Saturday, 20 April 2013

Houston Zoo euthanizes baby giraffe Yao Ming

Houston Zoo euthanizes baby giraffe Yao Ming, A seven-week old baby giraffe at the Houston Zoo has been euthanized, the Houston Chronicle reported April 19. The baby giraffe, named Yao Ming, had a severe bone infection that defied aggressive treatment, zoo officials said.

Giraffe Yao Ming, a Masai giraffe calf, was born on Feb. 25 at the Houston Zoo.

Veterinarians sedated the baby giraffe this morning to assess his condition and perform X-rays, the Houston Zoo said on its blog.

The X-rays indicated that that Yao the giraffe had degenerative joint disease and cartilage loss around the area of the hip joint. This was the result of an original bacterial infection in the giraffe’s right shoulder.

Zoo doctors determined that the degenerative joint disease and cartilage loss in Yao the giraffe would lead to chronic pain and a reduced quality of life.

The giraffe was euthanized Friday morning after his exam.

Just a week after giraffe Yao Ming’s birth, zoo keepers noticed that he was limping, favoring his left rear leg. When the limp became worse, Yao the giraffe was given antibiotics and other medication, including anti-inflammatory analgesics.

Then, then baby Yao started limping on his right front leg.

The zoo brought in an equine orthopedic specialist to examine the giraffe calf. They determined that Yao the giraffe had developed a bone infection in his right shoulder. The giraffe was started on aggressive treatment regimen but the infection never improved.

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