January 29, 2023

Following diagnostic tests at Oregon Condition University’s veterinary clinic, 6-12 months-outdated Amur tiger Bernadette from the Oregon Zoo is again to her healthful, playful self, zoo personnel say.

“Bernie” was taken to the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Medical center at OSU’s Carlson School of Veterinary Medication in the drop to obtain the lead to of a seizure she experienced about the summer months. Zoo veterinarians and care staff ended up worried the 270-pound tiger may well have epilepsy and preferred to decide the greatest program of treatment method, so they transported her to Corvallis for testing.

At OSU, she obtained an MRI to scan for mind abnormalities, alongside with an ultrasound of her abdomen and a spinal tap to examine for other likely parts of worry.

Bernie’s medical troubles started in early summer months, when she was emotion “punky” and exhibiting a reduced hunger, lead tiger keeper Megan Hagedorn of the Oregon Zoo reported. Zoo staff members equipped her with a glucose observe and identified transient diabetic issues, for which she was taken care of orally till her blood-glucose amounts stabilized.

Having said that, in July, she experienced a seizure. She was unsteady on her toes and took a pair several hours to get better, and zoo staff puzzled whether other identical incidents may well have absent unseen.

Bernie was place on anti-seizure medication and monitored carefully. Signals all-around her habitat marked it a “quiet zone” so zoo attendees could realize what was likely on and alert keepers if they recognized something amiss.

With the MRI, OSU veterinarians were being equipped to rule out a mind mass, hemorrhage or other big brain problem that could completely influence her top quality of daily life, but there had been small abnormalities that could have resulted from a stroke or higher blood pressure.

“There are idiopathic seizure disorders you can regulate medically the MRI is to rule out the a lot less-attractive leads to of seizures,” reported Dr. Ron Mandsager, who led the anesthesiology get the job done during Bernie’s medical center check out.

The spinal fluid exam was to examine for parasites, viruses and germs that could have led to a seizure, but all the final results have been destructive.

“It was excellent to be able to rule out some of our greater considerations,” mentioned Dr. Carlos Sanchez, head veterinarian at the Oregon Zoo, who oversaw Bernie’s treatment at OSU.

Sanchez claimed the tests was much easier to achieve thanks to instruction work at the zoo, wherever Bernie discovered to calmly cooperate even though supplying blood samples, even obtaining a COVID vaccine.

“It’s actually instead tricky to inject a tiger,” Sanchez mentioned. “Even domestic cats don’t like it — imagine a 270-pound tiger.”

Simply because the MRI did not expose something to suggest an ongoing difficulty, zoo workers commenced tapering down Bernie’s anti-seizure treatment, looking at her closely to make absolutely sure no new incidents happened.

She is doing remarkably nicely and has been actively playing and swimming in her habitat, zoo team say.

Bernie initially arrived to the Oregon Zoo in 2019 with her sister, Eloise, and was a dominant “sassy” cat, Hagedorn mentioned. She mellowed out a little bit soon after Eloise was transferred to Idaho Falls on a advice from the Species Survival Plan for Amur tigers, a cooperative plan between zoos that will help make genetically assorted, self-sustaining populations to guarantee the lengthy-expression upcoming of the critically endangered species.

Bernie experienced been scheduled to transfer to a new facility as effectively, but that was put on hold due to the fact of her healthcare challenges.

She’s a fantastic animal, Hagedorn said, who likes persons and doing work with her keepers. She naps 18-20 hrs a day and she loves goat milk.

For her sixth birthday in September, Bernie acquired themed enrichment items: a cardboard “cake” and “presents” scented with her beloved smells of cloves and perfume, which she happily tore to shreds, Hagedorn explained.