Panda Updates – Wednesday, October 9
I was recently reflecting on this past year since Idgie the red panda was diagnosed with arthritis. Idgie is doing amazingly well, not only for a red panda of her age (13), but also as a red panda living with arthritis. I was also thinking about how it took a proverbial village to help her to get where she is today. Her care team carefully observes her behavior and reports any changes to her veterinary team. Her veterinary team devises a diagnostic plan and subsequent treatment plan to address any medical issues. The veterinary team also works with her care team to find ways implement treatments. For example, we have discussed how Idgie participates in cold laser therapy; her care team came up with a way to train Idgie to participate in the therapy before the vet team could initiate the treatment. Additionally, red pandas can be difficult to medicate – they don’t like to try new things, so if you can’t hide medications in their favorite foods, it can be tricky to convince them to take medications. We tried a couple of different versions of medications before we found the right one that Idgie would take reliably. In the meantime, her care team also worked closely with our talented Habitat Maintenance Team to design and build ramps and structures to allow Idgie to continue to live arboreally, but in a safe manner. Because of the teamwork between the Animal Care Team, the Veterinary Team, and the Maintenance Team, today Idgie is thriving!
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
(photo by Heather R.)