Jack,much loved, never forgotten

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Q. My joey is constipated and does not pass faeces at every feed, what is wrong?
A. Usually, constipation is caused by insufficient fluid in the diet. Carers often view formula as fluid when in fact it is the joey's food. Water is fluid and therefore needs to be offered separately to the formula so that the nutrients of the milk are efficiently absorbed. If the joey is taking sufficient fluid, other causes of constipation will need to be looked at.

Q. My joey looks like it is convulsing. It has its head up and its tummy is gyrating, then it vomits green runny stuff from its mouth.
A. Macropods commonly display an antic that looks to those unfamiliar with macropods, much like vomiting. The correct term for this is merycism, (Speare et al 1978) which is a process of involuntary regurgitation. The macropod's head faces the sky when the contents are being bought up and is followed by immediately swallowing. When mothers do this, a young joey at foot will try to share in the runny, green contents and try to pull the mother's face closer to its own. The mother will not share the very smelly contents. Other adults will also try and share in the contents. It is not known why macropods do this however it is known that the process is not the same as a cow chewing the cud, as the contents are re-swallowed immediately, not re-chewed for digestion. It can be quite comical witnessing this unusual activity as the animal rolls its abdomen in a hiccup type of motion to induce the content to return to the mouth.

Q. Why does my joey shake its head in a quivering motion?
A. Tintibulation (Speare et al 1978) is the term that describes the quivering displayed by individual macropods on meeting other macropods or when a strange person appears. The head is thrust forward and depending upon the species of macropod, either the head or the whole body shakes or quivers. It is common to see macropods practising tintibulation when they first meet. Grey kangaroos tend to involve their heads, whereas the smaller species such as Black-striped and Red-necked wallabies involve their head as well as most of their body (torso). All macropods species practise this quivering, although some species exaggerate it more so than others.

Q. My captive female kangaroo has a white, thick substance hanging from her cloaca.
A. Male macropods leave a plug of semen in the female's cloaca after mating. This is to ensure that another buck does not get to reproduce with the female. Most of the semen breaks away but a small amount dries and hardens and acts as a plug. Since females only accept a male at the end of the days that she is in oestrus, this plug only needs to remain in place for a few hours.

Q. My joey is not hopping now and its head is on the side. He seems disorientated
A. This is the usual clinical sign of a condition known as Otitis. This is an infection of either the inner or outer part of the ear canal and is quite often attributed to a knock of the head. It is easily diagnosed.................
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