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1 June 2014 ESOPHAGEAL DISSECTION AND HEMATOMA ASSOCIATED WITH OBSTRUCTION IN AN INDIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS INDICUS)
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Abstract

A 42-year-old female Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) developed a sudden onset of excessive salivation and dysphagia. Esophageal obstruction was suspected; possibly related to palm frond ingestion. Esophageal endoscopy revealed a mat of plant material in the distal esophagus. An initial attempt at relieving the obstruction was unsuccessful, but subsequent use of custom-made instruments along with insufflation and hydropulsion enabled partial removal of the material. Postimmobilization care included aggressive intravenous and rectal fluids, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic administration, and fasting. Despite treatment, the dysphagia persisted and the elephant was euthanized due to lack of improvement and grave prognosis. Postmortem examination revealed remaining plant material in the esophagus, complicated by an esophageal dissection, mural hematoma, and secondary bacterial infection. Iatrogenic trauma may have contributed to the extent of esophageal injury. Although treatment was ultimately unsuccessful, the supportive care employed could potentially aid recovery in cases of less severe esophageal trauma.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Kristen A. Phair, Meg Sutherland-Smith, Geoffrey W. Pye, Allan P. Pessier, and Tracy L. Clippinger "ESOPHAGEAL DISSECTION AND HEMATOMA ASSOCIATED WITH OBSTRUCTION IN AN INDIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS INDICUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 45(2), 423-427, (1 June 2014). https://doi.org/10.1638/2013-0177R.1
Received: 29 July 2013; Published: 1 June 2014
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