Banding Collectively to Assist Armadillo “Bell” 


I’m new to the Cincinnati Zoo however know that, over time, MedVet has helped us with instances that required extra subtle imaging tools than what we’ve on the Zoo.  We’re grateful for his or her continued help and collaboration. 

CZBG Veterinary Technician Janell Duvall collects blood on Bell to run a well being profile

Most not too long ago, we took Bell, a 12-year-old feminine Screaming Furry Armadillo to MedVet for a CT (Computed Tomography) scan. She had indicators of a nosebleed and clear nasal discharge on the finish of September, she additionally turned torpid and was not consuming nicely. We did an examination on the zoo hospital and weren’t in a position to pinpoint a definitive trigger.  

Armadillos have dermal plates that intrude with radiographs by overlapping the necessary inside constructions, so it is rather tough to see any tremendous particulars within the cranium or physique. We did a full dental examination to search for unhealthy tooth that may be inflicting an abscess or bother consuming, and stuck some minor issues, however didn’t discover something extreme. We began Bell on therapies with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and she or he appeared to enhance. Just a few weeks after these meds have been completed, workers famous that she had extra snot bubbles, and she or he was appearing completely different. It turned obvious that Bell couldn’t see nicely, and this was a sudden change in her imaginative and prescient. That is extremely regarding for a illness course of within the cranium that could possibly be inflicting each nasal and eye issues, reminiscent of a tumor or a really unhealthy an infection (reminiscent of a fungal an infection).  

Bell is anesthetized for her CT scan, together with leads for monitoring her coronary heart fee, respiration, and coronary heart rhythm

The one approach to see extra element within the head is to do a CT scan. These scans additionally use x-ray know-how however they do it in slices so you may piece again collectively a 3-D reconstruction of the cranium and look inside with none outer constructions in the way in which. That is excellent for an armored animal like armadillos.  

CT permits analysis of constructions in 3 dimensions, we are able to scan every particular person space and have a look at it from the highest, aspect, and entrance views

3-view to guage the nasal cavity in 3 planes, permitting us to look into the sinus with out interference from the bones.  

Bell was taken to MedVet and anesthetized for the CT. Anesthesia is critical so the animal may be very nonetheless for the scan. The radiologists (together with Dr. Chase Fixed who has helped the zoo many instances, and radiology resident Vionna Kwan) have been in a position to assessment the scan in actual time and had data earlier than Bell was even awake.  

The excellent news is that we didn’t discover any proof of a tumor or damaging infectious course of. The unhealthy information is we didn’t discover a solution for Bell’s indicators.  

The radiologists have been even in a position to see sufficient element to know that there have been no adjustments to her optic nerve and eyes, that are so small. MedVet’s Ophthalmologist, Dr. Vanessa Kuonen Cavens, got here by to have a look at Bell’s eyes for clues. She was in a position to verify that Bell doesn’t have any cataracts, however her eyes have been simply too small to guage anything!  

We additionally carried out a nasal flush to try to get some cells and tradition samples to attempt to discover clues about why Bell has these indicators. We’re nonetheless ready for these outcomes. Within the meantime, Bell is again in her house on the Zoo, the place we’re treating her signs as wanted for her consolation, and she or he is adjusting to her adjustments in imaginative and prescient.  

CT Slice displaying the tremendous element that may be seen inside Bell. Notably you may see her bony shell-like pores and skin, cranium, tooth, and every particular person organ, together with some flatulence but to come back…



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