Republic of Poland

Unusual patients at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

December 1 2017

In the last few days the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has had some exotic patients – a monkey with damaged skull, and a lemur with limb paresis who underwent a successful spinal cord surgery.

Exotic animals at WUELS have been the subject of scientific research at the Department of Epizootiology and Clinic of Bird and Exotic Animals for years. Now, after over a two-decade-long trend of keeping all sorts of exotic animals at homes, this knowledge is turning out to be indispensable in everyday veterinary practice as well.


The case of Julian the lemur

The 8-year-old lemur is a resident of Safari ZOO in Borysew. It’s only one of the zoological gardens WUELS’ specialist are cooperating with – one of the regular patients of the veterinary faculty are very rare white lions raised in Borysew.

lemur Julian, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, WUELS,
fot. Tomasz Lewandowski

So when the keeper of those animals, dr Łukasz Rawicki, noticed that one of the lemurs, Julian, stopped walking and clearly had limb paresis he immediately got in touch with dr Marcin Wrzosek, a neurologist at the WUELS veterinary faculty.

Julian was first examined in one of the three most modern MRI workshops in Europe (academic veterinary clinics have at their disposal equipment that many other hospitals, not just those for animals, can be jealous of) and during that examination it turned out that the lemur threw its back out. Pharmacological treatment didn’t produce the desired result so during the next appointment additional specialistic tests were done including electromyography which is a neurological test allowing to detect muscles and nerves diseases. Then dr Wrzosek performed a successful spinal cord surgery which should bring back the lemur’s paws’ mobility.

Julian lemur, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, WUELS,
fot. Tomasz Lewandowski

Baby monkey saved

The person to know all about the dramatic events related to keeping exotic animals at homes would be WUELS’ dr Tomasz Piasecki because he’s the one who gets all the crawling, jumping, flying unusual patients almost every day.

Recently dr Piasecki saw a baby monkey for a follow-up appointment. The tufted capuchin who came from Kołobrzeg to see WUELS’ specialists is only one month old. She came to dr Piasecki with frontal and temporal lobes damage and fractured skull bones. Her mother bit her. – It happens as a result of some kind of stimulus like great stress – explains dr Piasecki.

tufted capuchin, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, WUELS,
fot. Tomasz Lewandowski

The follow-up examination (including the extensive neurological one performed by dr Wrzosek) showed that the therapy conducted by dr Piasecki brought the expected results. The capuchin is in good condition, she’s behaving like any one-month-old, and in a month during an another follow-up appointment the doctors are going to perform an MRI examination to check whether there are any hidden complications after the sustained injuries.