Posts Tagged ‘ultrasound’

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Huge thanks to VSH: Veterinary Specialty Hospital.

February 7th, 2014

In addition to last week’s snow, we took four animal over to VSH in Durham. The Veterinary Specialty Hospital along with Dr. Cindy Godshalk of East Coast Veterinary Imaging donated their facility, services, and staff to ultrasound and radiograph four of our animals. AND, this isn’t the first time they’ve stepped up and helped out:

Dr. Godshalk at work

The first time was 3.5 years ago when Cassandra needed an ultrasound. Last year we brought two snakes to VSH in Cary for ultrasounds with Dr. Godshalk. And in 2102, Dr. Godshalk and her crew came on grounds to ultrasound the female wolf.

Katy packed everyone up along with our supplies. Can you guess which carrier has which animal?

Last week a pine snake (Megatron), a ferret (Dixie), a bearded dragon (Jr.) and a red ruffed lemur (Iris) all needed tests: ultrasounds and radiographs. Dr. Vanderford arranged with VSH and Dr. Godshalk to bring our critters in on Monday.

Jen, one of the Vet Techs, was helping us left and right and with this and that and everything else. We were really fortunate that she, and everyone else, was excited to have the slithery and scaly and furry exotic critters we brought with us.

Jen logs each of the animals and the procedures needed into the system.

Megatron is over 7 feet long.

 

Megatron, one of our adult male pine snakes, needed radiographs. (He is the father of the pine snakes that hatched in July 2012). He has a section of his body that doesn’t really bend, so we wanted to get “x-rays” to check things out. The pictures showed some calcification on the spine. We don’t know why this happens, but we’ve seen it before in other snakes. We’ll be really careful when handling him and let him get exercise on flat surfaces.

staff at VSH checking out Megatron’s films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vanderford helps Dixie pose for the shot.

Dixie, one of our four ferrets needed an ultrasound. We wanted to see if she had insulinoma. An insulinoma is a tumor on the pancreas. This is a very common ferret disease. Dixie had to be shaved for the ultrasound. We tried to hold her still but were unsuccessful so we had to use anesthesia to sedate her for the ultrasound. It doesn’t look like Dixie has an insulinoma, however we need to review the ultrasounds and determine next steps in case there are other issues to move on.

Dixie with her shaved abdomen being “gassed” down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris, a 22-year-old red ruffed lemur was next. Katy saw some concerning cells in a urine test she had run- cells that could be indicative of cancer. Good timing that Katy found this out a few days before our visit to VSH so Iris came along  to be checked out.

Dr. Godshalk working with Iris.

 

We were thinking there might be bladder cancer, or a cancer of the reproductive organs, but that wasn’t found. That’s good news for sure. I cannot tell anything when I look at the ultrasound pictures, but we’ll be reviewing what was learned and determining what steps are next. (Dr. Godshalk is a board certified radiologist so it doesn’t matter that I cannot recognize anything- she takes care of all that!)

small print outs, about 4×4 inches of the different views.

Jen and Dr. Godshalk get photos of Jr.

Junior was the last patient. She’s a bearded dragon. A few weeks ago her beard was quite swollen and Jr. wasn’t eating well. Dr. Vanderford and Katy sedated her at the Museum and pulled about 8 cc of fluid from her beard. While she has improved, we wanted to further assess and try to determine the cause of her issues.

 

Maybe the ultrasound want felt like a message to junior?

 

Junior was possibly the easiest of the four animals to work with. She didn’t need to get shaved (no fur on reptiles). She didn’t need to get sedated- she just held still without any wiggling or struggling. She made it really easy.

 

 

 

4 DVMs consulting on Junior’s case: Vanderford, Godshalk, Eward, and Eward.

Jen get’s Junior in the perfect position to get the needed radiograph.

After Junior finished with the ultrasound, she went in for radiographs. Jen was able to get great films, and she even got Junior to hold still on her side! While the ultrasound didn’t show any smoking gun, an unrelated finding on the radiographs shows some real issues with Junior’s vertebrae.

Dr. Godshalk reviews Junior’s films

Thanks so much to VSH!!  The generosity and help of all the staff their have been wonderful. We are very fortunate to have them help us care for our animal population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Ultrasound for a Snake

July 16th, 2013

Last Thursday Katy and I took Todd, our black rat snake in for an ultrasound of his heart. Since Dr. Godshalk, a board certified veterinary radiologist, doesn’t have a lot of snakes for clients, we had to bring a “normal” snake so she could compare the heart of one to the other. We took the snakes to VSH in Cary- this is where, 3 years ago, Dr. Godshalk helped us out with Cassandra’s brush with death. All went well.

Todd was a great patient!

G, our healthy corn snake was used as a comparison, and we checked out the anatomy poster before beginning.

 

Dr. Godshalk checked out G first to get some normal sizes to compare to.

 

We learned that Todd’s heart is huge- and not in a good way. We’ll gather the results and figure out the best next steps.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Might a large heart indicate that Todd is really athletic (IronSnake?) or that he’s just really kind?

    Did Dr. Godshalk consider these options? ;)

    Very cool post. Look forward to the updates.

    Posted by Michele
  2. How did you know he was having heart problems?

    Posted by Wendy
  3. Director Comment :

    unfortunately, this large heart is not a good thing. We haven’t determined the next best ways to proceed yet.

    As far as us noticing, this snake has had interesting issues on and off. Quite honestly, Katy noticed one day she could see the snake’s heart beating… not usually able to be seen by the naked eye.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  4. Kudos to Katy, only one of the Museum’s wonderful keepers, for noticing Todd’s heart problem. Also read an older blog where the keepers noticed Cassandra the lemur’s respiratory problem early which saved her and that blog said it was during Keeper’s Appreciation Week. Think Cassandra’s blog was last July either this week or next week. Thank the keepers!!!

    Posted by dj

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Cassandra update

August 20th, 2010

It’s about a month since I told you about Cassandra’s brush with death.  She continues to surprise us and is doing really well. Her illness and issues are a mystery. Even after repeated testing I fear we may never know what the initial problem was. I guess this is a good problem to have: that she appears to be fine now.

We took her in last week to for repeat ultrasound and radiographs (x-rays). Everything looked good. Below are some photos of her x-ray photos.

These film are pretty normal looking. We were thrilled that there was no build up of fluid in her chest over the past month. The cool thing to me (seeing as I am not a veterinarian and cannot speak to the detail of the image) is the collar. Our lemurs wear a tracking collar so if they were to ever get out of the exhibit we could track them and find them and get them back.

We continue to pay extra close attention to her. Please keep the positive vibes coming!

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  1. Director Comment :

    Can you see her microchip?
    There’ a view of it in both x-rays.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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