Animal medicine in the Zoo
Prevention is better than healing!
A precondition for the zoo animals to be healthy as long as possible are our spacious and modern designed animal preserves like you can visit here in our Zoo am Meer. Also the good care by our specialized employees being responsible for the animal care is indispensable. Furthermore this small zoo disposes of an own veterinarian. Why ? There won’t hardly be so many patients, or? Correct because the crucial point of the zoo animal medicine concentrates on the prevention.
Just imagine a family doctor who does not care for you only in case of illness but permanently gives advices to you like “Please do not take the cookie – it contains too much fat and cholesterine. Please do not drink the third cup of coffee, the caffeine will damage your heart. Please repair the broken stairs otherwise somebody will fall down and break his legs. It is good that you are now doing more exercises and have lost some weight. Go on!” This describes the essential point of the animal medicine in the zoo in a very good way.
The focal points are therefore based on the support of measures which save the health resp. prevent any causes for illness. This means also regular vaccinations depending on the animal species, steady parasitological checks of the live stock, the monitoring of physiological para-meters of the animals as well as a continuous optimizing of the social and preserve structures, the feedings and the hygiene. No question: the before mentioned is done in close cooperation with the animal keepers.
Of course also our animals get ill sometimes. This part of the life. Upon having diagnosed it is important to support the self-healing abilities of the animal organism. Sometimes we have to give some remedy. The most easiest way to do this is mixing it into the water or food. But sometimes also an injection becomes necessary. Unfortunately our polar bear is not reaching his paw on demand, you cannot kindly ask the cougar to offer his back part and also the chimpanzee had another idea of his day. Then a “flying injection” is shot by means of pea-shooter or a gun which is injecting the medicament “from distance” into a muscle of the animal. Sometimes an animal has to be narcotized this way but only if this is absolutely necessary. This may be the case for taking some tissue or blood specimen, on occasion of
a transport or an operation.
We are obliged to take care of the well-being of our animals. Therefore a modern equipment of the veterinarian rooms is self-evident. According to the definition of the WHO (World Health Organization) the following is said: “Health is the condition of a completely physical, mental and social well-being and not only the lack of illness and infirmity”. The animal medicine is therefore imbedded in the extensive field of the whole zoological garden biology just to keep exactly this well-being of our animals.