This year’s report on the AfriCat Clinical Health Checks, conducted at AfriCat, Namibia by Dr Adrian Tordiffe, Dr Gerhard Steenkamp and Dr Diethardt Rodenwoldt:
From the 26th of June to the 7th of July 2016, the AfriCat team immobilized 27 cheetahs, 1 leopard and 1 lion at the AfriCat Foundation for their annual health examinations and to collect samples for our registered, research project (The long-term health monitoring and immuno-competence of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felids at AfriCat in Namibia – Permit no. 2184/2016).
Three leopards and 2 male lions were not immobilized, but visually inspected for any abnormalities.
All the animals were weighed. Blood and urine samples were collected and haematology and serum biochemistry profiles performed for each animal.
They were vaccinated against feline calici virus, feline panleucopaenia virus, feline herpes virus and feline rhinotracheitis. They were also vaccinated against rabies. Abdominal ultrasound examinations were performed on all the anaesthetized animals and gastric biopsies were collected from all the cheetahs using a flexible endoscope to assess the extent of gastritis in this captive population.
Dr Gerhard Steenkamp also checked each animal for dental abnormalities and a few cheetahs had root canal treatments and/or extractions.
Overall the animals were found to be in good health. This year all the animals were free of external parasites.
Individual procedures that were focussed on this year included:
Hyperthermia situations during darting of captive and free-roaming cheetahs.
Shakira’s skin tumour.
New compounds found in cheetah’s urine give important clues to scientists studying cheetah diseases.
Hyaena – Brown’s collaring.