Search This Blog

Friday, October 19, 2012

Leg injury triggers arthritis in Sunderbans tiger

KOLKATA: The Sunderbans tiger, undergoing treatment at the Alipore Zoo, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis on Thursday. Three zoo doctors — D N Banerjee, Arnab Majhi and Jayanta Roy Burman - in the presence of experts from the animal husbandry department, performed an X-ray on its hind legs on Thursday afternoon. "Initially, it has been detected with infected osteoarthritis. We will consult other experts before deciding on a complete course of treatment. The tiger had to be tranquillized before performing the X-ray and it has regained consciousness now," said zoo director K L Ghosh. Eminent vet and a member of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Schedule I animal handling committee, Dr Swapan Ghosh, was also present when the X-ray was done. According to zoo director Ghosh, the prolonged internal injury on the tiger's left hind leg might have led to this arthritis. "This injury also restricted the tiger's movement, leading to a starvation in it," he added. Meanwhile, state wildlife advisory board member Joydip Kundu said that this injury may be an outcome of a man-animal conflict. "The forest department should take a serious note of it and step up the future conservation efforts in the Sunderbans," he added. Ghosh said that since it was a Thursday, the big cat was not offered any food. "It's much better now and we will shift to its normal diet from Friday again. We are also planning to release the tiger in an open enclosure. We will observe it and decide whether it's fit to be released back to the wild," Ghosh added. It may be noted that the zoo doesn't offer food to any of the carnivores on Thursdays. The zoo officials had earlier said that a weak posterior of the big cat is a cause for concern. The tiger, aged about seven years, was earlier diagnosed with prolonged starvation. "The blood and liver function tests had shown indication of starvation. There was discrepancy in the blood, urea and nitrogen ration (BUN) too. This showed that the kidney was not doing the filtering properly," zoo vet Dr D N Banerjee had earlier said. When contacted, Wildlife Institute of India's (WII) senior scientist YV Jhala said that complications like arthritis can be found in aged tigers. "A tiger, aged seven years, is not too young. However, it can't be called an old tiger either. So, the age is a key factor here," he added. Chief wildlife warden S B Mondal said it's up to the zoo officials to decide when or whether it can be released back to the wild. Vet's Take Renowned veterinary in the city, Dr Goutam Mukherjee, said that osteo arthritis is common in aged animals. A fluid called synovial fluid flows between the long bones, which prevents the friction between two bones. When an animal gets older, the fluid flow comes down resulting in frequent friction between the joint bones. This leads to osteo arthritis in an old animal. In this case, the arthritis was triggered by a prolonged injury. An improper healing of the injury might have resulted in constant damage of bones and muscle. This triggered infection and pain in the animal leading to arthritis

No comments:

Post a Comment