Nutritional Support of an Infant White-Cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) by Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) Tube
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2010
James M. Rasmussen1, DVM; P. Jane Armstrong2, DVM, MS, MBA, DACVIM (SAIM); Betty Kramek2, DVM, DACVS; Tiffany Wolf1, DVM
1Minnesota Zoological Garden, Apple Valley, MN, USA; 2Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA


A 31-day-old white-cheeked gibbon (700 gm) sustained a tracheal laceration by a bite from its dam. Although the wound was repaired, the infant was unable to nurse appropriately. The day following tracheal repair, the infant was anesthetized for endoscopic placement of a gastric tube (Bard Urologic Catheter, Covington, GA, USA; 14 Fr with 18 Fr Pezzer head).

A bronchoscope (Olympus, Center Valley, PA, USA, 600 mm, OD 3.8 mm) and rubber catheter, for insufflation via syringe, were passed aborally into the stomach with the gibbon positioned in dorsal recumbency. An 18 ga hypodermic needle was introduced percutaneously where the endoscope light was visualized at the stomach’s greater curvature. Monofilament fishing line was passed through the needle then withdrawn by endoscopic biopsy instrument and removal of the bronchoscope. The flared end of the tube was removed. The remaining tube was tied to the oral end of the monofilament and fitted into a disposable catheter tip through which the monofilament had been passed. Traction applied to the abdominal end of the monofilament drew the assembly into the stomach through the gastric and abdominal walls via a “stab” skin incision. The PEG tube was capped and secured with a stockingette vest.

Initial feeding was electrolyte solution (Pedialyte, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, OH, USA), followed by liquid human infant formula (Enfamil Lipil Instant Formula Milk-based Formula with Iron, Mead Johnson & Company, Evansville, IN, USA). The infant’s nutritional requirements were provided through the PEG tube until it was able to successfully nurse from a bottle 4 weeks after repair.


The authors wish to thank Minnesota Zoo animal care staff for their 24-hour care of this infant gibbon along with the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, Anesthesiology clinicians for anesthetizing the gibbon during the surgical tracheal repair and during the PEG tube placement.


Speaker Information
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James M. Rasmussen, DVM
Minnesota Zoological Garden
Apple Valley, MN, USA

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