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Giraffe Quarantine Recommendations

Quarantine Recommendations for Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis sp).


Giraffe are generally hardy species with few infectious problems. However, adherence to appropriate quarantine guidelines will help prevent the spread of any contagions.


            A. A minimum quarantine length of 30 days is recommended. Quarantine should prevent feces, urine, bedding and direct exposure to established giraffe and other hoofstock. Quarantine should extend as appropriate when potential pathogens are identified and addressed.

            B. A footbath utilizing an appropriate disinfectant (chlorhexidine, quaternary ammonia, phenolic, etc.) should be utilized whenever staff enter and leave a quarantine area. Bedding and waste product disposal is left to the discretion of the individual institution but should not contact animals already established at the institution.

            C. If possible, an accurate weight upon arrival and before departure from quarantine is recommended.

            D. Fecal analyses should include a minimum of three separate specimens during the quarantine period examined by direct, flotation and sedimentation.

            E. An enteric pathogen (Salmonella, Campylobacter, etc.) screen should be performed at least twice during quarantine on fresh fecal specimens.

            F. Although M. paratuberculosis infections in giraffe are rarely reported, it is recommended that feces be collected and when possible, sera samples for AGID and ELISA (see Appendix I, Preventative Medicine Recommendations).

            G. It is not currently recommended to immobilize or sedate giraffe for quarantine exam at this time. Some giraffe are conditioned to enter chutes for minor procedures, including phlebotomy. During these procedures, blood for a complete blood count, serum profile, fatty acid analyses, mineral panel, viral and bacterial titer screening (MCF, WNV, Brucella, Leptospirosis, Bluetongue, etc.) and tuberculin testing (see Preventative Medicine Recommendations) is appropriate. Some institutions may be able to perform radiographs of distal extremities for underlying disease problems.

            H. Astute observations of mastication, gait, mentation, symmetry, physical features, hoof/appendicular conformity, stool consistency and volume should be documented.

            I.  A gradual transition to the institutional diet for giraffe during the quarantine period is recommended. Routine analyses of the nutritional quality of hay and grain should be performed and conform to current recommendations.



            Giraffe should be released from quarantine only after the general health has been assessed and contagions have been addressed.


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