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Chimp VAG Annual Report 2005

SSP/TAG:  Common Chimpanzee  DATE:  6 September 2005 


Kathryn C. Gamble DVM, MS, DACZM Kay Backues, DVM, DACZM

Lincoln Park Zoo    Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum

Director of Veterinary Services  Head Veterinarian

2001 North Clark Street   5701 E 36th Street North

Chicago, IL 60614    Tulsa, OK 74115

Ph:  312.742.7722    Ph:  918.669.6243

Fx:  312.742.7823    Fx:  918.669.6260 

MORBIDITY (Significant illnesses/issues facing this species this year):

-     Considering the mortality profile this year, it is not surprising that consultations on congestive heart failure and cardiac disease were substantial in number.  Prevention of obesity, good exercise programs, and regular physical examinations that include cardiac consultations are important not only in middle aged but also for geriatric animals. 

Options for control of cardiac disease are available but early diagnosis remains essential for best response. 

-     Coccidiomycosis has been previously diagnosed in three chimpanzees in the last 10 years but only once as the primary cause of death with the other two cases responding to treatment.  It should be considered as a differential for respiratory disease or wasting conditions in chimpanzees housed in the SW USA or recently moved from those areas.  Serologic testing is available for this fungal organism which can be incorporated into annual/bi-annual routine physicals for baselines and tracking. 

MORTALITY (Causes of death in this year):

          Stillbirths     1.1.1

          Neonatal death    1.0.0


            Neoplasia    0.1.0

            Exhibit-related (drowning) 0.1.0

            Amyloidosis/renal disease 0.1.0

            Cardiac causes

              Infarction   1.0.0 (29 yr)

              Congestive failure 3.0.0 (41, 51, 57 yrs)

            Pending final results  0.2.0 

          Total     6.6.1 

BIRTHS:  See Chair report. 

ANESTHESTIC PROTCOLS (Please list successful and unsuccessful protocols)Telazol (3-5 mg/kg) or medetomidine (40-50 mcg/kg)/ketamine (2mg/kg) with atipamezole (5mg:1mg of medetomidine) remain the general induction routes with isoflurane inhalant maintenance.   

VACCINE RECOMMENDATIONS (Vaccine reactions, new vaccines to be considered)Under review with guidelines process.

    Revisions to husbandry manual/chapters

    • Contraception – completed and will be incorporated into Welfare Guidelines (K. Backues)
    • Veterinary care – in progress and will be incorporated into Welfare Guidelines (K. Gamble)

CONTRACEPTION (Methods used, successes, failures)

Contraception continues as an important aspect of management of this species.  Pre-pubertal or at puberty oral contraceptive administration and reversible vasectomies are addressed in revisions of the Reproduction chapter of the husbandry manual. 


Upcoming projects will include an SSP Veterinary Advisor report proposed for a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians/American Zoo and Aquaria meetings, 2006, Tampa, FL, and development of a cardiac disease formulary based on recent experiences and uses, reviewed by human cardiologists for additional new medications to consider. 

NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS:  Under review with guidelines process – see above. 

NEW HEALTH CARE RECOMMENDATIONS:  Under review with guidelines process – see above. 

NEW SSP/TAG PROTOCOLS:  Under review with guidelines process – see above. 


Consultation with Gombe was ongoing on several aspects of medicine this year.  Fecal parasite survey by technical staff at Lincoln Park Zoo has continued and will result in an identification atlas for "in-field” use.  One of cases of ‘wasting’ reported in older male chimpanzees was identified with a substantial enteric parasitism (Oesophagostomum sp.).  Two other animals were presented following substantial intra-troop antagonism which required injury consultation and subsequently full necropsies provided by Zoological Pathology Program, Urbana, IL. 



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