Encephalomalacia associated with vitamin E deficiency in commercially raised emus.

Thirteen of 64 emus on a commercial emu farm in Ohio exhibited neurological signs that included backward staggering, incoordination, generalized weakness, and sitting on their hocks with head retracted backward. Eight of the birds showing such signs were found dead. Two of these emus were necropsied, and no significant gross lesions were observed. Major histopathological lesions were found in the cerebellum and included multiple malacic foci in association with neuropil rarefaction and astrogliosis within the white matter of folia. In addition, the hepatic vitamin E level of one emu was determined at the Michigan State University Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU-AHDL) to be 14.61 micrograms/g dry weight. This vitamin E level was in the lower percentile (35%) of 30 emu liver samples examined at MSU-AHDL. A diagnosis of vitamin E-associated encephalomalacia was made based on clinical signs, gross and histological lesions, and liver vitamin E levels.

Avian Dis. 1998 Jul-Sep;42(3):600-5.

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Founded in 1989, The American Emu Association is a non-profit trade association representing breeders, producers and marketers of emu meat, oil and other emu co-products. The emu industry is an alternative agricultural industry, dominated by the small farmer, who is devoted to humane and environmentally positive practices that will produce beneficial products for society. For more information about the American Emu Association (AEA) or the emu industry visit https://aea-emu.org or call 541-332-0675.