Infant in Hirwa group successfully treated for respiratory infectionBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Friday, January 27th, 2017 in Blog.
By Dr. Noel
Gorilla Doctors have been keeping a close watch on a bout of respiratory illness affecting several members of the Hirwa group in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). Signs have been mostly mild, so we were taking a conservative approach and letting the outbreak resolve on its own.
But last week Igikombe, the infant of Mararo, began to act lethargic and his respiratory rate was elevated. We kept a close watch on him, but saw no improvement after three solid days of illness, so after consulting with park authorities, Gorilla Doctors put a plan into action.
Dr. Noel and his team trekked into the park on January 16 and found the Hirwa group in the Rwebeya area. Igikombe was showing signs of a moderately severe respiratory infection, with some partial blockage of his upper respiratory airways.
Dr. Noel treated igikombe with antibiotics to help resolve his infection; Igikombe and his mother Mararo hardly seemed to notice the dart.
Dr. Noel and his team followed up on the status of Igikombe’s illness. The antibiotic treatment appeared to make a huge difference, as the overall health of the group was within normal and Igikombe’s clinical signs had also greatly improved. His respiratory rate had reduced to normal levels and he was feeding and ambulating on his own. Gorilla Doctors even observed him nursing tha tday, somethign they were not able to observe when he was feeling unwell.
Igikombe is recovering well and the veterinarians are pleased with the overall recovery of the group after the initial respiratory outbreak.