A Veterinary Assessment for Newborn Infants in Ntambara GroupBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Monday, November 11th, 2013 in Blog.
Dr. Dawn assessed two infants in Ntambara group this past weekend, who were reported by Fossey Fund Karisoke trackers (who regularly monitor Ntambara group) to be whimpering and as having inflamed abdominal skin. At just 8-days-old, Kubaka’s infant appeared to be in good health during Dr. Dawn’s assessment. She reported that the mother held her infant close to her, so only the lateral regions of the infant’s abdomen could be visually assessed. No redness or inflammation was noted and the infant did not appear to be in any distress.
Nahimana’s 19-day-old infant was reportedly whimpering, according to trackers’ reports. During Dr. Dawn’s observation, no abnormalities were noted and the infant was not crying. She did not observe the infant nursing during her observation. However, trackers reported that they had observed the infant suckling that morning. The infant did not exhibit any clinical signs of distress and visually appeared in good health. In addition to this, Nahimana’s breasts appeared well-developed, suggesting ample milk production for the infant.
Nahimana lost her last infant at only 1-day-old in 2008. There had been no clinical signs of illness, though the mother had been aggressed by two silverbacks. The body could not be recovered for 3 days and finding the cause of death was hampered by autolysis. However, according to Gorilla Doctors reports, in utero distress and lack of nutrition was found on the histopath and could have been a contributory cause of death in this infant. For this reason, Nahimana’s new infant will be monitored closely by Fossey Fund trackers and Gorilla Doctors veterinarians.
All 17 mountain gorillas in Ntambara group were observed by Dr. Dawn for a Routine Health Check while she was with the group to assess the infants. All individuals were visually in good health.
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