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Caracal recovering after surgery in Al Ain zoo.

Summary: AL AIN -- A male Arabian caracal at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR), is on its path to recovery after a team of four veterinarians operated on the animal following concerns over its sudden weight loss.

AL AIN -- A male Arabian caracal at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR), is on its path to recovery after a team of four veterinarians operated on the animal following concerns over its sudden weight loss.

The four-year-old animal, who checked in to the sanctuary on May 5, 2007, from Yemen, was discovered with an unfamiliar illness that caused it to shed pounds despite being fed a nutritious diet.

"There was nothing wrong with the animal's food intake and it displayed a healthy appetite. The weight loss was observed about a month ago. We have got another caracal of the same age that weighed 12kg, which is the ideal weight for the animal, but this one was about 9kg. That was when we realised that the animal was losing weight even though it was eating well and we considered surgery to find out what it was," said Dr Arshad Toosy, Manager of Veterinary Operations at the AWPR.

Dr Toosy was one of the doctors present during the hour-and-a-half long surgery, assisted by Dr Muzhar Iqbal, an internationally-recognised veterinary surgeon from the Central Veterinary Hospital in Al Wathba, as well as AWPR's in-house vets, Dr Stephen and Dr Majid.

A tiny organism was discovered in the caracal's small intestine along with enlarged lymph nodes and spleen. Dr Toosy said the organism was removed and tissue samples from each organ were sent

to a laboratory in the UK for examination.

He said that test results are expected to come by next week, and based on findings, the AWPR veterinary team will devise a treatment plan for the feline's enlarged organs.

"We noticed that the caracal had stopped breathing after the surgery was done. It was a condition known as 'apnea' that can happen from effects of anaesthesia. It recovered after a while. The caracal is doing fine now. We are monitoring its food intake and weight to observe any changes," he said.

The AWPR currently shelters five Arabian caracals, out of which one is female. The medium-sized cat species are known to be very territorial and are found around Western Asia, South Asia and Africa.

farhana@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 10, 2011
Words:412
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