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Myopathy

This young female swamp wallaby was found in the middle of a small country road, the young lady that found her thought she had been hit by a car, unfortunately it was a case of Myopathy .

Let me explain what Myopathy is.

Myopathy in Macropods (being wallabies, pademelons and kangaroos) happens when the animal is under extreme stress, as is the case when it is being attacked or chased by a dog.

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The animal does not have to be injured directly to develop rhabdomyolysis, which is a disintegration of the muscle fibres. From within 24 hours up to a few weeks after the incident, the wallaby will show stiffness and paralysis mainly in the hindquarters, progressing to complete paralysis, it will also salivate excessively, death will occur within 2-14 days after the stressful incident.


Usually we will not see an animal in this state, as it will go somewhere quiet and out of sight to die.
It is natural for us to think that if the dog did not catch the wallaby, no harm has been done, the dog had a good run, the wallaby got away. As you have just read, the wallaby may have gotten away, but it did not escape a painful and slow death.

It is very unfortunate that this situation takes place on a regular basis in the country, as it is avoidable, just by locking up your dog at night when most Australian native animals are most active.

Be alert to what is taking place around you, specially at night, and help our native animals survive in an ever diminishing natural environment.

Myopathy can be treated in very young pouch joey's if treated when the stressful incident has just taken place. In adult macropods it is too late by the time the animal is found, as was the case with this Swamp wallaby

She was approximately 12 months old.

Updated January 11, 2017  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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