could stay in the soil for many years , sunshine or not. .
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    drumstick diva likes this.
  10. juliefpc

    juliefpc Chirping

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    Thank you all for your quick responses. I have contacted every emu person within 200 miles of here and there is no bird doc except for one guy who used to breed emus and he wont return any of my over 20 calls! Very disappointed in a vet that is not even professional enough to return a phone call! My sheep vet refuses to do "feathers" so you can imagine my frustration. I am living in horse capital and it is so hard to find a vet to treat other farm animals. We did notice a very small change in the male today after dosing him with the Poly vi Sol all week, the neck is still very crocked of course but he is having less problems eating. I hand feed him for the most part anyways. I think I will try the cracked egg idea as well. I smash a few on the ground about once a week. Don't see any harm on doing this more often just for the protein content. Overall, I estimate between all the different feeds they get, their protein levels out around 20%. I will cut back on the fruit and concentrate on the protein. He is getting all the vitamins, b's c and e, through the poly vi sol. He was wormed four weeks ago and I hesitated again as he is weak and the sheep vet really didn't have a clue if it would hurt him or help. She agreed to come Monday to at least do a fecal for me. And that's about all she will get involved. Thank you all again for your valuable help, I really appreciate it. If I see any improvement I will post here again, just in case someone else goes through this. Very confident this is not from an injury, I have a feeling he has had this in him for a very long time and showed its ugly face as he was becoming an adolescent. I do remember the original owner telling me do NOT feed anything over 14% protein and I knew in my heart that was too low so upped it right away gradually. I'm going to pin this on some deficiency in protein or vitamin. Just hope I can turn this little guy around, he really is a sweetie to be around. Thanks again all!
     
    drumstick diva likes this.

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