Shoreline-based Animal Surgery Center Removes Kidney from Ocelot

Fifteen-year-old male ocelot, Brazil, from Woodland Park Zoo had tumor on his kidney

Last Wednesday, Aug. 24, doctors from Shoreline-based (ASCS) and Animal Medical Center of Seattle (AMCS) performed a successful intravenous pyelogram, bone marrow aspirate and core biopsy, and surgical removal of a left kidney (with an associated tumor) on Brazil, a 15-year-old male Ocelot from Woodland Park Zoo.

During a recent routine health exam, several abnormalities were identified in Brazil’s bloodwork. Ultrasound and radiographic imaging revealed a mass on the left kidney. Woodland Park Zoo veterinarians contacted ASCS to formulate a plan for further diagnostics and surgical removal of the kidney.

Brazil was transported awake and crated to Animal Surgical Clinic, where board-certified zoo veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Helmick, DACZM, administered sedation followed by a general anesthetic. The first procedure performed was the intravenous pyelogram, which is used to visualize abnormalities of the urinary system. Contrast material was injected into one of Brazil’s veins and the material quickly moved through the bloodstream to the kidneys, where it was visible in a series of radiographs (X-rays). The images were assessed by board-certified internal medicine veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Strasser, DACVIM, who also performed an abdominal ultrasound. These two procedures confirmed the nature of the kidney mass and indicated that the right kidney was functioning adequately to support full removal of the left kidney.

Following the pyelogram, board-certified oncologist, Dr. Chelsea Tripp, DACVIM (O), performed a bone marrow biopsy. The results of the biopsy will help WPZ veterinarians track down a source of abnormalities seen in Brazil’s red and white blood cell lines.

ASCS veterinary technicians prepped Brazil for surgery and gave an epidural injection for pain control. Board- certified veterinary surgeon, Dr. Alexander Aguila, DACVS, performed the abdominal exploratory, examining Brazil’s liver and other organs. A biopsy was performed of the most abnormal portion of liver. The left kidney mass was evaluated, and intraoperative cytology was submitted to onsite board-certified pathologist, Dr. Jennifer Ward, DACVP, of SpecialtyVETPATH. Based on these results, the decision was made to surgically remove the kidney and its associated mass. Both will be processed and evaluated by Dr. Ward to identify the type of the mass, which will dictate options for additional treatment, if necessary.

Upon completion of all procedures, Brazil was recovered from anesthesia and transported back to Woodland Park Zoo for recovery and post-op care. He was stable the day after surgery and continues to be closely monitored by Woodland Park Zoo veterinarians and staff throughout his post-op period.

Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle, Animal Medical Center of Seattle, and SpecialtyVETPATH work side-by-side in their multi-specialty hospital in Shoreline. In addition to surgical and internal medicine specialties, the hospital also offers oncology, pathology, emergency/critical care and rehabilitative services. The integration of these services offers the highest level of collaborative care for our patients, their owners and our referring veterinarians. The doctors and staff of all services are very pleased to assist Woodland Park Zoo in their goal to provide the best possible veterinary care for their animals.

For more information go to: www.animalsurgical.com / www.animalmedicalspecialists.com / www.zoo.org.


H Hollon August 30, 2011 at 09:28 PM
WOW! Great work by this surgical team and I hope and pray that Brazil recovers completely and has a good quality of life for the rest of his life and that this surgery helps other animals using what they learned on this surgery.


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