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Yew. Click here for full page view with caption Bears: Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Lagomorphs:Normal rabbit hard and soft faeces. Click here for full page view with caption Cheyletiellosis in a rabbit. Click here for full page view with caption Applying Xenex Ultra Spot on (permethrin) to a rabbit.  Click here for full page view with caption Rabbit incisors and peg teeth. Click here for full page view with caption Disinfectant. Click here for full page view with caption Intradermal injection picture 1. Click here for full page view with caption. Intradermal injection picture 2. Click here for full page view with caption. Intradermal injection picture 3. Click here for full page view with caption. Applying Xenex Ultra Spot on (permethrin) to a rabbit.  Click here for full page view with caption Clipping a rabbit's nails. Click here for full page view with caption Clipping a rabbit's nails. Click here for full page view with caption Claw clipping under Tonic immobility / Hypnosis / Trancing. Click here for full page view with caption

Introduction and General Information

"Preventative medicine is the most basic aspect of the medical care of captive wildlife." (B23.4.w13)
  • Prevention of disease is preferable to disease treatment and may be more effective, particularly since wild animals often hide signs of disease until the disease process is well advanced, and because of the problems of applying treatment.
    • Every zoo should have a preventative medicine programme.
  • Preventative medicine should consider not only the animal and its interaction with specific pathogens, but take a more holistic response, in which the general environment (enclosure, climate etc.), interaction with other animals (of the same and other species), nutrition (general and specific nutrients), and stressors of all types must be taken into consideration.
  • An integral part of preventative medicine is routine observation by the animal's caretakers, noting abnormal behaviours and/or absence of normal behaviours.
  • Proper enclosure/cage design and maintenance is an important part of preventative medicine. Considerations which may have a bearing on health include:
    • Provision of behavioural requirements, including for courtship and nesting.
    • Reduction of territorial disputes.
    • Provision of escape routes for juveniles and subordinate adults, including multiple entrance/exit points between indoor and outdoor areas, fencing off acute-angled corners etc.
    • Ease of cleaning.
    • Adequacy of drainage
      • Drain holes need to be large enough;
      • Worn floors allowing urine etc. to collect need to be addressed.
    • Provision of correct temperature, humidity, lighting and photoperiod (species-variable).
    • Provision of adequate ventilation in indoor areas, while avoiding draughts.
    • Provision of species-appropriate materials in enclosure construction and furnishings.
    • Avoidance of overcrowding.
    • Appropriate substrates: 
      • Substrates which are too smooth are slippery, particularly when wet;
      • Substrates which are too rough are difficult to clean and may injure the soles of species which are adapted to soft ground;
      • Substrates which are too soft may not provide sufficient hoof wear for species adapted to stony areas, particularly if the enclosure is relatively small and exercise is minimal.
    • Removing poisonous plants and other potential toxins.
      • Poisonous plants must not be present within enclosures or close to enclosures.
    • Ensuring that enclosures are designed and maintained to avoid hazards such as protruding nails, sharp corners etc., and to ensure that animals cannot access fittings such as lights and heaters.
    • Ensuring that materials and construction are adequate to hold against the occupants, including both chronic testing and wear, and abnormal actions which may occur when an individual panics.
    • Checking the width of gaps between bars, slats etc. relative to the size of the inhabitants and parts of the body (e.g. head, limbs), ensuring that spaces will not allow any part of the body to become trapped.
    • Regular checks for foreign objects which may have fallen/been thrown into the enclosure and may be hazardous for the animals (e.g. nails, coins, rubber balls, handkerchiefs, gloves, glass, wire).
    • Avoiding placing intriguing plants or objects just outside an enclosure, such that animals may be tempted to reach their head or a limb out of the enclosure, increasing the risk of getting trapped.
    • Ensuring that water areas (including moats) do not become stagnant, get polluted (either with toxic chemicals or with urine/faeces leading to build-up of bacteria), or develop into breeding grounds for mosquitoes or toxic algae.
    • Note: Use of high-quality materials, for example stainless steel, hydraulically-operated doors, and non-slip flooring, reduces the risk of injury to both animals and personnel.
    • Further information on enclosures is provided in: Accommodation Design for Mammals
  • Nutritional and feeding considerations include:
    • Food hygiene.
    • Provision of adequate nutrients including micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), for all life stages.
    • Avoidance of overfeeding and obesity.
    • Provision of an adequate number of feeding sites for all individuals to feed.
    • Minimising attraction of pests.
    • Ensuring that items providing appropriate nutrition are eaten, rather than preferred but non-balanced food items being eaten - particularly by dominant individuals - resulting in an unbalanced nutritional intake.
    • Providing appropriate food items to maintain good oral health.
    • Risks of food-borne diseases.
    • Ensuring foods supplied are not toxic (e.g. incorrect browse species, or browse/produce recently sprayed with pesticides).
    • Further information on food considerations is provided in: Food and Feeding for Mammals
  • Behavioural enrichment and training may be a part of preventative medicine:
    • Enrichment methods can encourage species-appropriate exercise (including use of the teeth and claws) and reduce time spent in abnormal behaviours (e.g. weaving, bar chewing). This may delay the onset of chronic disease conditions such as arthritis and excessive tooth wear.
    • Logs, rocks, hanging strips of material etc. added to enclosures for environmental enrichment also act as visual barriers allowing subordinate animals to get out of sight of dominant animals. Similarly, multiple feeding stations and scatter feeds, multiple resting areas, climbing structures etc. reduce pressure on subordinate animals.
    • Provision of choice lowers stress and thereby can improve general health. 
    • Note: Where enrichment encourages specific exercise, sudden cessation of that activity may indicate a health problem.
    • Training based on positive reinforcement may allow routine health checks and procedures on individual animals (from weighing to blood sampling, vaccination etc.) without the need for physical or chemical restraint. 
      • Voluntary cooperation also provides the animal with choice and some control over events, which may reduce stress.
    • Further information on behavioural enrichment is provided in: Mammal Behavioural Requirements
  • Particular care is required in mixed-species exhibits to ensure that:
    • The risks of physical injury are minimised (e.g. the flight distances of different species are met, hiding paces are present, obstacles which could cause injury to fleeing animals are minimised, multiple feeding and watering stations to minimise conflict);
    • Species with incompatible diets are fed separately, and all individuals have appropriate opportunities to eat;
    • Risks of transmission of infectious diseases and parasites are minimised, particularly when a pathogen carried by one species with no or minimal clinical signs can cause fatal disease in another species.

Note: Records should be kept in a manner ensuring that veterinarians have full access to medical information on individual animals. (D264)

(B23.6.w14, B23.14.w21, B64.3.w2, B105.20.w5, B214.2.3.w14, B429.2.w2, B439.16.w16, B469.3.w3, B472.10.w10, D15, D256.IIB2.w3, D264, D267.VI.w6, J4.171.w7, J4.223.w2, J4.223.w3, J418.56.w1, P1.1980.w3, P108.12.w2. V.w5)

Bear Consideration

A preventative medicine programme for bears includes appropriate diet, regular health checks, and preventative medication. Such a programme may allow early detection of disease problems and improve the bears' longevity and quality of life. (P106.2007.w5)
  • Providing an appropriate enclosure which meets the behavioural needs of bears is very important in preventative medicine in bears in order to avoid excessive stress and the development of stereotypic behaviours. 
  • An enclosure which provides opportunities for bears to climb may reduce the development of spine and joint problems in later life (see: Arthritis and Skeletal Disease in Bears). (N18.51.w1, P28.2000.w2)
  • Providing adequate space and the means for bears to get out of visual contact with one another, avoiding overstocking, and ensuring that accommodation design does not allow a bear to get trapped by another bear, all may decrease injuries from conspecifics as well as decreasing the likelihood of abnormal behaviours.
  • Food fed to bears should be appropriate for the species. Food should be stored properly and consideration given to the risks of food-borne diseases (e.g. parasitic diseases transmitted via intermediate hosts) and toxins (e.g. if the wrong plants are given as browse).
  • The Manitoba Polar Bear Protection Regulation requires that rescue equipment is available in case any Ursus maritimus - Polar bear escapes or is injured or becomes incapacitated. Additionally, it requires a written emergency plan, setting out procedures to be followed if a bear is injured, or escapes from its facility, or if a member of the public manages to enter the facility. (LCofC10 - [Full text provided])

Lagomorph Consideration

The basis for preventative medicine in lagomorphs is good husbandry, including appropriate housing, feeding and sanitation, and avoidance of overcrowding. (B10.45.w47)
Domestic rabbit
  • Many diseases of pet rabbits are associated with problems in husbandry, particularly diet. A large part of preventative medicine for domestic rabbits is ensuring that feeding and housing are appropriate.
  • Neutering of rabbits not intended for breeding (most pet rabbits) may also be recommended as part of a preventative health programme:
    • A male and a female can be kept together for companionship without unwanted pregnancies.
    • Spayed females are much less likely to develop uterine or mammary neoplasia.
    • Aggressive and spraying behaviours are much less likely in neutered rabbits (male and female). Therefore injuries from aggressive interactions are reduced and the rabbit is less likely to become unwanted.

    (B600.3.w3, B601.1.w1, J213.2.w2)

  • The ideal temperature range for rabbits is 15 - 20 C. (B600.2.w2)
    • A minimum-maximum thermometer should be used to confirm the temperatures where the rabbit is kept. (B600.2.w2)
    • Enclosure design and husbandry should protect rabbits from excessive heat (above 29 C/85 F), cold (below 4 C/40 F), draughts, and rapid changes in temperature. (B604.2.w2)
    • Consider temperature changes that the rabbit will be exposed to in moving between indoor and outdoor accommodation (B604.2.w2) for example while providing an indoor rabbit with access to a grazing area. (B604.2.w2)
  • Adequate exercise is important for both physical and mental health, including avoidance of obesity. (B600.2.w2, B602.18.w18)
  • Rabbits not given enough room to exercise are more susceptible to osteoporosis, spinal fractures and spinal deformities, and to development of Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs. (B600.2.w2)
  • Access to natural daylight year round is the best way to ensure that the rabbit has the right amount of Vitamin D3. (B600.2.w2)
  • Preventing fighting between rabbits helps avoid superficial abscesses (Abscessation in Lagomorphs) (B609.2.w2) as well as injuries (Lacerations & Punctures, including bite wounds).
  • The hutch of an outdoor rabbit should be well built and checked monthly for damage and signs of wear, with any loose joints or fastenings fixed/tightened as needed. The roof should be checked at least every six months, with new roofing felt applied if needed. Varnishing the outside of the hutch every six months will help keep it weather-proof - an animal-friendly, weatherproof varnish should be used. (B622.5.w5, B622.6.w6)
Wild lagomorphs
  • It is important to consider the potential for self-injury when designing enclosures for wild lagomorphs. 
    • Ensure that internal surfaces are smooth, without projecting bolts, fittings etc. on which lagomorphs can catch themselves. (B525.11.w11)
    • Put solid, sloping roofs on hay racks, so that the animals if leaping up cannot get a leg caught in the netting of the rack. (B525.11.w11)
    • Ensure roofs are sufficiently high that the animals cannot injure themselves by hitting their head on the roof if leaping upwards. (B525.11.w11)
Ferret Consideration
  • Ferrets are susceptible to a variety of infectious and parasitic disease for which preventative measures can be put into place. (J213.2.w6)
  • Ferrets are prone to ingesting foreign bodies which then cause obstructions; ferret-safe toys should be provided to prevent this. (J213.2.w6)
  • Neutered ferrets are extremely prone to developing adrenal disease. It may be advisable to implant a GnRH analogue, every 18-24 months, into neutered ferrets as a preventative measure against this. (B631.17.w17)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and health care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.
  • Consider which diseases are of most concern for your facility, why, and how a preventative medicine programme can minimise the risks of these diseases. (D425.1.2.w1b)
  • Due to the close genetic relationship with humans, and the consequent risk of transmission of disease to/from human caretakers, the health of the caretakers should be considered in the preventative health programme. Additionally, the possibility of transmission of pathogens from visiting members of the public should be addressed. (B677.w4)
    • Strict personal hygiene and appropriate use of personal protective equipment is important for staff working with primates. (D426.2.1.w2a)
  • The health of each individual should be monitored. (D409.6.w6)
  • Preventative medicine should consider psychological as well as physical health; the environment should both reduce pathogen exposure and promote psychosocial well-being. (B677.w4, D409.6.w6, D425.1.2.w1b) For further information on psychological health and enrichment see Mammal Behavioural Requirements (Mammal Husbandry and Management)
  • Appropriate nutrition is an important part of preventative medicine. Where natural diets cannot be provided, the diet should provide a similar nutritional content to the natural diet. Food can be used as enrichment to improve the psychological wellbeing of primates. However, this should not impact on providing appropriate nutrition. (D425.1.2.w1b) For further information on nutrition see Food and Feeding for Mammals (Mammal Husbandry and Management)
  • A positive reinforcement training programme should incorporate procedures to assist with health care. These include weighing, inspection of the inside of the mouth, and presenting parts of the body for injection and auscultation. (D409.6.w6) For further information see Mammal Handling & Movement (Mammal Husbandry and Management) - Husbandry Training
Published Guidelines linked in Wildpro

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Health Screening

  • All mammals should be visually checked twice daily, for example at feeding time. Individuals which appear to be "not quite right" should be observed carefully but unobtrusively: an animal which knows it is being watched will try to appear "normal", as a defence against predators. If in doubt, the identity of the individual should be noted to ensure that individual is specifically checked later that day or on the following morning.
    • Note: The regular caretaker of the animal is more likely to spot subtle behavioural signs indicating that an animal is "not right" than is the veterinarian, since the veterinarian is perceived as more of a threat, therefore animals will try to hide signs of illness.
    • Daily checks, records, and repeated checks of animals which are "not quite right" requires that animals are individually identifiable. See: Mammal Identification
    • Periodic checks by individuals other than the regular caretaker may assist in detection of slowly progressive changes.
    • Unexplained loss of weight should be investigated even if the animal appears otherwise normal. 
  • All animals which die should be subjected to a post mortem examination (See: Necropsy of Mammals). This may allow early identification of potentially disastrous group or herd problems.
  • Animals immobilised for any reason should be given a general physical examination. If possible, a blood sample should be taken to check haematological values and serum biochemistry. Excess serum should be stored frozen; in the event of a later infectious disease outbreak, a bank of serum samples may provide important information about when the disease arrived and which animals have antibodies to the disease agent.
    • Checking haematology and biochemistry may detect a health problem at an early stage, and if the animal is healthy, may provide normal values for that individual, for comparison with values measured when the individual is ill. 
  • Dental examinations should be carried out routinely on all animals during physical examination, as well as on individuals known to have dental problems.
  • Routine serological screening for certain diseases may be required if the disease is prevalent in a particular geographical area or in a particular zoo species. (D256.IIB2.w3)
  • Veterinary advisors for the relevant species or taxon programme (TAG, SSP, EEP etc.) should be contacted for advice regarding diseases which are of concern in a particular species. 
  • Tuberculosis testing may be required/advisable for species such as bovids (Bovidae - Cattle, antelopes, etc. (Family)), cervids (Cervidae - Deer (Family)) and primates. (D256.IIB2.w3)
  • In Europe, animals moved between Balai Approved premises may not need some tests. 
Positive reinforcement training
  • Positive reinforcement training may be used to allow physical examination, specimen collection and even treatment of animals without the need for physical or chemical restraint. (B439.16.w16)
  • See: Mammal Handling & Movement - Husbandry Training
  • Provision of correct nutrition is important to maintain the general health of animals as well as to prevent any specific nutrition-related diseases.
  • Diets should be reviewed periodically by a veterinarian and nutritionist. (D256.IIC.w4)
  • Note: In analysing diets it is important to analyse what is actually eaten, recognising that this may be different from the diet offered.

(B10.3.w18, B64.3.w2, B23.4.w13, B429.2.w2, B439.16.w16, D15, D256.IIC.w4, P108.12.w2, V.w5).

Bear Consideration

  • All individuals should be visually inspected at least twice daily; this is not always easy for bears in large naturalistic enclosures. (B407.w18)
    • Behavioural training can be used to facilitate observation, with a signal requesting the bears show themselves and a reward for this behaviour. (B407.w18, D247.8.w8)
    • There should be several vantage points around large enclosures, offering good views of the exhibit so that it is possible for caretakers to observe the bears and check their health. (D247.8.w8)
    • For northern bears which may become very lethargic in winter and even hibernate, there needs to be a system in place allowing the bears to be checked without being disturbed. (D247.8.w8)
    • The Manitoba Polar Bear Protection Regulation requires that staff check the physical health of the bear during daily feeding. (LCofC10 - [Full text provided])
  • For mothers with cubs in the den, a microphone and/or close circuit video monitoring can be used to allow the health of the cubs to be assessed without disturbing the bear. See: Rearing of Mammals - Parent Rearing (Monitoring)
  • The general demeanour of the individual should be noted, also its food and water intake, and the quantity and appearance of urine and faeces produced. Abnormalities in behaviour, feeding, defecation etc. should always be noted and the veterinarian informed. (B407.w18)
    • Abnormal faeces, vomit, and other discharges should be collected so that they can be examined if necessary. (B407.w18)
  • Sudden apparent changes in personality (changes in behaviour or temperament) may indicate the development of medical problems - illness or injury. (D247.8.w8, P83.1.w1)
  • Gait, dentition, skin condition and parasite detection should be considered in daily, monthly and annual health checks. (P106.2007.w5)
  • Body weights should be monitored. For thick-coated animals such as bears, in which changes in body weight may not easily be visible, a weighing platform incorporated into a passageway or onto a shelf used by the bears is advantageous. (B407.w18, J59.24.w1)
    • Significant change in weight may indicate illness. (P106.2007.w5)
    • Bears can be trained to use a weighing platform. See: Mammal Handling & Movement - Husbandry Training
  • The Manitoba Polar Bear Protection Regulation requires that veterinary care and facilities meet the standards of the "Guidelines for Zoo and Aquarium Veterinary Medical Programs and Veterinary Hospitals" (AAZV Veterinary Standards Committee) and that a faecal examination is carried out at least twice a year, with any required treatment carried out as indicated by the findings of this examination. (LCofC10 - [Full text provided])

Lagomorph Consideration

Domestic rabbit
  • A general physical examination should be carried out when a new rabbit is obtained, and then at least annually. (J213.2.w2)
  • For rabbits entering a new colony, a general physical examination should be followed by at least 14 days and preferably 30 days quarantine. (B550.16.w16)
  • Review the rabbit's diet and husbandry. (J213.2.w2)
    • An appropriate, high-fibre diet (mainly hay and fresh greens, with limited amounts of good-quality concentrate foods) helps to avoid obesity, maintain normal gastro-intestinal function and avoid dental disease and problematic behaviour due to boredom. (P113.2005.w6)
      • Check the quantity of concentrate food being given.
      • If a mixed-ingredient, rather than a pelleted, concentrate food is fed, check if the rabbit practices selective feeding - eating some ingredients and not others. Selective feeding can lead to the diet being imbalanced (e.g. inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals), therefore the owner should be recommended to feed only a small amount and wait until the rabbit has eaten all the concentrate food before giving any more, or to change to a pelleted diet which does not allow selective feeding.
      • If the diet being given is inappropriate, it is important to encourage gradual change-over to a better diet, over a period of several weeks. Too fast a change in diet can cause gastro-intestinal disturbances. (P113.2005.w6)
      • See: Food and Feeding for Mammals
    • Adequate exercise helps avoid obesity, encourages normal intestinal mobility, and may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. (J213.2.w2, P113.2005.w6)
    • Good hygiene and avoidance of grid floors helps to prevent plantar pododermatitis (Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs). (P113.2005.w6)
    • House rabbits need to be protected from access to electrical cables (see Burns, Electrocution) and toxins such as lead paint (Lead Poisoning in Waterfowl) and house plants which may be toxic (e.g. Dieffenbacchia - Dumb cane (Plant Toxicities in Rabbits). (P113.2005.w6)

Routine checks for owners of rabbits include:

  • Daily check: Is the rabbit's general activity level and behaviour as expected for the time of day? Is it eating and drinking the usual amount, and producing a good (large) quantity of hard droppings? When you run your hands over it, does its body feel as it usually does? Is its back end clean (no droppings stuck to the fur - it is important to check this daily in summer). If the rabbit has long fur, this needs to be brushed daily. If it is not behaving, eating, drinking and defecating normally and is still not normal two hours later, a veterinary visit is needed. (B622.6.w6)
  • Weekly additional check: Is there any wetting on the face or neck - around the eyes, mouth or dewlap - which may indicate tooth problems? The fur should be brushed at least weekly. (B622.6.w6)
  • Monthly additional check: Look at the teeth, check the nails and trim if they are too long, run a hand through the fur to check there is no obvious dandruff or scabs under the fur. If it has a show ring, check this is loose and can easily be turned right around 360 degrees. If you have a male rabbit, check the scrotum is not swollen or red. (B622.6.w6)
  • Keeping a weight chart: this shows any weight changes over a longer period. (V.w143)
Wild lagomorphs
  • A general physical examination should be carried out when a new lagomorph is added to a collection.
  • When Columbia Basin Brachylagus idahoensis - Pygmy rabbits were brought into captivity, an initial examination was carried out in a cool room (less than 60 F) to avoid heat stress. Rabbits showing signs of stress were initially given fluids, identified with a PIT tag, had fleas collected and were treated for fleas, with further disease testing carried out later. In the first two weeks in captivity, faecal samples were checked and blood taken and check for antibodies to diseases including Tularemia. (D370)
Ferret Consideration

Albino ferret with bright eyes and clean ears. Fitch ferret with bright eyes and clean ears. Click here for full-page view with caption

  • General observation of the ferret, and noting of any changes in urination or defecation (including e.g. diarrhoea), is an important part of daily health care. While diarrhoea may simply be a response to a new food, any change in urination or defecation lasting more than 24 hours may indicate disease. (D404 - full text included)
  • The mouth and teeth should be checked weekly. (D404 - full text included)
  • The eyes and ears should be checked weekly. (D404 - full text included)
    • Wax building up can be cleaned from the ears using a cotton wool ball moistened with water and wiped around the ear; this should not be inserted into the ear. (D404 - full text included)
    • Excessive build up of wax may indicate Otodectes cynotis Ear Mite Infection. (D404 - full text included)
    • Check that the eyes are bright and clear, without any discharge. (D404 - full text included)
  • Picking the ferret up, check all over for any lumps or bumps which are not usually present, and for any tenderness. Check that each limb can be gently moved and extended without being painful. (D404 - full text included)
  • Check the ferret's weight weekly and keep a record of this; this will show any trends of weight loss or gain. (D397 - full text included; D404 - full text included)
    • Ferrets can be weighed easily inside a cloth bag such as a cushion cover, attached to digital hanging scales (e.g. fishing scales) weighing up to 3 kg. Note: deduct the weight of the bag/cushion cover, or reset the scales to zero after it is attached and before inserting the ferret. (D404 - full text included)
  • In addition to a general physical examination, annual blood tests (haematology, biochemistry) are suggested for older ferrets, and twice-yearly testing of blood glucose in middle-aged and older ferrets. (B602.2.w2)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and health care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.

Primate information

  • Newly arrived primates should be given a general health check including weight; assessment of hydration status; examination for respiratory character (laboured breathing), presence of nasal discharge; ascultation; palpation of the abdomen for possible hepatomegaly or splenomegaly; palpation of lymph nodes for any enlargement which might indicate tuberculosis; lacerations; any ectoparasites; normal genitalia. (B10.44.w44f)
  • Primates should be tested for tuberculosis (intracutaneous test). (P6.2.w13)
  • Ideally, a serum sample should be taken and stored from all newly arrived primates, to act as a baseline against which future samples can be checked if there is a disease problem. (B10.44.w44f)
  • Daily health observations should be carried out during quarantine of primates, including noting attitude, physical activity and food consumption, preferably with the observations always carried out by the same individual, to ensure that subtle changes are noted. (B10.44.w44f)
  • Regular culture of faecal samples for Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Yersinia spp. is recommended for Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee.(D409.6.w6)
  • Testing for mycobacterial infection is recommended in Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee. (D409.6.w6)
  • In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, both lateral and dorso-ventral or ventrodorsal (anteroposterior) views of the thorax and abdomen are recommended, as well as radiography of areas of skeletal concern or of prior injury. (D409.6.w6)
  • In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, routine abdominal ultrasonography is recommended. (D409.6.w6)
  • In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, thorough cardiac assessment is recommended including echocardiography, ECG and blood pressure evaluation. Transoesophageal echocardiography is useful particularly in obese individuals. Findings should be recorded, assisting long-term monitoring. (D409.6.w6)
  • In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, it is recommended that daily observations of health and behaviour , including how each individual relates with its conspecific companions, appetite, urination/defecation and any specific signs of disease or injury should be made, preferable several times a day and by more than one individual. (D409.6.w6)
  • Mycobacterial testing for Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee is recommended including: (D409.6.w6)
    • intradermal tuberculin testing with mammalian old tuberculin. with a control of saline or avian purified protein derivative in a contralateral location. The palperae, other naturally hairless and thin skin, or relatively thin skin which has been shaved can be used. The test should be read three times at 24-hour intervals. (D409.6.w6)
    • During annual health checks, a brochoalveolar wash (preferred), tracheal wash or gastric fluid sample should be collected and sent for mycobacterial culture. (D409.6.w6)
    • Thoracic radiographs should be examined for signs of lymph node enlargement. (D409.6.w6)
    • Whole blood can be sent for interferon testing. (D409.6.w6)

Bonobo information

  • Health screening is facilitated greatly by use of positive reinforcement training and facilities allowing blood collection, blood pressure measurement, temperature measurement, throat swabbing, auscultation, radiography, weight checks, ultrasonography etc. in conscious, unrestrained bonobos. (P131.w10)
    • Treatment (injections, nebulisation etc.) is also facilitated by such training. (P131.w10)

Associated techniques linked from Wildpro

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Quarantine, Hygiene and Disinfection

An important part of preventative medicine involves reducing the risk of infectious disease entering a facility, or being released with animals which have been rehabilitated, translocated or reintroduced into the wild. If an infectious disease does arise, measures need to be in place to contain the disease.
Quarantine facilities
  • A separate quarantine facility should be available in every collection, away from the normal animal quarters, and able to accommodate the range of species kept in the collection.
  • If the available quarantine facilities cannot hold a new acquisition, for example due to size or specialist housing requirements, then the new arrival should still be kept separate from residents, in a manner preventing physical contact, transmission of fomites, and aerosol and drainage contamination from the quarantined animal to the residents.
  • For marine mammals, a separate quarantine pool is needed, of an appropriate size (this may be detailed by legislation, for example there are federally mandated standards for marine mammals in the USA), with a water system separate from those of the main pools.
  • Separate facilities may be needed for isolation of animals within the collection which are suspected to have infectious disease.

(B10.3.w18, B23.4.w13, B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3)

Quarantine is a basic and key part of preventative medicine; newly arrived animals should be kept separate from the main collection. Quarantine helps prevent new pathogens/parasites from being introduced into a collection or new location, allowing screening of animals for disease, as well as permitting special monitoring of general demeanour, behaviour and feeding. Additionally, a period in quarantine can allow newly arrived animals to become used to their new housing and diet. Useful medical information can be collected while animals are being quarantined. (B10.3.w18, B23.4.w13, B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3, P85.1.w1)
  • The length of quarantine appropriate for incoming mammals will vary depending on the species and suspected diseases. A quarantine period of at least 30 days is usually recommended. (B23.4.w13, B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3)
    • If a new mammal is added to others of the same species in quarantine, this period must start again from the day of arrival of the new individual. (B23.4.w13)
    • For primates, minimum quarantine periods of 60 to 90 days are recommended. (B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3)
    • Longer periods of quarantine may be needed if there is concern about specific diseases with longer incubation periods. (D256.IIB2.w3)
    • Note: National/federal, state or local regulations must be followed regarding the length of quarantine. (D256.IIB2.w3)
  • A full physical examination should be carried out at the beginning of the quarantine period (see: Physical Examination of Mammals), including weighing, taking blood for haematological and biochemical examination, and appropriate serological tests. (B23.4.w13, D256.IIB2.w3)
    • Whenever possible, serum should be banked at -70 C (or -20 C in a freezer which is not frost-free), as a resource for future retrospective evaluation of disease. (B23.4.w13)
    • Note:
      • The level of physical examination required may vary for example depending on the species, its origin and its available medical history. (V.w5, V.w6)
      • It may be necessary to balance the risks of disease versus the risks to the animal associated with physical or chemical restraint to carry out a full examination; this will vary depending on the animal species concerned. (V.w5, V.w6)
  • A full physical examination should also be carried out at the end of the quarantine period.
    • The degree of examination required will vary; risks and benefits should be balanced as for the initial examination.
  • Treatment of external and internal parasites should be considered. (D256.IIB2.w3)
  • Faecal samples should be screened repeatedly during quarantine for salmonellae (see: Salmonellosis) as well as for parasites.
    • Release from quarantine should usually be dependent on two negative faecal screenings at an interval of at least two weeks. (B23.4.w13)
    • Note: Subclinical infections may become clinical due to the stresses of transport, new facilities etc. This includes e.g. shipping fever in ungulates, shedding of salmonellae by many species. This is why even animals which appear to be healthy and have tested negative for pathogens prior to transportation should still be quarantined after arriving at their destination.
  • It is particularly important to ensure a full post mortem examination is carried out on any mammal which dies during quarantine, and to keep full records for reference in the case of disputes. See: Necropsy of Mammals.
  • While in quarantine, animals which do not yet have required permanent identifiers should be given such identifiers (e.g. transponder, tattoo, ear tag). This may be carried out while the animal is being given its initial physical examination. (B23.4.w13, D256.IIB2.w3)
  • Vaccinations may be given while animals are in quarantine. However, immune responses may not be ideal during this potentially stressful period, so it may be necessary to consider re-vaccinating a few weeks after the quarantine period has finished. (B429.2.w2)
  • Behavioural aspects and potential problems.
    • Quarantine and isolation areas should be kept quiet and disturbance-free as much as possible.
    • Consideration should be given to the social stress put on gregarious mammals placed in isolation, and the potential beneficial effects of conspecifics in contact or in visual and/or auditory range. It may be necessary to place one or more individuals into quarantine with the new animal. Note: this puts a risk on the animal coming into quarantine as a companion.
    • Modification of quarantine facilities may be required for animals which are becoming stressed. (D256.IIB2.w3)
    • New mammals being released into an outdoor enclosure should be released in the morning, allowing all day for settling and exploration.
    • Provision should be made for appropriate environmental enrichment. See: Mammal Behavioural Requirements - Requirements while in Temporary / Hospital Accommodation
    • Care should be taken when introducing new animals to an established group or individual following quarantine. See: Mammal Behavioural Requirements - Group Composition and Breeding Requirements
Isolation of sick animals within the collection
  • Sick or injured mammals are usually isolated from their cage mates, both to reduce the risk of transfer of disease and to avoid harassment of the affected individual.
  • It is particularly important to isolate an individual with an infectious disease to prevent transfer to other animals. (B214.2.3.w14)
  • After a sick or injured mammal has been isolated, reintroduction to the group may need to be carried out gradually.
  • N.B. quarantining new arrivals cannot guarantee that the mammals are not carrying diseases asymptomatically.

Staffing in quarantine

  • Either quarantined animals should be cared for by separate staff, or keepers caring for quarantined animals should attend to their other animals first. (B23.4.w13, B429.2.w2)
  • Appropriate precautions must be taken to minimise the risk of personnel being exposed to any potential zoonotic diseases of quarantined animals. This includes proper training, use of personal protective equipment (protective clothing, gloves and masks), use of disinfectant footbaths and good personal hygiene. (B23.4.w13, D256.IIB2.w3)

Equipment in quarantine

  • Equipment used for the care of animals in quarantine should not also be used for resident animals.
  • If equipment must be used for both residents and quarantined animals, then it must be disinfected (see below) after use for quarantined individuals. (B23.4.w13)
Good hygiene is an important part of maintaining healthy animals (this does not mean maintaining a sterile, barren environment).
  • Consideration should be given to ease of cleaning when designing enclosures.
  • Thorough cleaning, before the use of any disinfectant, will in itself remove most of the infectious disease agents present, e.g. on feeding bowls, in incubators, inside buildings.
  • Cleaning of a building or area should include dry cleaning to physically remove waste matter, followed by wet cleaning, involving soaking, washing, rinsing and drying. N.B. leaving surfaces wet may allow bacteria to multiple to levels higher than they were before the cleaning started. (D267.V.w5)
  • Power hoses are not always beneficial; they may spread pathogens further around an enclosure and may result in production of aerosols of pathogens.
  • Water sources, including storage facilities and distribution channels, need to be checked periodically.
  • Water troughs need to be checked and cleaned regularly.
  • Water bodies, including moats, need to be checked and cleaned regularly, and if necessary emptied and refilled.
  • Food storage containers and feeding troughs need to be checked regularly and cleaned as necessary.
  • Food stuffs should be stored appropriately and should always be checked before feeding to ensure they are fresh (meat is particularly likely to decompose rapidly in hot climates) and do not contain obvious health hazards (e.g. mould).
  • Correct handling and disposal of carcasses is essential (see: Environmental and Population Management - Carcass Pick-up & Disposal).
  • As well as enclosure cleanliness, provision and routine use of hand-washing and foot-dipping facilities are important to reduce the transmission of infectious agents from one area or enclosure to another. 
  • Staff should be given training so that they understand the importance of basic hygiene measures in preventing disease transmission. (D264)
  • Equipment (e.g. brooms, wheelbarrows) should be used in a single enclosure/block of enclosures, or cleaned and disinfected before being moved to another area.
  • Hygiene is more difficult to provide in old, poorly maintained enclosures and overcrowded situations.
    • Good buildings maintenance can enhance hygiene, for example by preventing cracks from developing, or filling/sealing those which occur.
    • Overcrowding should be avoided. It tends to result in increased contamination with urine/faeces, increases risk of transmission of infectious organisms, and may make shifting of animals for enclosure cleaning and maintenance more difficult.
The benefits of disinfectant use need to be balanced against the loss of scent marks and general odours, and the potential adverse behavioural effects this may have on the animals. Use of disinfectants can be reduced in large enclosures, particularly outside enclosures exposed to sunlight, frost etc., with a relatively small population of animals, but are required more in small, particularly inside, enclosures and those with high population densities. (B407.w18)
  • Disinfection should be seen as an adjunct to removal of animal wastes etc., not as a replacement for general cleaning.
  • The efficacy of most disinfectants is greatly reduced by the presence of organic matter; surfaces to be disinfected need to be cleaned thoroughly with hot water and detergent before the disinfectant is applied.
  • Disinfectants require time in which to act.
  • Disinfectants generally work better at higher temperatures.
  • Disinfectants should be used at the manufacturer's recommended dilution: stronger does not necessarily mean better, and efficacy may be greatly decreased at too low concentrations.
  • Disinfectants may be toxic, irritant, corrosive and in some cases potentially carcinogenic.
  • Appropriate precautions (e.g. wearing impermeable gloves, other protective clothing, face protection) should be used when handling disinfectants.
  • Disinfectants should be used and disposed of with regard to potential deleterious environmental effects.
  • After disinfectants have been applied and left for the required time for effect, they should be rinsed away thoroughly; this requires provision of adequate drainage so than animal's dens are not left wet or damp when the animals return to them.
  • Not all disinfectants are equally effective against all agents. The following indicates the general sensitivities of micro-organisms:
  • Susceptible to most chemical disinfectants: mycoplasmas, enveloped viruses, gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, rickettsiae
  • Moderately resistant to chemical disinfectants: non-enveloped viruses, acid-fast bacteria.
  • Highly resistant to chemical disinfectants: bacterial endospores, coccidial oocysts.
  • Extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants: prions.
  • If a particular disease organism is known to be present, care should be taken to choose a disinfectant known to be effective against that organism.

Hypochlorites (household bleach) are effective or highly effective against a wide range of infectious agents and may be used as a general disinfectant in many circumstances. They are not effective against coccidial oocysts. Care must be taken in the use of concentrated bleach solutions.

  • In collections, the use of disinfectant footbaths on the way into and out of enclosures may greatly reduce the risk of cross-contamination between enclosures.

N.B. where a particular infectious agent is known to be present, a disinfectant which is recognised as being effective against that agent should be used.

Note: Some organisms are extremely resistant to disinfectants. Elimination of these organisms (e.g. ascarid ova) may require application of direct heat, for example using a blowtorch. Use of direct heat is limited because many materials will be damaged. 

  • Carcasses may act as a source of infection.
  • Carcasses must be handled and disposed of in a proper manner. 
  • Carcasses should not be left where rodents, birds, insects etc. may feed on them and spread infectious disease. 
  • The carcass of any animal which dies in the collection should be removed from its enclosure and refrigerated while awaiting necropsy. 
  • A specific room should be designated for post mortem examinations. Appropriate facilities need to be available either on the premises or within a reasonable distance so that carcasses can be transported there for examination.
  • See: Necropsy of Mammals

    (B10.3.w18, D15)

(B10.3.w18, B13.2.w21, B21, B23.4.w13, B64.4.w1, B64.3.w2, B101, B105.w16.w3, B407.w18, B429.2.w2, B469.3.w3, D15, D267.V.w5, V.w5, V.w6)

Bear Consideration


Basic recommendations for quarantine of bears include:

  • Quarantine should be carried out for a minimum of 30 days. (B23.4.w13, B433)
    • Quarantine of bears from a rabies area may be increased to six months. (B433)
  • During quarantine it is important to provide environmental enrichment. See: Mammal Behavioural Requirements - Requirements while in Temporary/Hospital Accommodation
  • Required testing
    • Faecal examination (direct and flotation). (B23.4.w13)
    • Haematology and serum biochemistry. (B23.4.w13)
    • Urinalysis. (B23.4.w13)
    • General physical examination. (B23.4.w13)
  • Recommended testing
    • Urinalysis. (B23.4.w13)
    • Blood zinc levels. (B23.4.w13)
    • Skin scrapings should be taken if the bear has any skin lesions which suggest possible mite infection, so that any infection can be treated immediately. (B407.w18)
  • Consider whether vaccination against Rabies should be carried out. (B23.4.w13)
  • Bears in quarantine should be treated for parasites before entering their new enclosure. (P85.1.w2)
  • For Ursus maritimus - Polar bear, requirements set out by APHIS (LCofC9) include:
    "(a) Newly acquired marine mammals must be isolated from resident marine mammals. Animals with a known medical history must be isolated unless or until the newly acquired animals can be reasonably determined to be in good health by the attending veterinarian. Animals without a known medical history must be isolated until it is determined that the newly acquired animals are determined to be in good health by the attending veterinarian. Any communicable disease condition in a newly acquired marine mammal must be remedied before it is placed with resident marine mammals, unless, in the judgment of the attending veterinarian, the potential benefits of a resident animal as a companion to the newly acquired animal outweigh the risks to the resident animal. 

    (b) Holding facilities must be in place and available to meet the needs for isolation, separation, medical treatment, and medical training of marine mammals. Marine mammals that are isolated or separated for nonmedical purposes must be held in facilities that meet minimum space requirements as outlined in Sec. 3.104. Holding facilities used only for medical treatment and medical training need not meet the minimum space requirements as outlined in Sec. 3.104. Holding of a marine mammal in a medical treatment or medical training enclosure that does not meet minimum space requirements for periods longer than 2 weeks must be noted in the animal's medical record and the attending veterinarian must provide a justification in the animal's medical record. If holding in such enclosures for medical treatment and/or medical training is to last longer than 2 weeks, such extension must be justified in writing by the attending veterinarian on a weekly basis. In natural lagoon or coastal enclosures where isolation cannot be accomplished, since water circulation cannot be controlled or isolated, separation of newly acquired marine mammals must be accomplished using separate enclosures situated within the facility to prevent direct contact and to minimize the risk of potential airborne and water cross-contamination between newly acquired and resident animals. 

    (c) Any holding facility used for medical purposes that has contained a marine mammal with an infectious or contagious disease must be cleaned and/or sanitized in a manner prescribed by the attending veterinarian. No healthy animals may be introduced into this holding facility prior to such cleaning and/or sanitizing procedures. Any marine mammal exposed to a contagious animal must be evaluated by the attending veterinarian and monitored and/or isolated for an appropriate period of time as determined by the attending veterinarian."


  • The AZA recommends that newly arrived Ursus maritimus - Polar bears should be quarantined away from other bears, and away from carnivores in general, either in a separate building or within an area of the polar bear exhibit which can be isolated using solid walls, disinfectant footbaths etc. Quarantine should last at least 30 days. During the quarantine period, faecal samples should be checked for parasites, treatment instigated if necessary, and the bear held until three samples, taken at one-week intervals, have been parasite negative. Once the bear has settled in, the bear should be immobilised for a complete physical examination (see: Physical Examination of Mammals), including checking for or placing of a microchip (see: Mammal Identification - Electronic Identification), and taking of any requested samples (as indicated by the Polar Bear SSP Veterinarian [or equivalent in other geographical areas]). Blood should be taken (Blood Sampling Bears) and checked - haematology and biochemistry, presence of heartworm antigen/antibody in appropriate geographical areas (see: Heartworm Infection in Bears); the remaining serum should be stored in a serum bank. (D315.3.w3) 
  • Polar bears should be hospitalised away from other bears/carnivores in the event that they contract an infectious disease requiring isolation. (D315.3.w3)
  • Urine and faeces should not be allowed to accumulate, particularly in confined spaces.
  • It may be advantageous to provide easily-cleaned surfaces (e.g. concrete) in areas of the outside enclosure commonly used for defecation, to make cleaning easier. 


  • Night dens should be cleaned thoroughly using hot water and detergent, then disinfected and rinsed thoroughly. Good drainage is essential to ensure dens are properly dry before the bears return to them.
  • Note that general cleaning and disinfection will not remove ascarid eggs; only a flame-thrower will do this, but this can be used only on heat-resistant surfaces. See: Baylisascaris Infection in Bears


(B23.4.w13, B407.w18, B433, D315.3.w3, LCofC9, P85.1.w2)

Lagomorph Consideration

Disinfectant. Click here for full page view with caption

Domestic rabbit
  • Quarantine
    • New rabbits should not be added to an existing colony for at least two weeks, and preferably 30 days, after being acquired and passing a general physical examination. (B550.16.w16)
  • Ventilation
    • Good ventilation is very important to prevent respiratory disease. (B601.1.w1, J34.24.w3)
  • Hygiene
    • Providing a water bottle rather than a bowl for drinking water can help keep the dewlap dry and reduce the risk of development of moist dermatitis. (B601.3.w3)
    • If the rabbit's cage has a solid floor, frequent cleaning is important to avoid pododermatitis (Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs). (J213.7.w3)
    • Frequent cleaning of accommodation is important to keep rabbits clean and reduce the risk of attracting flies and development of flystrike (Myiasis). (B606.1.w1)
    • Avoid wood chip or wood shavings as a substrate; these can lead to respiratory and skin problems, and external parasites such as mites may survive in them. (J213.7.w3)
    • The litter tray, or whole cage, should be cleaned regularly to avoid faeces, odour, hair and mould from building up. 30 mL of a sodium hypochlorite solution in one litre of water can be used for disinfection. (B615.6.w6)
  • Note: Preventing contact with wild rabbits is also part of preventative medicine for rabbits, minimising the risk of disease transmission. (B601.1.w1)
Wild lagomorphs
The same principles apply as for domestic rabbits. However, some modifications may be needed because of different disease risks, for example infectious diseases found in wild lagomorphs in different geographical areas, and the nervous disposition of most wild lagomorphs.
  • Quarantine
    • To avoid spreading diseases such as Tularemia, translocation of wild lagomorphs from endemic areas should be avoided or carried out with care. (B209.18.w18)
    • When Columbia Basin Brachylagus idahoensis - Pygmy rabbits were brought into captivity, they were initially kept in quarantine pens (D370)
  • Hygiene
    • Note: there can be conflict between hygiene for disease control, and behavioural/breeding requirements. 
    • In Lepus europaeus - Brown hare at Basle Zoo, where frequent cleaning was needed due to a problem with coccidiosis, a double-pen system was used, with the bottom part of the dividing wall being movable. Hares were kept in one side of the enclosure at a time. The dividing wall would be raised and the hares learned to hop through to the other side. The wall was then lowered again, and the dirty side could then be cleaned, disinfected, and left empty until prepared again for the hares. (B525.11.w11)
    • At Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, weekly cleaning was found to be very stressful for Romerolagus diazi - Volcano rabbit in quarantine cages and a deep litter system of hay was used instead. (J51.19.w1)
    • In Brachylagus idahoensis - Pygmy rabbit in a captive breeding programme, serious disease problems were encountered with both Intestinal Coccidiosis and Avian Tuberculosis; these were considered to be linked to the soil substrate of the rabbit's pens. However, attempts to keep the rabbits in soil-less pens failed since young were not reared past 4 - 5 days unless the female had access to soil in which to dig a natal burrow for rearing her young. (D372)
Ferret Consideration
  • When a new individual is introduced into the household, it is always advisable to quarantine the ferret for at least two weeks. (J213.2.w6, B627.15.w15) 
    • During this time, faecal samples should be taken for parasitological examination;
    • The ferret should be observed for any signs of an infectious disease (viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic) which it might transmit to other ferrets, other animals, or to humans. 
    • The ferret should be vaccinated against Canine Distemper. (B627.15.w15)
    • Consider screening for Aleutian Disease in Ferrets before introducing a new ferret to a multi-ferret household. (B602.2.w2) Ferrets entering a colony preferably should be isolated until they have tested seronegative. (B627.15.w15, J3.132.w8, J15.24.w5)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans. Primates
  • Quarantine is fundamental in a preventative health system for primates, to minimise the risk of introducing new pathogens into the resident population and to protect humans from zoonotic pathogens. (B22.31.w31a, B10.44.w44f, D428.w2)
  • The length of the quarantine period should be chosen to maximise the chance of detecting any disease in incoming primates, without being so long as to be excessively expensive. Depending on the circumstances this may be 30-90 days or even as long as six months. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Periods of 30 days may be sufficient for animals from approved institutions of known high health status. (D428.w2)
  • After an initial one-week acclimatisation period to allow new animals to settle, systematic examination and testing of quarantined animals is carried out, including tuberculosis testing. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Repeated weighing provides one objective measure of health; initial weight loss may occur during quarantine, but a weight loss which is sustained and greater than 20%o f body weight should be investigated further. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Haematology and serum biochemistry should be determined. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Radiography of the chest is useful for detection of respiratory diseases. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Stool samples should be examined for parasites; rectal bacterial cultures may be carried out also. (B22.31.w31a)
    • Consider what serological testing is appropriate. (B22.31.w31a)
  • Routine vaccinations may be carried out during the quarantine period. (B22.31.w31a)
  • Thorough record keeping is essential. (B22.31.w31a)
  • Note: Direct contact between members of the public and primates should be avoided. (P6.2.w13)


  • Easy-to-use handwashing facilities should be readily accessible for caretakers. (P131.w10)
  • Consider use of protective equipment such as face masks to reduce the risks of transmission of infectious agents between caretakers and bonobos. (P131.w10)
  • Consider whether there should be increased health management of individual bonobos (mainly young females) in the period leading up to and after transfer between collections. (P131.w10)
  • Glass barriers between bonobos and the public will reduce the risk of transmission of disease agents from the human population to bonobos. Similarly, public viewing areas should not overlook bonobo exhibit space. (P131.w10)

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Parasite Screening and Routine Control Measures

  • Parasite detection and control should begin before animals enter the collection, i.e. during quarantine, to prevent contamination of the enclosure and population.
  • Records should be kept of the results of systematic faecal examinations and of anthelmintic treatments given. (B214.2.3.w14)
  • Regular examination of faecal samples may be used to screen for gastro-intestinal parasites.
    • Both qualitative and quantitative examinations should be carried out. Quantitative examination does not necessarily have to provide results in eggs per gram, but should at least indicate whether infestation is severe, moderate or occasional. (B214.2.3.w14)
    • Individual animal samples are preferable, but herd or group samples are also useful.
  • The required frequency of testing will depend on the species and the past history of parasite types and levels of infection. (B214.2.3.w14)
    • All individuals or groups should be tested at least yearly; species with high susceptibility should be tested more frequently. (D256.IIB2.w3)
    • Examination should be carried out during quarantine; after treatment (to determine the effectiveness of treatment); and regularly thereafter, e.g. once or twice yearly, or more often if there is a known problem. (B429.2.w2)
    • Note: shedding of parasite eggs may vary depending on the season and time of day as well as on the time since the last anthelmintic (de-wormer) treatment given and the type of treatment given. (B214.2.3.w14)
      • False negative results may occur if samples are checked during the prepatent period (before the parasites have matured and started to shed eggs); note that some parasites shed eggs only intermittently even when mature. (B429.2.w2)
  • Regular faecal worm egg counts also are useful to detect any development of resistance to anthelmintics.
    • Faecal samples should be taken and checked following treatment, to evaluate whether the treatment has been effective. (B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3)
  • Enclosure design, management, and stocking density should minimise build-up or spread of parasites. (D15)
  • Individuals or groups in which faecal examination indicates parasite infection is present may be given anthelmintics (de-wormers) to prevent the build up of parasites.
  • Some collections routinely worm with anthelmintics every six months as well as screening for parasites.
  • For parasites whose life cycle involves an intermediate host, control of the intermediate host may be an important part of preventing infection. (B429.2.w2)
  • Indoor surfaces which are impervious and easy to clean and disinfect assist in breaking the infection cycle of parasites with a direct life cycle. For outdoor areas, good drainage is advantageous in parasite control.
  • Providing food in racks or troughs (and picking up spilled or dropped feed/hay), and water in waterers, reduces the ingestion of faecally contaminated food or water.
  • Disinfectants and steam jet cleaners may be used on indoor impervious surfaces and on outdoor paved areas. 
  • Flamethrowers may be used to kill worm eggs on the ground, but do not penetrate far into the soil.
  • Care should be taken not to move parasite eggs (e.g. Baylisascaris spp.) from one enclosure to another. This could occur when furnishings or equipment is moved between enclosures.
  • Consider the risks of exposure to parasites when moving animals between enclosures. 

(B214.2.3.w14, B429.2.w2, D15, D256.IIB2.w3, P1.1968.w2, V.w143)

Bear Consideration

Internal parasites
  • Ascarid infections may be detected by standard faecal flotation to detect ova. (B64.26.w5)
  • Full faecal examination includes a direct smear, flotation, sedimentation and Baermann. (B433)
  • Note: Bears in North America may carry Baylisascaris spp. ascarids [Baylisascaris Infection in Bears]. While these rarely cause harm to the definitive host (although heavy infestations may cause intestinal blockage) (B336.51.w51), larvae are neurotropic and viscerotropic in other species (including humans) and can cause severe disease. Extra care should be taken not to introduce these ascarids into a novel environment. (B433)
    • It is extremely difficult to eliminate ascarid ova from the environment; they may be destroyed by blowtorch but not otherwise, and may remain viable in the environment for two years. (B10.48.w43)
  • Bears with persistent ascarid infections should be treated routinely.
  • In areas where canine heartworm [Heartworm Infection in Bears] is endemic, consider placing bears on preventative medication for this disease. (B336.51.w51)
  • Anthelmintics (de-wormers) should be given before a bear is transported to a new location. (D247.10.w10)
  • Where frequent (every six to eight weeks) anthelmintic administration is not required in Ursus maritimus - Polar bears, direct faecal smears and flotation examination should be carried out at least twice per year, with anthelmintic treatment administered as required. (D315.3.w3)
  • Methods which may be used to reduce build-up of ascarid contamination are also indicated in:
External parasites

Lagomorph Consideration

Domestic rabbit
  • Keeping wild rabbits away from domestic rabbits will help to prevent transmission of parasites. (B601.1.w1)
  • Faeces of rabbits in a colony should be checked regularly for coccidia and roundworm eggs. (B550.16.w16) 
  • Coccidiosis
    • For rabbit colonies, using feed containing a coccidiostat should prevent severe infection and clinical coccidiosis, but allow low-level infection so that the rabbits can build up their immunity. (B600.10.w10)
    • Reinfection with coccidia is reduced if faeces can drop through the wire. (B615.6.w6)
    • Note: coccidial ooccysts are very resistant and can survive in the environment for years. (B46, J501.40.w1)
  • Flea control may be needed as a preventative measure in summer, particularly for rabbits with access to the outdoors. (P113.2005.w6)
  • Protection against blowflies (Myiasis) should be considered in summer for rabbits predisposed to fly strike due to e.g. obesity, arthritis, spinal disease etc. (P113.2005.w6)
    • Cyromazine (Rearguard (Novartis Animal Health)) is an insect growth regulator which affects maggots (blowfly larval stages) and prevents blowfly strike. (P113.2005.w6)
    • Note: The underlying problem(s) leading to the tendency to fly strike should be addressed if possible. (P113.2005.w6)
    • Ensure the rabbit is fed a diet based on hay and is eating all its caecotrophs; check that caecotrophy is not being prevented by tooth problems or obesity. (B622.6.w6)
    • Careful handling is important to avoid spinal and other injuries which may lead to the rabbit being unable to avoid soiling itself when urinating. (N34.Autumn07.w1) See: Mammal Handling & Movement - Restraint, Holding & Carrying
    • Long-haired rabbits should be groomed frequently and matted hair near the anus removed by careful clipping if necessary.
    • The rabbit's anal region should be checked regularly, particularly in the warmer months, and any soiling removed carefully. (B622.6.w6)
      • The affected area can be bathed carefully if necessary to remove faeces. (B622.6.w6) See: Bathing Rabbits
    • Hutches should be cleaned out frequently, preferably daily, to prevent accumulation of faeces. (B117.8.w8)
      • A thorough clean out should take place weekly. (B622.6.w6)
    • Herbs (lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary) planted near the hutch, sticky fly papers etc. may be used to reduce fly numbers. (B622.6.w6)
  • In summer, it is advisable to protect the hutch against mosquitoes (which carry Myxomatosis) with a fine wire mesh on the hutch. (J72.47.w1)
  • Anthelmintics
Wild lagomorphs

The same principles apply as for domestic rabbits. However, some modifications may be needed because of different disease risks, for example parasitic diseases found in wild lagomorphs in different geographical areas, and the nervous disposition of most wild lagomorphs.

  • Control of coccidiosis was found to be extremely important for successful breeding (survival of offspring) of Lepus americanus - Snowshoe hare. (J40.9.w1)
  • Coccidiosis has also been an important cause of juvenile mortality in a captive breeding programme for Brachylagus idahoensis - Pygmy rabbit. Control is made more difficult by the requirement of these rabbits for a 0.5 - 1.0 m deep soil substrate in which the females can dig a natal burrow. Without this, the females do not rear their young successfully. (J332.87.w1, D371, V.w134)
Ferret Consideration
External parasites
  • If ferrets are in a household with other pets, they should be included in any household flea control program. (B631.17.w17)
  • Safe spot-on products include:
  • Outdoor-housed ferrets should be given prophylactic treatment only if fleas are a persistent problem. (B631.17.w17)
    • The ferret's housing must also be treated if fleas are a problem. (B631.17.w17, B652.4.w4)
  • If ear mites are detected (Otodectes cynotis Ear Mite Infection in Hedgehogs and Ferrets), all susceptible and in-contact animals should be treated and thorough cleaning and disinfection of cages, with clean bedding provided, is essential. (B602.10.w10, B232.10.w10)
  • If sarcoptic mange is diagnoses, all animals including in-contact non-affected individuals should be treated. (B631.24.w24)
Gastro-intestinal parasites

Examination of faeces by direct smear and flotation should be a routine part of a physical examination. (J16.30.w1)

  • Generally, gastro-intestinal parasites are not a problem in ferrets and routine preventative treatment is not needed. (B631.17.w17)
  • Note: Ferrets travelling abroad from the UK under the PETS travel scheme must be treated against tapeworms, 24-48 hours before returning to the UK. Praziquantel, 5.0 - 12.5 mg/kg subcutaneously is recommended. [This is to avoid possible introduction of the zoonotic parasite Echinococcus multilocularis].

Where Heartworm Infection is present, ferrets should routinely be given preventative medication starting at 12-16 weeks old. (B631.17.w17, J213.2.w6)

  • If a ferret is not already on medication against heartworm infection and has reached of six months of age it should be antigen tested before the preventative treatment is started. (J213.2.w6)
  • It is recommended that ferrets from high risk areas should be on preventative treatments even if they live indoors. (B626, B602.2.w2, B627.16.w16, P20.1992.w7) 
    • Treatment should be given starting 15 days prior to exposure to mosquitoes and extending for 60 days afterwards. (B627.16.w16)
  • Mosquito- proofing is recommended for cages of ferrets that are in high risk areas and kept outside. (B626

Bonobo Consideration

Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.

Several gastrointestinal parasites are relatively common in all the great apes and can cause clinical disease. (B336.39.w39) In order to prevent these:

  • Strict sanitation is important in the great apes. (B336.39.w39)
  • Newly arrived great apes should be quarantined and infected individuals should be isolated until they have been treated. (B336.39.w39)
  • For all primates, faeces should be tested regularly for the presence of bacterial pathogens and parasites. (P6.2.w13)
  • Newly-arrived primates should be treated for gastrointestinal parasites, e.g. Thiabendazole 100 mg/kg orally twice, two weeks apart. The efficacy of treatment should be checked by faecal examination 2-3 weeks after the second dose of anthelmintic. (B10.44.w44f)
  • A parasite monitoring programme should be used for early detection of infection. (B336.39.w39)
  • At Stuttgart Zoo, faeces of newly-arrived apes are tested for parasites for 30 days, using flotation and the Baermann technique for larval separation, and the apes are treated with anthelmintics twice before being introduced to their new group. (P6.2.w13)

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Routine Foot, Claw and Hoof Monitoring and Care

Part of general health monitoring should include monitoring for lameness. Causes of lameness may include injury or disease of any part of the leg (muscles, bones, nerves, joints) or the spine. Many lameness problems are caused by foot problems, including hoof, nail or claw problems.

  • The feet should always be checked if a mammal is undergoing physical examination, including as a routine matter if the individual has been immobilised. Small problems can be noted and corrected.
  • Correct substrates are important for the maintenance of foot, hoof and claw health; inappropriate substrates for the species are more likely to lead to disease and chronic foot problems.
    • Feet of ungulates may become seriously overgrown if they are kept on substrates which are too soft.
    • The size of enclosures also affects foot health; enclosures may not be sufficiently large to allow natural hoof wear. (B472.10.w10, P1.1978.w2)
    • Even within a large enclosure with appropriate substrate, inactive individuals may not wear their hooves. (P1.1978.w2)
    • Excessively abrasive materials may lead to excessive hoof wear. This may also occur if animals panic and run for long periods.
    • Appropriate objects should be provided for scratching for species such as for carnivores, to keep their claws worn to a proper length.
  • For hoofed animals, the length of the hooves should be monitored. If hooves become too long, trimming is required, and this may be needed on a regular basis.
  • For animals with claws, also, care should be taken to ensure that these do not become too long. In extreme cases, excessively long claws can curl round and grown into the pad of the toe.

(B105.20.w5, B123. B429.2.w2, B472.10.w10, P1.1978.w2, V.w5)

Bear Consideration

  • Claw trimming should not be required if bears have access to logs or trees for scratching. (B10.48.w43)
  • Bear which have been kept in very small cages (e.g. on bear bile farms) may have overgrown claws and need treatment. (D263.w7)

Lagomorph Consideration

Clipping a rabbit's nails. Click here for full page view with caption Clipping a rabbit's nails. Click here for full page view with caption 

Domestic rabbit
  • The rabbit's claws should be checked regularly for any overgrowth.
  • The claws should be clipped if they are overgrown. (B604.5.w5)
  • Providing an adequate area for exercise and facilities for digging should prevent overgrowth of claws.
  • The footpads should be checked by carefully parting the fur, to check for early signs of Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs
  • Owners should be advised not to trim the fur pads over the hock, since trimming the fur can predispose the rabbit towards Ulcerative Pododermatitis). Instead, the feet can be washed in warm water. (B606.10.w10)
Wild lagomorphs
  • Foot and claw problems are unlikely to develop in lagomorphs being kept in naturalistic enclosures with access to substrates for digging etc.
  • If wild lagomorphs are kept in small cages, care is required in cage design to avoid development of problems such as Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs and claw overgrowth.
  • During any physical examination, the soles of the feet should be checked for any signs of Ulcerative Pododermatitis in Lagomorphs and the claws trimmed if necessary.
Ferret Consideration
  • Claws should be clipped routinely. This can easily be carried out while the ferret is distracted licking a palatable liquid food off its abdomen. (B339.9.w9, D397 - full text included, D404 - full text included, J15.24.w5)
  • Nail clippers suitable for use on cats or birds can be used. (B631.18.w18)
  • In ferrets with white claws (most ferrets), the quick is easy to see, therefore easy to avoid. (B631.18.w18)
  • Clip 1-2 mm distal to the quick. (B631.18.w18)
  • Squeeze the claw from side to side while cutting to minimise bleeding if the quick is cut accidentally. (B631.18.w18)
  • If the claw bleeds, potassium permanganate or silver nitrate can be applied to stop the bleeding. (B631.18.w18) 
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.
  • The fingernails and toenails of primates can be trimmed during a physical examination, if these are too long. (B670.5.w5)

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Routine Dental Monitoring and Care

  • The mouth and teeth should be checked whenever an animal is anaesthetised, particularly in species in which dental disease is common.
  • Tooth problems seen during examinations should be addressed, e.g. filling or removing worn or broken teeth, as appropriate.
    • If the pulp cavity is exposed, dental treatment needs to be carried out as soon as possible to avoid complications such as bacterial infection and fistula formation, as well as to reduce pain. 
  • Dental disease is more likely to occur in animals on diets which are very different from the wild diet in terms of texture and food processing.
    • Dental and oral pathologies including maloccluded teeth and atrophy of the jaw muscles may occur in mammals fed soft-textured diets. (J418.56.w1)
    • Diets should be designed not only to provide required nutrients but also to give appropriate stimulation to the teeth, gingiva and jaw muscles. (B429.2.w2)
      • Soft diets lead to build up of dental plaque; calculus, which can totally cover the teeth, also leads to gingival inflammation. (B429.2.w2)
      • Soft diets fail to provide gingival stimulation, leading to decreased circulation in the gums, impaction of food in the gingival sulcus (the crevice surrounding the tooth, between the tooth and the free gingival margin), gingival inflammation and eventually loss of supporting bone. (B429.2.w2)
    • Caries (tooth decay) may be prevented by ensuring appropriate nutrition and limiting the amount of processed sugars in the diet. (B429.2.w2)
    • Provision of bones (preferably with meat attached) and/or rawhide chews can improve dental health of carnivores. (J418.56.w1, P20.1998.w9)
      • Food or other items provided for chewing should be hard enough to give dental exercise and reduce plaque build up, but not so hard that dental enamel is chipped or teeth fractured. (B429.2.w2)
  • Dental disease is commonly seen in some species as a consequence of abnormal behaviours such as bar chewing.
    • Behavioural management may be used to reduce the incidence of stereotypic behaviours. See: Mammal Behavioural Requirements - Stress, Behavioural Problems and Stereotypies
  • Periodic treatment may be required to remove sharp edges and points from the teeth of species with continually growing teeth, or to remove hard calculus.
  • Dental records should be kept for each animal. (B429.2.w2)

(B429.2.w2, B470.19.w19, J418.56.w1, P20.1998.w9)

Bear Consideration

Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full-page view with caption

  • Bears are prone to dental disease in captivity. (B336.51.w51, B407.w18, P106.2007.w3)
  • Thorough examination of the mouth is recommended to detect all dental problems; this should be carried out at every opportunity, and proper dental records should be kept. (B336.51.w51, B407.w18, D247.7.w7, D247.7App1.w11, D315.3.w3)
  • Problems which may be seen include fractured teeth, particularly the canines, caries (tooth decay), tooth root abscesses, gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • When choosing foods for enrichment, consider the potential effects on teeth. (J328.93.w1)
  • Canines may be broken for example by bears chewing on cage bars. Broken teeth can be repaired. (B336.51.w51)
  • All dental problems noticed during examination of the mouth should be treated as soon as possible. (V.w6)
  • Removal of oral plaque should be a routine and frequent part of bear preventative medicine. (B336.51.w51)
  • For further information on dental diseases and treatment see:

Lagomorph Consideration

Rabbit incisors and peg teeth. Click here for full page view with caption 

Dental disease is very common in pet rabbits. Many dental problems can be avoided by feeding the correct diet.
Domestic rabbit
  • The best way to prevent dental disease in rabbits is to provide the correct diet containing sufficient abrasive materials (high fibre food and good quality hay) and with a minimum of concentrate foods such as pellets. (B609.2.w2, N34.Autumn07.w1)
    • Rabbits should be fed mainly hay, making up 70% of the diet - a rabbit will eat about as much volume of hay as their own body size, daily. 
    • Most of the rest of the diet should be vegetables - a good handful morning and evening of a mixture of items such as cabbage leaves, carrot, celery and pepper. (N34.Autumn07.w1)
    • Only 2% of the diet should be concentrates e.g. a tablespoon of rabbit pellets once a day for rabbits up to 3.5 kg and up to two tablespoons daily for larger rabbits. (N34.Autumn07.w1)
  • The rabbit's teeth should be examined whenever the rabbit is brought to the veterinary practice.
  • Preferably select a pet rabbit without a congenital predisposition to dental disease. (B609.2.w2)
  • It the rabbit has dental disease, any overgrown crowns should be trimmed periodically. (B609.2.w2) 
Wild lagomorphs
  • The same principles apply as for domestic rabbits. As with domestic rabbits, feeding the correct diet is important. 
  • As with domestic rabbits, tooth trimming may be needed e.g. trimming of incisors after incisors have been broken. (J51.19.w1)
Ferret Consideration
  • The teeth should be examined at any routine health check (yearly for young ferrets, twice a year for ferrets from about four or five years onwards. (J15.24.w5)
  • Periodontal disease (Periodontal Disease in Rabbits and Ferrets) is common particularly in ferrets fed moist diets. (J213.2.w6)
  • It is possible to brush the teeth of a pet ferret, several times a week, using an enzymatic toothpaste designed for cats/dogs and a feline or infant toothbrush (or a stiff paintbrush). (J213.2.w6, J29.19.w1)
  • Routine checking and cleaning of teeth can be carried out under gaseous anaesthesia. (J29.19.w1)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans. Primates

In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzees:

  • It is recommended for Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee that human or veterinary dentists are consulted regarding dental examination; human dental charts can used in monitoring dental health and problems. (D409.6.w6)
  • The gingiva should be monitored closely for any development of periodontal disease; daily doxycycline, as used in humans, may be useful in treatment. (D409.6.w6)
  • Cleaning of teeth can be carried out opportunistically when an individual is undergoing physical examination. (D409.6.w6)
  • If teeth are broken or have exposed root canals, endodontic treatment or extraction should be performed, as appropriate, by a dental specialist. (D409.6.w6)
  • Note: Extraction or alteration of teeth to minimise potential for wounding is NOT appropriate. (D409.6.w6)
  • Positive reinforcement training can be used to improve dental cleaning including the use of a tooth brush. (D409.6.w6)

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Vaccination Protocols

It is possible to vaccinate animals against a number of infectious diseases. This option is generally preferred when it is available for non-domestic animals maintained in zoos and other collections, due to the problems of detecting disease and in treating sick animals. (D267.VI.w6)

Vaccination protocols (i.e. what immunisations to give) may vary considerably depending on the species of mammals and the diseases which may be problematic in wild and domestic animals in the area in which they are being kept.

  • When designing a vaccination programme, it is necessary to consider the risk of the disease occurring, the severity of the disease if it does occur, and both the efficacy of the vaccine and possible adverse reactions to the vaccine. (P1.1990.w9)
  • Depending on the disease and the vaccines available, best results may be obtained by vaccinating individuals directly or, for juveniles, by vaccinating the parent to ensure passive protection of the young animal in their first few weeks of life.
  • Both live vaccines and inactivated vaccines may be available.
    • In general, live vaccines produce a better immune response but inactivated vaccines are "safer", less likely to cause disease.
  • Details of any vaccine given, including date of use, type, serial number and source, should be noted in the records of each individual animal. (D256.IIB2.w3)
  • Vaccines must be properly stored and handled prior to use, administered correctly, and not mixed with inappropriate medications (either in the same syringe, or by concurrent use - such as bacitrins given at the same time as antibiotics). (B10.3.w18)
  • N.B. Extreme caution must be used if considering using a vaccine in a species for which it is not licensed; live vaccines which may revert to virulence and inactivated vaccines may stimulate an anaphylactic reaction. (V.w6)
  • Before any vaccine is given, check that the animal's ability to mount an immune response is not impaired (e.g. by malnutrition, concurrent disease, severe physiological stress, immunosuppressive drug therapy and in neonates by the presence of maternal antibodies). (B10.3.w18)
    • Avoid giving vaccines at the same time as subjecting animals to the considerable physiological stresses associated with transfer between collections. (B10.3.w18)

(B10.3.w18, B429.2.w2, D256.IIB2.w3, D267.VI.w6, V.w6)

Bear Consideration

Bears are susceptible to Rabies, Leptospirosis, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Canine Distemper and parvovirus (see Feline Panleucopaenia). It has been suggested that bears should be vaccinated against some or all of these diseases. Different authorities vary in their interpretations of which diseases bears are truly susceptible to and which diseases they should be vaccinated against. (D267.VI.w6)
  • Consider rabies vaccination in areas where there is rabies in wild animals or stray/feral dogs. (B23.20.w15, B336.51.w51)
    • Imrab 3 (Merial Ltd.) killed vaccine can be used in bears. (B433)
    • Note: before vaccinating animals prior to translocation or release, it is important to check whether rabies vaccination is permitted. (B433)
  • Consider vaccinating against leptospirosis in areas where there are significant problems with leptospirosis in reservoir rodents. (B16.9.w9, B407.w18)
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis has been reported as a naturally occurring disease in Ursus americanus - American black bears on one occasion. Vaccination against this disease may be considered (B429.2.w2) if there is any possibility of bears coming into contact with domestic or stray dogs, for example after translocation or release. (B433)
    • Vaccination is not required if bears are unlikely to come into contact with canids. (B336.51.w51)
    • Vaccination should not be needed in areas where the disease in dogs is properly controlled. (B407.w18)
  • Annual vaccination with killed vaccines against leptospirosis (Leptospira bacterin-CI killed vaccine) and canine adenovirus-2 killed vaccine) has been recommended [1993]. (J2.24.w6)
    • Combined killed vaccines against Leptospirosis and Infectious Canine Hepatitis are available and safe to use in bears, and should be used routinely, with at least two doses four weeks apart, with a booster after six months and then yearly [1992]. (B407.w18)
  • For Ursus maritimus - Polar bear, consider vaccinating translocated/released individuals against canine distemper virus [see Canine Distemper (with notes on Bears)] (using a killed vaccine) and Feline Panleucopaenia [2001]. (B433)
  • Current Polar Bear SSP vaccination recommendations are to vaccinate Ursus maritimus - Polar bear against rabies (killed vaccine, annually), tetanus (tetanus toxoid, annually) and leptospirosis (leptospirosis bacterin, killed, annually). For cubs, at 16 weeks old give 2 mL rabies vaccine and 2 mL tetanus toxoid, and at one year give a follow-up 2 mL rabies vaccination [2007]. (D315.3.w3)
  • Some zoos have vaccinated Tremarctos ornatus - Spectacled bears annually with killed rabies virus vaccine and with killed Feline Panleucopaenia vaccine [1988]. (P77.1.w19)
  • Tetanus toxoid has been given opportunistically to Tremarctos ornatus - Spectacled bear at one zoo. (P77.1.w19)

Lagomorph Consideration Intradermal injection picture 1. Click here for full page view with caption. Intradermal injection picture 2. Click here for full page view with caption. Intradermal injection picture 3. Click here for full page view with caption.

Domestic rabbit

Vaccine recommendations vary depending on diseases found in a particular country or region.

  • In the UK, vaccinations against Myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease) are recommended. (B601.1.w1, P113.2005.w6)
    • Myxomatosis vaccination
      • Nobivac Myxo (Intervet Schering-Plough) is a live vaccine, made from Shome fibroma virus (a poxvirus related to myxoma virus).
      • Give a single injection at six weeks or older.
      • Give a booster every six months.
      • One tenth of the vaccine (0.1 mL of the 1 mL) must be given intradermally (Intradermal Injection of Rabbits) for proper development of antibody response; the rest is given subcutaneously.
      • Do not give during pregnancy.


    • Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (viral haemorrhagic disease) vaccination
      • Cylap (Fort Dodge Animal Health)
      • Give the first dose at 10-12 weeks of age or older.
      • A single dose is given, with an annual booster.
      • Give at a separate time from the myxomatosis vaccine - at least two weeks apart.


  • In the USA, vaccination is not recommended routinely since VHD is not present and myxomatosis is rare. (B601.1.w1)
Wild lagomorphs
Ferret Consideration
  • Where Rabies is present, ferrets should be vaccinated against this disease. (B602.2.w2, J213.2.w6)
    • In the USA, rabies vaccination is mandatory in some states. (B602.2.w2)
      • The Imrab-3 vaccine (Merial), a killed vaccine, is effective, providing protection for at least one year (J4.196.w10). Ferrets should be vaccinated at three months of age, with an annual booster. 1 mL is given subcutaneously. Antibody titres should develop within 30 days of vaccination. (B602.2.w2) 
    • Note: Ferrets travelling to/from the UK under the PETS travel scheme need to be vaccinated against rabies. Nobivac Rabies (Intervet), Rabisin (Merial) and Quantum rabies, all licensed for use in cats/dogs, have been used in ferrets. (B631.17.w17)
      • Canigen Rabies (Virbac) and Nobivac Rabies (MSD Animal Health) can be used. (W712.Aug11.w1, W712.Aug11.w2) Note: 
        • "A single dose inoculation of 1 ml is sufficient irrespective of size, species or breed of animal." (W712.Aug11.w2)
        • Give the primary vaccination when the ferret is at least three months of age, by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, and booster every three years, also by intravenous or subcutaneous injection. (W712.Aug11.w2)
        • "Animals intended for vaccination under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) must be identified by a permanent numbered microchip. This microchip number must be recorded on the record of the dog, cat and ferret vaccination at the time of rabies vaccination." (W712.Aug11.w1, W712.Aug11.w2) 
        • "Experience has shown that a proportion of vaccinated animals, while protected, may not show the 0.5 I.U. antibody titre on blood testing required by the PETS scheme. Veterinary surgeons may wish to consider two vaccinations, particularly in young, naive animals. Blood sampling for antibody titres should ideally be carried out three weeks after the last vaccine injection." (W712.Aug11.w1, W712.Aug11.w2) 
  • Vaccination against Canine Distemper is recommended. (B602.2.w2, J15.24.w5, J213.2.w6)
    • Ferrets entering a household should be vaccinated and quarantined for at least two weeks. (B627.15.w15)
    • In the UK, polyvalent modified live canine vaccines containing not only distemper but also e.g. canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus and canine parainfluenza virus are used. These are not licensed for use in ferrets, but do appear to be safe and effective. (B631.31.w31)
    • In the USA, Purevax Ferret Distemper vaccine (Merial), a canarypox vectored recombinant vaccine is licensed specifically for ferrets. An adverse reaction incidence of 0.3% has been reported. (B631.31.w31)
    • In the UK, Nobivac DH (Intervet) appears to be safe. Preferably check with the manufacturer before use, because vaccine products change. (J15.24.w5)
      • Half a canine dose is appropriate. (J15.24.w5)
      • Initial vaccination at at eight weeks, then two more doses at three-week intervals are recommended, followed by annual boosters. (J213.8.w3) Where distemper is endemic, first vaccination at eight weeks, second at 10-12 weeks and third at 13-14 weeks. (J15.24.w5)
      • Kits from unvaccinated mothers: vaccinate at five weeks. (B627.15.w15) at six weeks, where distemper is endemic. (J15.24.w5)
      • Where distemper is not endemic, a single vaccination at 12 weeks is adequate. (J15.24.w5)
      • A booster should be given every one to three years. (J15.24.w5)
    • FERT - Ferret Education and Research Trust suggests Nobivac PHPPi (MSD Animal Health): (D407 - full text included)
      • For young kits, half a dose (half a vial) at 6 - 8 weeks and half a dose at 12 - 14 weeks. (D407 - full text included)
      • For juveniles under 16 weeks, half a dose (half a vial) immediately, repeated after two weeks.
      • For ferrets over 16 weeks old, a full dose (full vial).
      • Booster of a full vial annually. 

      (D407 - full text included)

  • Vaccination reactions do occur in ferrets following distemper vaccinations and (less commonly) rabies vaccinations. (B602.2.w2)
    • Give an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl, Parke-Davis, Morris Palains, New Jersey, USA) at 0.5  - 2.0 mg/kg intravenously, or intramuscularly, OR adrenaline (epinephrine) 20 g/kg intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or intratracheally, OR a short-acting corticosteroid e.g. dexamethasone sodium phosphate 1-2 mg/kg intravenously or intramuscularly. (B602.2.w2)
    • Give supportive care as required. (B602.2.w2)
    • For future vaccination, give 2 mg/kg diphenhydramine orally or subcutaneously at least 15 minutes before giving the vaccine. (B602.2.w2)
  • Note: vaccination-site sarcomas have been reported in ferrets (Neoplasia in Ferrets) but much less commonly than in cats. (B602.2.w2)

For wild mustelids, those housed outdoors in regions where Rabies is found should be routinely vaccinated against rabies. Vaccination with a killed vaccine against canine or feline parvovirus (Feline Panleucopaenia) is also recommended. Modified-live vaccines against Canine Distemper should be used with caution. (P20.1992.w1)

Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.
  • Vaccination programmes should be designed based on local risks of different diseases, and knowledge of the safety and efficacy of available vaccines. (D428.w2)
  • Note: Often, great apes in European collections are not vaccinated against any diseases; there are no reports of tetanus or poliomyelitis in apes housed in European collections. (D428.w2)
  • Vaccination of parent-reared infants may result in significant stress, while vaccination of an infant being hand-reared, or an individual in quarantine, is less problematic. (D428.w2)
  • Consider vaccinating apes against poliomyelitis, measles and tetanus. (D428.w2, P1.1990.w9)
    • Tetanus vaccine can be give as three doses of standard human tetanus toxoid (400 IU tetanus toxoid per dose) by intramuscular injection at 2-3 month intervals, starting at three months of age, with a booster after five years and then at ten-year intervals. (D428.w2)
    • All apes are susceptible to measles. A single dose of vaccine can be given at 15 months or older with an intramuscular booster 10 years later. Live measles vaccine should not be given at the same time as other vaccines, nor to individuals which are immunocompromised or have another infection. (D428.w2)
    • Poliomyelitis has been reported in great apes (Gorilla gorilla - Gorilla, Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, Pongo pygmaeus - Orang-utan) although not in Europe. (D428.w2)
      • The course is three doses of live oral trivalent vaccine (attenuated Poliomyelitis vaccine strains). This can be given starting at two months of age. It is important for ALL the individuals in a group to be vaccinated at the same time, particularly with the first dose of a course. Oral booster vaccinations are given at five years, then at ten-year intervals. (D428.w2)
      • Alternatively, enhanced potency inactivated polio vaccine can be given as three 0.5 mL doses at intervals of one month, starting at two months or older, with a booster after five years and then at ten-year intervals.  (D428.w2)
  • In Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee, it is suggested that for each group and individual, the collection history, risk of exposure and current human prophylaxis guidelines should be used in deciding appropriate vaccinations. As a minimum, vaccines against measles, polio and tetanus should be considered. [2010](D409.6.w6)
    • Hand-reared infants may need additional vaccinations, due to increased human contact. [2010](D409.6.w6)
  • Note: When the opportunity arises, serum samples from vaccinated individuals should be tested to provide data on the effectiveness of the vaccine schedule used. (D428.w2)

Consider vaccinating bonobos against some disease agents particularly those causing respiratory disease. It is noted that it is possible to give the various vaccines to a bonobo all at the same time without immunosuppression resulting. (P131.w11) Suggestions include:

  • Annual influenza vaccination with the vaccine made available for the human population each autumn. [2006](P131.w11)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine (intramuscularly), preferable using a vaccine appropriate for human infants (Prevnar) with three doses given in the first year of life, if possible; otherwise a multivalent vaccine (Pneumovax), given starting at two years of age. [2006](P131.w11)
  • DPT [diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus] (IM) preferably four doses by the age of four years, or at least three doses by that age. [2006](P131.w11)
  • Haemophilus influenza B (HIB) (intramuscularly); this may not be needed, since its use in the human population has greatly reduced the presence of this agent. However it is usually given along with DPT in a polyvalent vaccine. [2006](P131.w11)
  • Polio vaccine (intramuscularly), at the same time as DTP/HIB. [2006](P131.w11)
  • MMR [measles, mumps, rubella], a single dose, possibly repeated after 5-10 years. [2006](P131.w11)
  • Rabies [in locations where this is appropriate] every two years. [2006](P131.w11)
  • BCG vaccination against TB has been used with apparent success. [1975](B437.w24)

Note: It is preferable that the people working with bonobos are all vaccinated to appropriate human health standards. (P131.w11) At a minimum, vaccines against tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and hepatitis B should be current for staff working with primates. (D428.w2)

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Pest Control

In any animal collection it is important not only to protect against larger predators but also to control smaller pests such as insects, rodents and pigeons.
  • Commonly, pests of various types are abundant in zoos due to the availability of food, warm humid environments and animal faeces. 
  • Pest species may eat foods intended for the animals being maintained in a collection, contaminate foods, damage buildings, enclosures or plants and harbour or transmit diseases.
  • No single action is likely to be effective against pests, but an integrated pest management strategy involving a variety of control measures should, in combination, keep pest numbers to a minimum.
  • Well designed external fencing should exclude larger predators and act as a deterrent to many pests. Half-inch netting covering the bottom of a fence and continuing underground, together with an electrified wire near the top of the small-gauge netting, may exclude species such as weasels. (See: External Fence (Permanent Enclosure) Construction).
  • Enclosures and ancillary buildings, food preparation and storage areas etc. should be designed and maintained so as to minimise the availability of access points for pests such as rodents; to minimise places where pests may be harboured; and/or to improve accessibility of all areas to pest control measures.
    • Cavities and awkward corners must be filled and eliminated (e.g. bricked up), or a means must be available by which they can be checked and cleaned.
  • Minimizing food available to pests is essential. This includes keeping feed storage bins closed; storing feed sacks neatly to allow detection and control of pests in their vicinity; and avoiding overfeeding, which leaves uneaten food available to pest species.
  • Vermin control should be implemented in all areas including areas where food is stored or prepared. (D256.IIC.w4)
  • Traps are labour-intensive to place and monitor. For maximum effect they must be placed on routes known to be used by the target species. Both lethal traps (commonly used in rodent control) and live traps (commonly used for most other species) must be checked daily. Live-trapped pests must be either euthanased by an acceptable humane method or relocated. 
    • N.B. drowning an animal (whichever species) is not considered humane and is not a suitable method of euthanasia. (See: Treatment and Care - Euthanasia).
  • Poisons are commonly used in rodent control. It is important to ensure that toxic bait stations are clearly labelled and do not allow entry to non-target species. Bait stations should be monitored to determine whether the bait is being taken and to confirm that it is not being taken by non-target species.
    • The use of poisons in controlling pests is limited in many areas of animal collections due to the presence of live non-target animals. 
    • N.B. baits such as rodenticide anticoagulants may be poisonous to birds and non-target mammals if consumed either directly or by secondary toxicity if a poisoned pest is consumed. 
    • Carcasses of poisoned pests may be difficult to remove from the burrows where they have died; carcasses may smell and may attract other pests such as flies while decaying.
    • Pesticides must be used in accordance with relevant legislation/regulations.
    • Agents which have no or reduced toxicity in non-target species should be used in preference to those with greater toxicity.
  • Conditioned taste version may be of use in ecologically sound pest management. (B105.20.w5)
  • Note: It is important to remember that some species considered as pests may be protected by law and both trapping and killing of such species may be illegal.
  • Techniques used for monitoring and controlling pests should be properly recorded.

(B23.17.w3, B64.4.w1, B105.20.w5, B214.2.3.w14, B429.2.w2, B438.7.w7, B469.3.w3, B472.10.w10, D15, D256.IIC.w4, P1.1968.w2, V.w5)

Bear Consideration

Pest control should be carried out for bear enclosures as for other enclosures.
  • Large populations of pest pigeons, starlings etc. should be discouraged. (B407.w18)
  • It is important to ensure that the bears cannot access either poison baits or poisoned rodents. (B407.w18)
  • In the US, APHIS standards for marine mammals, including Ursus maritimus - Polar bear state that: "A safe and effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, and avian and mammalian pests must be established and maintained. Insecticides or other such chemical agents must not be applied in primary enclosures housing marine mammals except when deemed essential by an attending veterinarian." (LCofC9)
Food stores should be kept pest-free; food for bears should be stored, and waste food disposed of, in such a matter that it is not attractive to or accessible to pests such as rodents. (B407.w18, D260, D261)
  • In providing food-based environmental enrichment such as scatter feeds, consideration should be given to the risks of foodstuffs attracting pests. 
  • Foods such as fresh or thawed meat or fish-based products, which may quickly become attractive to flies and other insects, should be fed in a manner which minimises the time for which they are attractive to pests.
  • In the US, APHIS standards for marine mammals, including Ursus maritimus - Polar bear state that: 
    • "Supplies of food must be stored in facilities that adequately protect such supplies from deterioration, spoilage (harmful microbial growth), and vermin or other contamination. Refrigerators and freezers (or chilled and/or iced coolers for under 12 hours) must be used for perishable food. No substances that are known to be or may be toxic or harmful to marine mammals may be stored or maintained in the marine mammal food storage or preparation areas, except that cleaning agents may be kept in secured cabinets designed and located to prevent food contamination. Food, supplements, and medications may not be used beyond commonly accepted shelf life or date listed on the label." (LCofC9)
    • Provision must be made for the removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, dead animals, trash, and debris. Disposal facilities must be provided and operated in a manner that will minimize odors and the risk of vermin infestation and disease hazards. All waste disposal procedures must comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws pertaining to pollution control, protection of the environment, and public health." (LCofC9)

(B407.w18, D260, D261, LCofC9)

Lagomorph Consideration

Domestic rabbit
  • Rabbits should be protected from rodents, insect pests and predators, including domestic animals. (B604.2.w2, B606.6.w6)
  • Protection from flies and mosquitoes, using mesh screening, may be needed in summer. (B601.1.w1, J34.24.w3)
  • Mesh screening can be used over a hutch, or on the windows/doorways of a shed, allowing ventilation while keeping out insects. (B622.6.w6)
    • In summer it is advisable to protect the hutch against mosquitoes (which carry Myxomatosis) with a fine wire mesh on the hutch. (J72.47.w1)
  • A regularly cleaned, disinfected hutch is less attractive to flies. (B622.6.w6)
  • Food, including hay, should be kept in secure containers which pests such as rodents cannot get into. (B622.6.w6)
  • Waste food should be discarded well away from the hutch, and the area around the hutch should be swept after the hutch is cleaned. (B622.6.w6)
  • Electric fly killers can be used inside a shed. (B622.6.w6)
  • Check that any shed used to house a rabbit or store its food is in good repair, without holes which allow entrance of rodents. (B622.6.w6)
Wild lagomorphs
  • Wild lagomorphs must be kept in predator-proof enclosures. (W585.Apr08.w1, W585.Apr08.w2)
  • Depending on the location, this may include protection from species such as foxes, small mustelids, and aerial predators. Solid walls or small-mesh thick-gauge netting can protect from small mustelids (and limit access by rodents); strong netting, solid walls and e.g. barbed wire or roof netting may be used to protect from foxes and rood netting to protect from aerial predators. (B169.24.w24, J81.30.w1)
  • Enclosures should be designed to prevent rodents getting in. (B525.11.w11)
Ferret Consideration
  • There is a risk of ferrets developing poisoning such as secondary anticoagulant toxicity or sodium monofluoacetate (1080) toxicity after eating rodents or rabbits which have been poisoned by such chemicals; such poisonings have been reported. (J194.23.w1, J316.112.w1)
    • If poisons are used in pest control around ferret enclosures it is important to ensure that carcasses of pests (ferret prey species) are removed, so the ferret cannot eat them. (V.w5)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.
  • Pest control is important in a primate preventative medicine programme to reduce the spread of disease. (D425.1.2.w1b, D426.2.1.w2a, D428.w2)
  • Rodents, birds, and invertebrates such as ticks and cockroaches carry and/or transport many infectious diseases and parasites of primates. (D425.1.2.w1b, D428.w2)
  • Domesticated and free-ranging wild animals should, as much as possible, be discouraged from entering enclosures. (D425.1.2.w1b)
  • Rodents carry many diseases which are infectious to primates. (D426.2.1.w2a)
    • Food scraps from enclosures should be cleaned up regularly and spoiled food disposed of in a manner which does not leave them accessible to rodents.
    • Rodent control measures should be implemented carefully to ensure they do not inadvertently harm the animals they aim to protect. For example, care is required when using pesticides, to avoid contamination of either human or animal feed or housing areas.
    • Second generation rodenticides such as broudifacoum are more likely to result in secondary poisoning if non-target animals eat the rodents which have died of the toxin. second generation anticoagulant rodenticides should be used only at a distance from primate housing. If use of rodenticides closer to housing is required, then first generation anticoagulants such as coumarin are safer.
    • Rodent nest sites around enclosures should be cleared to reduce the risk that rodents which have eaten rodenticides will retreat to nests within reach of primates.

       (D425.1.2.w1b, D426.2.1.w2a)

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Control of Toxins

Care should be taken to minimise the possibility that animals may gain access to toxic substances, including toxic plants.
Toxic plants
  • It is important to ensure that toxic plants are not used within an enclosure, nor near an enclosure, where animals may be able to reach them.
  • A number of plant species which are known to be toxic to animals, such as yew, rhododendron and oleander, may be used for decorative landscaping within zoos but outside animal enclosures.
    • If toxic plants are used for landscaping, care should be taken to minimise the risk that visitors can offer these to the animals.
    • Clippings from toxic plants should be disposed of carefully to remove the risk that they are offered to animals as browse.
  • Gardeners and maintenance personnel, as well as animal keepers, should be made aware of the risks from toxic plants. This reduces the likelihood of toxic species accidentally being offered to animals as browse.
  • Care must be taken to buy pelleted foods from reputable sources; it is impossible to visually check such diets to ensure that they have not been manufactured using toxic plants.
  • Hays should be visually checked before being fed to animals, to ensure they do not contain known toxic plants. (B10.3.w18)
Toxic chemicals
  • Toxic chemicals may be present in paint, wood preservatives etc.
  • Compounds known to be toxic to animals may be used for pest control purposes (e.g. rodenticides, insecticides).
  • Cleaning agents can be toxic or corrosive.
    • Care must be taken to ensure that containers of cleaning agents are not left where animals can reach them, and that cleaning agents are properly rinsed away and not left on surfaces or in puddles when animals may ingest them (directly, or via grooming).
  • It is important that reclaimed wood is cleaned of old paint which might contain lead, before being repainted.
    • Mammals may loosen paint by scratching or chewing and can then ingest flakes of paint.
  • Prepared foods (pellets, extruded diets etc.) should be obtained from reputable sources.
    • It is important that manufacturers understand the toxicities which may occur if feedstuffs intended for one species, and containing ingredients (including mediations) suitable for that species, are inadvertently mislabelled or allowed to contaminate feedstuffs for other species.

(B10.3.w18, B23.14.w21, B214.2.3.w14, B429.2.w2, B472.10.w10, J2.28.w5, V.w5)

Bear Consideration

Yew. Click here for full page view with caption

  • As with other species, care should be taken to ensure that enclosures do not contain toxic plants. Plants which have caused poisoning when fed to bears include oleander and yew. See:
  • Wood used inside bear enclosures, including wood shavings provided for environmental enrichment, must not have been treated with any wood preservatives (insecticides, fungicides) as these may be poisonous. (D247.2.w2)

Lagomorph Consideration

  • Access to known or potentially plants should be avoided. This includes the ornamental shrub oleander (Nerium oleander) and the house plant dumbcane (Dieffenbachia seguinae). (B602.13.w13)
  • Note: lawn weed killers may be toxic. Avoid use of these where rabbits will be grazed. (B602.13.w13)
  • Avoid gathering wild plants from areas which may have been sprayed with pesticides. (D354)
Ferret Consideration
  • Use of galvanised zinc (e.g. for food or water bowls) is not recommended for ferrets, due to the risk of  Zinc Toxicity in Waterfowl and Ferrets. (J195.11.w2)
  • If poisons are used in pest control around ferret enclosures it is important to ensure that carcasses of pests (ferret prey species) are removed, so the ferret cannot eat them and become poisoned. (V.w5)
Bonobo Consideration Note: There is very little published information available on veterinary care specifically in bonobos. In general, treatment and care of bonobos is the same as treatment and care of Pan troglodytes - Chimpanzee in particular and of the other great apes and other primates. Great ape treatment and care is commonly based on the treatment for their close relatives, Homo sapiens - Humans.
  • Foods used should be checked for potential toxins. (D425.1.2.w1b)
  • Enclosures should be checked for the presence of any poisonous plants. (D425.1.2.w1b)
    • This is particularly important in a new enclosure. (D425.1.2.w1b)
  • Care is required when using pesticides, to avoid contamination of either human or animal feed or housing areas. (D426.2.1.w2a)
  • Second generation rodenticides such as broudifacoum are more likely to result in secondary poisoning if non-target animals eat the rodents which have died of the toxin. second generation anticoagulant rodenticides should be used only at a distance from primate housing. If use of rodenticides closer to housing is required, then first generation anticoagulants such as coumarin are safer. Rodent nest sites around enclosures should be cleared to reduce the risk that rodents which have eaten rodenticides will retreat to nests within reach of primates. (D426.2.1.w2a)
  • Lead Poisoning has been reported in nonhuman primates with access to lead paint. Care should be taken that no lead-containing paint is accessible to primates. (B644.5.w5, J569.38.w1)

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Authors & Referees


Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)


Suzanne I Boardman BVMS MRCVS (V.w6); Bridget Fry BSc (Hons), V.N. (V.w143); Mike Jordan (V.w30); Chris Lasher (V.w110)

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