Infant Gorilla Suffers Tremors, But RecoversBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 in Uncategorized.
Dr. Jan reports on a recent case in Kwitonda group:
One September 3, Elisabeth Nyirakaragire, Volcanoes National Park’s Veterinary Warden received a call at 12:30 that Ibidukikije, the two-year-old infant son of Kibyei in Kwitonda group, was having difficulty moving and deteriorating. We immediately arranged to go to the group, prepared for an intervention.
We reached the family at 2:45pm. Ibidukikije was near Kwitonda and was alert and responsive. He was able to move about, but had tremors in all 4 limbs and his head, which seemed to start upon intention to move. He had weakness that resulted in falling to both sides on occasion. His face was normal, with eyes alert and pupils equally dilated and normal size. There were no obvious wounds or swelling. Respirations were normal. He was eating during our observation, chewing and swallowing normally. Trackers reported that the infant was nursing this morning and shortly before we arrived, and that he was slightly improved from earlier in the day.
He did tire easily and after falling would sometimes stat down resting until others moved away, after which he would get up and follow. His stomach is three quarters full.
He could be in the state as a result of a central nervous system trauma, perhaps from a fall, ingestion of some toxin, or an epileptic seizure. Ibidukikije did not appear to be in a life-threatening situation, and other gorillas were looking after him when he fell or could not keep up, so the decision was made to not intervene.
The next day Elisabeth and I visited the group and found them at 7:55 am. We observed the group for 1.5 hours, and found Ibidukikije to be considerably improved over yesterday. He still had some weakness but tremors were much reduced. At one point he was even seen playing with a juvenile.
Here is a video showing Ibidukikije with the tremors and then playing the next day:
On September 6 Elisabeth visited the group and Ibidukikije was back to normal behavior.
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