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Detroit Zoo in the News: How does zoo test an ape’s heart? Very patiently

How does zoo test an ape’s heart? Very patiently.

Veterinarians persuade the Detroit Zoo’s gorillas to undergo heart scans as part of the national Great Ape Heart Project.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/04/how-does-zoo-test-an-apes-heart-with-a-lot-of-patience/6045603/

Omaha Study Published!

Congratulations to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo veterinarian Julie Napier and her colleagues on the publication of their article:  “Evaluating echocardiogram and indirect blood pressure results in male western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) during three phases of an anesthetic protocol” in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.  The article is available now online at:

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1638/2012-0186R3.1.

ABSTRACT: Until the majority of the great ape population is trained for conscious cardiac evaluations, most individuals will require general anesthesia to perform echocardiograms. Within the veterinary community, concern exists that certain anesthetic protocols may exacerbate or artificially induce signs of cardiac disease. Because of potential cardiovascular effects, medetomidine has generally been used cautiously in patients with cardiac disease. The combination of ketamine and medetomidine is frequently used by many institutions because of its reversibility. To date, no published studies have obtained physiologic or echocardiographic parameters comparing different anesthetic protocols. In this study, with the use of seven adult male gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) with and without cardiac disease, echocardiographic and indirect blood pressure data during three phases of an anesthetic protocol were collected. The initial echocardiographic study was completed with ketamine/medetomidine alone (5–7 mg/kg, i.m., and 0.05–0.07 mg/kg, i.m., respectively); the second study was completed after the addition of sevoflurane inhalant anesthesia to this procedure; and the third study was completed after reversal of medetomidine by administration of atipamezole (5:1 with the medetomidine dose given at induction). Without exception, ejection fractions were 15–25% lower under anesthesia with medetomidine as compared to ejection fractions after administration of atipamezole. Indirect blood pressures were higher on ketamine/medetomidine, lower with addition of sevoflurane, and considerably lower after administration of atipamezole.

Zoo Atlanta Gorilla Cardiac Ultrasound Training Video

Zoo Atlanta houses the largest gorilla collection in the United States with 22 gorillas, of which 18 individuals are trained for voluntary cardiac ultrasounds. Watch as keepers and our volunteer cardiac sonographer train for this procedure. Cardiac ultrasound training is made possible through partnership with sonographers from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Cardiac exam forms are submitted to the international database of The Great Ape Heart Project. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality among great apes living in zoological settings. The Great Ape Heart Project, headquartered at Zoo Atlanta, seeks to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiac disease across all four non-human great ape taxa (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos).

This video is intended as a training tool for other institutions; please use the time stamp links for referencing specific information.

39s — Zoo Atlanta training program for awake cardiac ultrasoundshttp://youtu.be/4utL6a4SmU4?t=39s

4:26 – How Zoo Atlanta collects cardiac exam informationhttp://youtu.be/4utL6a4SmU4?t=4m26s

5:19 – How to submit exams to the Great Ape Heart Projecthttp://youtu.be/4utL6a4SmU4?t=5m19s

7:13 – Voluntary cardiac ultrasound from start to finishhttp://youtu.be/4utL6a4SmU4?t=7m13s

Happy New Year from the GAHP!

The GAHP wishes everyone a healthy and happy 2014!  Download our 2014 calendar here: GAHP2014 Calendar (PDF).  This year’s “calendar-girl” is bonobo Mary Rose from the Columbus Zoo (photo credit: Max Block).

Tough Cuff at AAZV

If you are interested in seeing the Tough Cuff in person and want to learn more about ordering one for your zoo, Bruce Harshe from Medical Engineering and Dev. Co will be at booth 20 at the upcoming American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) meeting in Salt Lake City.

Human heart disease recently found in chimpanzees

Click here for the original post: Human heart disease recently found in chimpanzees.

To access a pdf of the publication:
http://vet.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/28/0300985813501333.full.pdf+html

 IMAGE: This image shows researcher Lydia Tong.

Click here for more information. 

Los Angeles — While in the past century there have been several documented examples of young, healthy athletes who have died suddenly of heart disease during competitive sporting events, a new study finds that this problem also extends to chimpanzees. According to an article published today in the SAGE journal Veterinary Pathology, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a human heart disease that causes sudden cardiac death in teenagers and young adults (particularly healthy athletes), has now been identified in chimpanzees.

“It is the first description of this condition in a primate species apart from humans,” stated primary author of the study Dr. Lydia Tong. “The circumstances of these two cases in chimpanzees mirror the common presentation of the condition in humans. The two half-brother chimps were teenagers apparently at their peak health (16 and 17 years old), and one of the chimp died suddenly during physical exertion.”

The chimpanzees had been living at a UK zoo when the deaths occurred in 2004 and 2008, and Professor Mary Sheppard, a specialist in Human Sudden Cardiac Death, was part of the team that helped perform the autopsies. Professor Sheppard examined the hearts as she would normally do for a young person who had died in similar circumstances. The specialist found that the changes in these hearts were nearly identical to those examined in humans.

“The big question is — what causes the disease in chimpanzees, and what are the common factors with human disease?” Dr. Tong stated. “In humans we know that there is a genetic component in about 50% of cases but the other factors are not well understood. It has been theorized that viral exposure, levels of exercise, and dietary variables may influence development of the condition in humans. More work needs to be done to determine if the same genetic changes may be occurring in affected chimpanzees, and whether other influences at play.”

Dr. Tong discussed the implications of this new finding for future research, “The bottom line is that this finding and similar future research will assist us in understanding and managing this disease of young otherwise healthy chimps, a tremendously important and endangered species. Furthermore, as the closest relative to the human, future research has the potential to help us understand the same disease in humans.”

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To read an embargoed copy of the full article entitled “Fatal Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in 2 Related Subadult Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)” published in Veterinary Pathology, please email camille.gamboa@sagepub.com.

Veterinary Pathology (VET) is the premier international publication of basic and applied research involving domestic, laboratory, wildlife, marine and zoo animals, and poultry. Bridging the divide between natural and experimental diseases, the journal details the diagnostic investigations of diseases of animals; reports experimental studies on mechanisms of specific processes; provides unique insights into animal models of human disease; and presents studies on environmental and pharmaceutical hazards. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). http://vet.sagepub.com/

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. http://www.sagepublications.com

NEW TOUGH CUFF ORDER

In the past year or so, several zoos have approached the Great Ape Heart Project to ask about ordering a “Tough Cuff” through the company that Zoo Atlanta uses.  Our website has a page dedicated to information about the Tough Cuff and how Zoo Atlanta uses it to collect blood pressure measurements voluntarily from trained adult male gorillas: http://greatapeheartproject.org/projects/blood-pressure/

The Tough Cuff is made of a durable (but expensive) polycarbonate, which is only sold in certain quantities.  In addition to the expensive material, the design and measurements are particularly calibrated to work with the very large arms of adult male gorillas (33-45cm in diameter).  Therefore, manufacturing the Tough Cuff can be very costly between purchasing the materials and calibrating the machinery for this very specialized piece.  When multiple orders are made at the same time, the manufacturer only has to set up his machinery once, which means that the labor costs can be split between each zoo ordering the device.  In 2012, the GAHP coordinated an order for 20 institutions across the country.  We are now coordinating a second group-order that will likely be made towards the end of September.

The current estimate for the Tough Cuff is around $550, with this price going down slightly as more institutions order.  This does not include a blood pressure cuff and monitoring device, nor the mesh cage sleeve that encases the Tough Cuff.  The Tough Cuff is the plastic piece that holds the blood pressure cuff in place within a mesh sleeve.

Feel free to let colleagues know about this next order if you think they might be interested.  Please send any questions to gahpinfo@gmail.com.

BBC News – Whipsnade Zoo chimpanzees fitted with heart monitors

 

BBC News – Whipsnade Zoo chimpanzees fitted with heart monitors.

Rudi the Orangutan Gets His Heart Checked – YouTube

A big thank you to the Houston Zoo for sharing their latest video about orangutan Rudi:

Rudi the Orangutan Gets His Heart Checked – YouTube.

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo works to keep orangutans heart healthy

Read the full article on the News-Sentinal.com

By Cheryl Piropato for The News-Sentinel
Thursday, May 9, 2013 – 10:52 am

Healthy hearts for orangutans

May 9, 2013

Keeping animals healthy is a zookeeper’s No. 1 goal. But because some health problems remain unseen until it’s too late, zookeepers at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo turn to diagnostic tools for help.

Heart problems are a leading cause of death for both zoo-managed and wild orangutans, so zoos have banded together to develop the Great Ape Heart Project, based at Zoo Atlanta.

The project collects data on orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas that will advance understanding of ape heart conditions.

“This effort will help us understand what healthy ape hearts look like,” said Fort Wayne zoo veterinarian Dr. Joe Smith, serves as the veterinary adviser for the Orangutan Species Survival Plan and is a member of the Great Ape Heart Project Steering Committee.

Read more about orangutans at http://kidszoo.org/our-animals/indonesian-rain-forest/sumatran-orangutan/.

To read more about what Tengku likes to do with the ultrasound gel used during his echocardiogram and see a video at http://kidszoo.org/healthy-hearts-for-orangutans/.

Vote for your favorite animal during Zoo Week at Kroger and Scott’s

Bugara the tiger, Fishbone the sea lion, and Jelani the giraffe want your vote during Kroger and Scott’s Zoo Week! Choose your favorite animal at the checkout and, your $1 donation goes directly to your non-profit Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Shop at your local Kroger or Scott’s store on Zoo Day, May 15, to get great deals and help the zoo at the same time! Then, on May 18, use your receipt from May 15 to get free child admission to the zoo with a paying adult.

Now in its 21st year, Kroger & Scott’s Zoo Day has generated more than $1.4 million for the zoo. Our thanks to Kroger and Scott’s for their outstanding support.

Celebrate orangutan M.O.M.s on Mother’s Day, May 12

Join members of the American Association of Zoo Keepers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to learn about orangutans, the threats they face in the wild and how you can help.

As their rain forest home is literally wiped out, more baby orangutans are losing their mothers due to the growing demand for palm oil. These babies, who would normally remain with their mothers for up to eight years, become orphaned and are unable to survive.

The Missing Orangutan Mothers (M.O.M.s) campaign helps generate awareness about these issues.

Learn more about orangutans, palm oil, and how you can help athttp://www.cmzoo.org/docs/palmOilShoppingGuide.pdf.

Cheryl Piropato is education and communications director for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
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