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1 March 2012 Strangulating Intestinal Obstructions in Four Captive Elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana)
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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.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Ellen B. Wiedner, James Peddie, Linda Reeve Peddie, Noha Abou-Madi, George V. Kollias, Charles Doyle, William A. Lindsay, Ramiro Isaza, Scott Terrell, Tim M. Lynch, Kari Johnson, Gary Johnson, Charlie Sammut, Barbara Daft, and Francisco Uzal "Strangulating Intestinal Obstructions in Four Captive Elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 43(1), 125-130, (1 March 2012).
Received: 3 May 2011; Published: 1 March 2012

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