A Very Sad Dec 2021 at Wombat Creek

I have put off writing this post as I still feel so very sad when I think of my lovely little group. Late Nov it started raining and just kept raining for days and days into Dec. The paddock we had built the large pen in took the brunt and all the rain cascading down the hills came to rest there .The ground was soaked and the waters ran in under the bottom of the shed soaking the ground in there also. This was totally unexpected as was the magnitude of the rainfall.Trying to clean up all the faeces in the shed was very difficult as being wet would dissolve into the ground and cleaning up the faeces in the enormous paddock , impossible.

I had never experienced any greys with coccidiosos before but had heard of how awful it was and heart breaking . I never thought that it would occur here but that is what happened. Nikki suddenly very quickly went downhill. If I had seen it before I may have recognised the symptoms before she started bleeding.She wouldn’t drink and then I noticed she had blood in her bag. I did have Nikki on coccivet as a preventative as soon as she came into my care but unfortunately Nikki  had a compromised immune system due to a rough start and I should have had her on a larger daily doze .Another thing I have learnt , in hindsight. The greys that came from Jasmine had been started on coccivet (amprolium) a couple of weeks before they came here on the minimum dose as that’s what I thought would be O.K. What I should have done was given all 5 a higher daily doze  immediately they all went into care all together in the pen. Something I never knew before is that coccivet can be given at 10 times the daily amount stated if need be. It may have saved them once rain began.

Baycox is a treatment that is used for pigs to keep coccidiosis at bay and it is the treatment that for years wildlife carers have used for macropods.  Baycox is the only treatment we have available that can kill oocysts if it is caught in time which is not usually the case because once the animal has presented with symptoms its more often to late .Baycox is not a preventative. I had heard that Baycox is a harsh agent and can weaken the animals defences if over used, I have no idea if this is really so.Coccivet is said to be a preventive but there is much debate around that also. One thing I do know is that it doesn’t harm the animal and i will continue to use it for any greys I have in care.  After much reading and talking with other carers my opinion  is that baycox has not provided much success as a treatment because its usually to late once we notice what is wrong but its all we have.

Despite my efforts and use of baycox as advised Nikki died mid December.She had been Sam’s closest companion for months.

I treated the other 4 with baycox also but to late.

The next day later in the afternoon I found Handsome dead in his bag. That morning he was fine , eating , hoping and drinking all his milk. I took his body straight to Ted  who did a post mortem. Handsome showed no signs of having coccidiosis but had a fractured skull. Handsome had filled out in his time here and he had accepted me as his “mum” .He was walking around with me outside the pen  and loving it. We determined he must have been hopping very fast around inside the paddock and something must have scared him causing him to run headlong into one of the posts or a tree . He had got back to his bag and died.It was so very sad.He was a gorgeous boy and very affectionate.

A couple of days later Precious showed signs of having coccidiosis and even though I moved quicker with her I couldn’t save her.

I moved Sammy and Miss Margaret out of the large pen and decided to spell it for at least 6 mths. I moved Sammy and Miss M into my smaller pen. They both seemed fine and they had bonded well.

Sam & Miss Margaret

A couple of days went by and then Miss M showed signs of coccidiosis.I treated her as advised  and Sam also even though he seemed fine. Sam showed no signs of illness at any time. He had been on coccivet since very young. I always drop a bit of dirt and grass into the bag and start my greys on coccivet at that point. As Sam had grown up here from a little pinky he also hadn’t had the stress of moving to a new place and a new ‘mum”. Stress is one of the worst enemies of grey kangaroos.

I took Miss M out of the pen and bought her inside .She seemed to rally and I thought all was well but she went downhill again a couple of days later and died on Dec 29th.

Poor Sammy was alone. I was offered a couple of other greys a bit younger than him but I was to nervous and upset to bring anymore here at that point in time.I decided that I would just spend more time with Sammy.I used to have breakfast with him then we would go off for a bush walk.He seemed  quite happy to go into his pen and have a good sleep as it was hot during the day.

Sam sleeping Feb 2022

I would give him his evening milk about 6pm take him for a walk about then he would stay around in the house paddock with the red-necks till about 8pm when I would put him into his pen for the night. He had a  stuffed pillow hanging from a tree in the pen that he practised jumping and kicking with. I was advised to treat him every 3 weeks with baycox. I didn’t feel comfortable with this but the advise was from someone far more knowledgeable than me so I followed it.Sammy continued to grow and thrive and we were constant companions.

Sam Feb 2022 – 8 kilo standing at my
breakfast /lunch table

I got a call from the macropod co asking me if I would be willing to take 3 Swamp wallabies .Swamp wallabies are not susceptible to coccidiosis and could go into my large pen.I eventually decided that I would as the big pen was a good space for them.