Successful Transabdominal Subxiphoid Pericardiostomy to Relieve Chronic Pericardial Effusion in a 46-Year-Old Female Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelli)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
PK Robbins1, MRCVS; Geoffrey W. Pye1, BVSc, MSc, DACZM; Meg Sutherland-Smith1, DVM, DACZM; Rebecca Papendick1, DVM, DACVP; Michael Madani2, MD, FACS

1Veterinary Services, San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA, USA; 2San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA


During a preventive medicine examination in July 2006, a 46-year-old female Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelli) was diagnosed with pericardial effusion and dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical signs were not apparent for the next 6 month. In January 2007, pericardiocentesis was performed, but provided only short-term relief. The pericardial effusion continued to accumulate over the next 4 months to a point that intervention was again required. In May 2007, a pericardial-peritoneal window was created using a transabdominal subxiphoid pericardiosotomy technique, providing immediate and long-term relief. Eight months later the orangutan was euthanatized due to worsening heart failure and no pericardial effusion was present.


Speaker Information
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Geoffrey W. Pye, BVSc, MSc, DACZM
Zoological Society of San Diego
San Diego Zoo
San Diego, CA, USA

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