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Giant Pandas Giant Pandas
Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management
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15 - Medical management of captive adult and geriatric giant pandas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2009

Donald L. Janssen
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Patrick Morris
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Meg Sutherland-Smith
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Mark Greenberg
Affiliation:
San Diego Medical Center
Desheng Li
Affiliation:
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda
Nathalie Mauroo
Affiliation:
Ocean Park
Spelman Lucy
Affiliation:
National Zoological Park
David E. Wildt
Affiliation:
Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington DC
Anju Zhang
Affiliation:
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Hemin Zhang
Affiliation:
Wildlife Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas
Donald L. Janssen
Affiliation:
Zoological Society of San Diego
Susie Ellis
Affiliation:
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

The medical management of giant pandas has advanced significantly in recent years due to cooperative programmes between Chinese and western institutions, specifically zoos and breeding centres. Key to these partnerships have been veterinarians who have become committed to understanding the diseases affecting this species. Progress has emanated from efforts such as the Biomedical Survey (see Chapter 4) and international personnel exchanges related to giant panda loans to western zoos (see Chapter 22). The result has been many opportunities for veterinarians working with giant pandas to share philosophies, tools, expertise and knowledge which, in turn, have vastly improved medical care of this species in captivity.

There are unique as well as overlapping medical issues impacting the giant panda according to age. For example, Chapter 13 has already addressed health-related topics facing neonates and juveniles. After four years of age, however, the giant panda has matured physically and sexually, leaving behind many of the diseases associated with its youth. Then, after the age of 20 years and during the period of reproductive senescence, another set of potential problems face managers and veterinarians – degenerative changes related to the geriatric condition. Because health and reproduction are improving so rapidly in the ex situ panda population, it is a given that more animals will live longer, requiring more sophisticated veterinary management to ensure well-being for up to 25 years of age or beyond.

This chapter describes the authors' medical experiences with adult and aged giant pandas living in zoos, especially in the USA.

Type
Chapter
Information
Giant Pandas
Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management
, pp. 353 - 376
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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References

Bush, M., Montali, R. J., Phillips, L. G.et al. (1984). Anemia and renal failure in a giant panda. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 185, 1435–7.Google Scholar
Chen, Y. and Pan, X. (1991). Etiological studies on acute enteritis in giant pandas. Proceedings of the Third Asian Bear Conference, Harbin, China, p. 193 (abstr.).
Deem, S. L., Spelman, L. H., Yates, R. A., and Montali, R. J. (2000). Canine distemper in terrestrial carnivores: a review. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 31, 441–51.Google ScholarPubMed
Mainka, S. A. (1999). Giant panda management and medicine in China. In Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine V, ed. Fowler, M. E. and Miller, E.. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Co., pp. 410–14.Google Scholar
Mainka, S. A., Qiu, X., He, T. and Appel, M. J. (1994). Serologic survey of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and domestic dogs and cats in the Wolong Reserve, China. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 30, 86–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mauroo, N. F., Routh, A. and Hu, W. (2003). Diagnosis and management of systemic hypertension in a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Proceedings of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, ed. C. K. Baer. Minneapolis, MN pp. 289–90.Google Scholar
Qiu, X. and Mainka, S. A. (1993). Review of mortality of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 24, 425–9.Google Scholar
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