Clinical Management of a Complete Gastrointestinal Obstruction and Ileus in A Geriatric Female Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

Whitney Greene, Susan Mikota, Jean Pitcairn, Michael Ryer


A 58-year-old female Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) was diagnosed with a complete gastrointestinal obstruction and accompanying ileus. She was anorexic for three days, did not pass stool for seven days, and her abdomen was visibly distended. Treatment included: rectal and IV fluids; oral and rectal stool softeners; mineral oil; ketoprofen; laser acupuncture; and fecal transfaunation. The blockage was successfully expelled after seven days yielding a large bolus weighing 52 kg followed shortly by another 45 kg of feces.


Acupuncture; Asian elephant; colic; Elephas maximus; fecal transfaunation; gastrointestinal; geriatric; ileus; impaction

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