This study involved 14 ostriches of both sexes between 3 and 24 mo of age. Some hematologic and biochemical parameters were studied in animals with stomach impaction.
Clinical examination of the birds revealed anorexia, emaciation, decreased defecation, listlessness, separation from the flock, and recumbence. The total number of leukocytes (10.4 × 103 mm3), the concentrations of serum glucose (166 mg/dl), and total protein (2.4 g/dl) decreased; serum creatine phosphokinase (1240 U/L) and alkaline phosphatase (598 U/L) increased; whereas no changes were found in the concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Medical treatment was initiated in 13 animals; six of them recovered and seven birds died. Necropsy revealed edema, erosions, and hemorrhagic ulcers in the stomach of the dead birds. Foreign bodies such as sand; stone; pieces of wood, glass, and plastic; and metallic objects were encountered in the stomach at the necropsy. In one bird, metallic foreign body was diagnosed and the bird was referred to surgery.
Under stress factors, ostriches tend to eat foreign material; therefore, adequate housing, nutrition, and care are crucial in prevention of stomach impaction.