Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Case Report
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 8(10): 1009-1012
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H. M. Usman Saddiq1*, Rana Haider Ali1, Muhammad Tahir Amjad2, Shahid Jaleel2, Syed Manuchahar Ali2, Noor Fatima1, Sami Ullah1

1University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore, Pakistan; 2Riyadh Zoological Garden, Al Malaz Ar Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract | The musculoskeletal impairments are one of the major health challenging issues of captive elephants in zoos. This is a case study of 45 years old female African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) named Laila, kept at Riyadh Zoological Garden, Al Malaz Ar Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There were total 3 female African elephants in the zoo and Laila was the eldest one. The elephant Laila was fed on fresh berseem and leaves, lucern hay, rhodes grass, pellets, molasses, rice, seasonal vegetables and fruits (Banana, Apple, and Orange). Facility of adequate water was provided by keeping drums of 100 litres capacity. The elephant was captivated at night quarters having cemented floor while during day time it was allowed to walk on soil. Usually one hind limb of the elephant was tethered with chain. The animal was found falling down repeatedly and unable to bear weight on limbs while attempting to stand up. Walking Activity was gradually decreased and ultimately total reluctance to walk. Bones were malformed grossly and splaying was evident. The elephant was suspected for gradual aging and related Degenerative Joint Disease. The animal was on continuous supportive medicines from the last few months. The animal was also under hot water hydrotherapy for quicker recovery from Degenerative Joint Disease. At the end, the elephant died when constant pain and lameness became unresponsive to protracted treatment. Post-mortem examination of elephant was conducted at post-mortem block of the zoo. When bones, joints and joint cavities were observed, articular surfaces of bones were found fragile and inflamed. Synovial fluid was less viscous. Bone density was extremely low and cracked sole was also found on palmer surface of right limb. It was suspected in the necropsy that the elephant was suffering from Degenerative Joint Disease.

Keywords | African Elephant, Degenerative Joint Disease, Musculoskeletal Abnormalities, Aging, Lameness