A 5-yr-old aardvark (Orycteropus afer) was presented with dystocia as a result of fetal oversize. A caesarian section was performed using the technique used in domestic dogs. Anesthesia was induced with medetomidine and ketamine and maintained with isoflurane. The neonate was initially unable to suckle because of swelling and paralysis of the face and tongue following the prolonged pressure of the dystocia. A Haberman feeder was used successfully from 5 days of age, and the calf suckled unassisted after 9 days, from which point it was parent-reared. Most captive aardvark calves have been hand-reared. Although all four of this female's calves have required some initial medical assistance, only the first was hand-reared. A management strategy of overnight separation of the calves and dam has allowed the neonates sufficient rest and reduced injury and has reduced the need for hand-rearing.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2