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Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States

Wiedner E.B.,Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation | Peddie J.,Drs. Peddie | Peddie L.R.,Drs. Peddie | Abou-Madi N.,Cornell University | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2012

Three captive-born (5-day-old, 8-day-old, and 4-yr-old) Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and one captive-born 22-yr-old African elephant (Loxodonta africana) from three private elephant facilities and one zoo in the United States presented with depression, anorexia, and tachycardia as well as gastrointestinal signs of disease including abdominal distention, decreased borborygmi, tenesmus, hematochezia, or diarrhea. All elephants showed some evidence of discomfort including agitation, vocalization, or postural changes. One animal had abnormal rectal findings. Nonmotile bowel loops were seen on transabdominal ultrasound in another case. Duration of signs ranged from 6 to 36 hr. All elephants received analgesics and were given oral or rectal fluids. Other treatments included warm-water enemas or walking. One elephant underwent exploratory celiotomy. Three animals died, and the elephant taken to surgery was euthanized prior to anesthetic recovery. At necropsy, all animals had severe, strangulating intestinal lesions. Copyright © 2012 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Wong A.W.,University of Florida | Wong A.W.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | Wong A.W.,University of Queensland | Bonde R.K.,University of Florida | And 9 more authors.
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2012

West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are captured, handled, and transported to facilitate conservation, research, and rehabilitation efforts. Monitoring manatee oral temperature (OT), heart rate (HR), and respiration rate (RR) during out-of-water handling can assist efforts to maintain animal well-being and improve medical response to evidence of declining health. To determine effects of capture on manatee vital signs, we monitored OT, HR, and RR continuously for a 50-min period in 38 healthy, awake, juvenile and adult Florida manatees (T. m. latirostris) and 48 similar Antillean manatees (T. m. manatus). We examined creatine kinase (CK), potassium (K+), serum amyloid A (SAA), and lactate values for each animal to assess possible systemic inflammation and muscular trauma. OT range was 29.5 to 36.2° C, HR range was 32 to 88 beats/min, and RR range was 0 to 17 breaths/5 min. Antillean manatees had higher initial OT, HR, and RR than Florida manatees (p < 0.001). As monitoring time progressed, mean differences between the subspecies were no longer significant. High RR over monitoring time was associated with high lactate concentration. Antillean manatees had higher overall lactate values ([mean ± SD] 20.6 ± 7.8 mmol/L) than Florida manatees (13.7 ± 6.7 mmol/L; p < 0.001). We recommend monitoring manatee OT, HR, and RR during capture and handling in the field or in a captive care setting.

Miller M.,Disneys Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives | Weber M.,Disneys Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives | Valdes E.V.,Disneys Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives | Neiffer D.,Disneys Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2010

A combination of low serum calcium (Ca), high serum phosphorus (P), and low serum magnesium (Mg) has been observed in individual captive ruminants, primarily affecting kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), eland (Taurotragus oryx), nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus), and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). These mineral abnormalities have been associated with chronic laminitis, acute tetany, seizures, and death. Underlying rumen disease secondary to feeding highly fermentable carbohydrates was suspected to be contributing to the mineral deficiencies, and diet changes that decreased the amount of starch fed were implemented in 2003. Serum chemistry values from before and after the diet change were compared. The most notable improvement after the diet change was a decrease in mean serum P. Statistically significant decreases in mean serum P were observed for the kudu (102.1-66.4 ppm), eland (73.3-58.4 ppm), and bongo (92.1-64.2 ppm; P < 0.05). Although not statistically significant, mean serum P levels also decreased for nyala (99.3-86.8 ppm) and giraffe (82.6-68.7 ppm). Significant increases in mean serum Mg were also observed for kudu (15.9-17.9 ppm) and eland (17.1-19.7 ppm). A trend toward increased serum Mg was also observed in nyala, bongo, and giraffe after the diet change. No significant changes in mean serum Ca were observed in any of the five species evaluated, and Ca was within normal ranges for domestic ruminants. The mean Ca:P ratio increased to greater than one in every species after the diet change, with kudu, eland, and bongo showing a statistically significant change. The results of this study indicate that the diet change had a generally positive effect on serum P and Mg levels. Copyright 2010 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

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