Oedema (exudative diathesis) in Ostriches in Kenya

  • T A Ngatia
  • P W Kanyari
  • P M Mathiu
  • P M Gathumbi
  • K K Srivastava
  • S T Wilson
  • A Oyejide


Ostriches of various ages, unhatched embryos and chicks found to have oedema during postmortem examination are described here. Unhatched eggs and chicks originated from a commercial farm, where there was a complaint of poor hatchability of eggs and high chick mortality. Of 35 embryos examined, 29 (82.9%) had severe subcutaneous oedema either generalized (23) or localized (6). Of 311 chicks, 232 (74.6%) had oedema of varying degrees of severity. In 10 chicks, the oedema was subcutaneous and severe, in 5 it was only serous effusions in body cavities and in 217 it was manifested as wetness of subcutaneous tissues. Adult and juvenile ostriches originated from three farms, where they were kept as pets. Of 22 birds, 16 (72.7%) developed a general sickness and 10 (62>3%) of them died. Postmortem examination revealed emaciation and either subcutaneous oedema or serous effusion in body cavities. Additional lesions included combinations of steatites, haemorrhages and pneumonia. The sick birds responded to improved diets that were also supplemented with multivitamins and minerals.

The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 28 2005: pp. 11-15

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eISSN: 0256-5161