Myopathy of the Pipping Muscles, Hepatosis Dietetica, and Cataracts in Emu Chicks (Dromaius Novaehollandiae)

M. Crispo, C. Palmieri, H L Shivaprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seven emu chicks (Dromaius novaehollandiae) from a farm with poor hatchability (16–18%) and increased neonatal mortality were presented for necropsy with a history of death at or within a few days after hatching. Macroscopic examination revealed subcutaneous edema and hemorrhages and swelling of the pipping muscles in the proximal neck (71%), pale liver with hemorrhages (71%), noninternalized residual yolk sac (86%) and anasarca (14%). Histologically, the most remarkable findings were necrosis of the musculus complexus (100%) of the pipping muscles, as well as myocardial necrosis and mineralization (29%). Liver contained severe multifocal hepatocellular necrosis and hemorrhages (57%), and both eyes exhibited swollen and vacuolated lenticular fibers in 5 chicks (100%) in which the eyes were examined. The lesions observed here are suggestive of a nutritional deficiency. The deficiency was confirmed by finding low levels of vitamin E in the liver, and vitamin E and vitamin A levels in the feed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1251
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • cataract
  • emu
  • eye
  • hepatosis dietetica
  • liver
  • myopathy
  • pipping muscle
  • tocoferol
  • vitamin deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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