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Archive for the ‘Zoo Diary’ Category

fMy first encounter with Vienna Schonbrunn Zoo  and the its vet staff, took place during our weekly practice of the Conservation Medicine Module. Parts of our CM class had to come each Wednesday at 8 o’clock and join the vets on their daily activity. My first day was pretty exhausting, we had to tirm the claws of 15 Somali sheeps and take blood samples from them. After this we were being made the tour of honor of the zoo and around 11 we finished our job there. We also came when a hippo had to be anesthetized for castration and once we saw the training of the panda for clinical check-ups, incluiding blood sampling . During all this rotation period my group went there for 3 or 4 times.
Schonbrunn Zoo is quite a state of the art zoo, maybe the most pleasant from Europe. Numerous ex situ and in situ projects , a continuing improvement of the animal enclosures, many educational and awareness programs are being held here. Because of this and many other reasons I found it quite unsatisfactory for my interest in zoo animals to spend only this small period and, so, I decided to do more about it.
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052709120339The vet received a phone call about a European bison who was been seen lame. We had to drive to the country side were the animal was been housed in an enclosure with its herd. The keeper said that the animal was first seen limping in the morning and the evening before he didn’t see any abnormality. The bison was already separated by the keeper from the group. At the visual inspection, it had been seen that the animal was a young male, weighing around 200 kg,  in a good body shape and with the left forelimb limping. For a proper identification and treatment of the underling cause of the lameness, the bison had to be anesthetized.052709112401

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The sugar glider’s eye status worsen over the last week and the surgery seemed to be the last option . It was broth to OP and submitted to general anesthesia. IMG_1293As an analgesic Butorphanol was the drug of choice.Because of it’s small size, the patient was put under a bigger mask facing the table and when the anesthesia was achieved, a smaller mask was fitted to the animal nose. The induction and maintenance was provided with inhalatory Oxigen-Isoflurane anesthesia via a half close system with the smallest respiration resistant hose available. It was started with the maximum (5) flow on the Isoflurane vaporizer and after achieving the desired anesthesia depth was decreased to 2. The oxigen flow remained to 0.5 L/min.IMG_1296IMG_1299Because of the generalized purulent inflammation state of the eye, the surgeon had to make an enucleation of the ocular bulb.

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A Bearded Dragon came to the clinic to check its skin problem. The lizard was found in December and presented a massive infestation with mites. It was given Selamectin (Stronghold), which acts by opening the chloride channels allowing the chlorine ions to enter the parasite nerve cells inducing neuromuscular paralysis.img_1269 At this medical control the lizard did not present any mites anylonger but was presented with self induced scratch marks over the eyelids, probably because of the mites allergy. It seems that the antibiotic (Baytril 5mg/kg) didn’t stop the process of healing and the vet decided to stat a cortisone therapy with Tobradex (Dexametasone and Torbramicin). Because of side effects in reptiles the cortisone therapy should be always careful monitored. Also the vet considered that the sand from the lizard cage should be changed.

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040709100226Two Skink Lizards around 90g in weight presented an unusual similar inflammation. Each one of the lizards came from the same environment and had on the right side of the madibula a similar inflammation that could not be explained. For a proper investigation and pain management it was used an intramuscular non-steroidal agent, Rimadyl (carpofen) 4mg/kg and a local anesthetic, Lidocaine.  At the clinical consult the area did not seem purulent, but it was seen that the mandibular bone had a prominence. The X-Rays suggested an osteodystrophic process in both lizards. Considering the nature of the inflammatory process and the location of it, it was concluded that the treatment would be only to counteract the infection a with an antibiotic, Baytril (enrofloxacin) 5-10 mg/kg oraly SID.

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One Roan Antelope had to be shipped to a zoo in Great Britain. A danish wild animal transporting company provided the shipping. To get the animal into the transport box, the vet and the keeper considered that they should tranquilize it inside shelter building and then guide it inside the box. The antelope was an adult, about  a meter and half at the shoulder and weighted around 200 kilograms. 040709081509040709083225The vet used 1ml of Immobilon and darted it with a blowing pipe from a short range. Immobilon contains Etorphine a semi-synthetic opioid and  Acepromazine, a phenothiazine. Ethorphine is 3000 times more potent than Morphine and should be used with extreme caution, considering that one drop on the skin can cause death in humans within a few minutes.  040709083552The product should always be accompanied with a  human-specific  opioid antagonist (naloxone) that should be used in case of accidents.

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040209151250Two Galapagos Tortoises had to be transported to Stockholm Zoo and for this matter they’ve had to be examined and the sex determined. Diagnostic ultrasonography  was used to identify the sex of the turtles. Each turtle was placed sternally on a ladder which restrained the  movement.   A linear ultrasound transducer was placed on the inguinal area, just cranial of the hind limb. In one turtle it was clearly seen on the display  shapes of the eggs. It was concluded that one turtle was a female and the other a male.

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