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1 September 2017 USE OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS AS A COMPONENT OF TUSK FRACTURE MANAGEMENT IN AN ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) AND AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA)
Richard R. Sim, Elizabeth Stringer, Dennis Donovan, Rachael Chappell, Pat Flora, Jon Hall, Selvum Pillay, Benjamin G. Willis, Stephanie McCain
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Abstract

Tusk fractures in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can result in damage to the distal end or to longitudinal cracks, potentially progressing to pulpitis. With pulp exposure, endodontic therapy is the treatment of choice, but conservative therapy has sufficed for some elephants. This manuscript describes the use of composite materials as a component of tusk fracture management. A 7-yr-old male Asian elephant fractured the distal end of both tusks with pulp exposure in one. Capping of each tusk with a Kevlar/fiberglass composite prevented further damage, and a modification allowed care of the exposed pulp tissue. A 34-yr-old male African elephant with a longitudinal crack received a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite circumferential wrap to potentially stabilize the crack. Compression of the crack was achieved, but follow-up was truncated due to bacterial pulpitis. Both cases show that composite material allows for lightweight, durable management of tusk fractures with continued radiographic monitoring.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Richard R. Sim, Elizabeth Stringer, Dennis Donovan, Rachael Chappell, Pat Flora, Jon Hall, Selvum Pillay, Benjamin G. Willis, and Stephanie McCain "USE OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS AS A COMPONENT OF TUSK FRACTURE MANAGEMENT IN AN ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) AND AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(3), 891-896, (1 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0212.1
Accepted: 1 March 2017; Published: 1 September 2017
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