(November 18, 2009 Stillwater, OK) – Students at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences recently had a rare opportunity to get an up-close look at a performing elephant. Kamba, a 29 year-old female African elephant owned by Doug Terranova, was referred to the center’s OSU Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital after wandering away and being hit by an SUV on a highway near Enid, Okla. Luckily, it was reported that the couple in the SUV escaped with no personal injuries.
Immediately following the incident, Terranova had Enid veterinarian Dr. Dwight Olson (Class of 1980) examine Kamba. However, because of her size, Olson had no way to determine if the elephant had sustained serious injuries to her left front leg, which she was noticeably favoring, so he referred the case to OSU.
When she arrived at the center’s veterinary hospital, it didn’t take long for a crowd of curious veterinary students to gather. Drs. Cornelia Ketz-Riley, head of Zoo, Exotics and Wildlife Medicine, and Brittany Hall, intern in the ZEW Department, along with Jill Murray, veterinary technician, examined the few cuts and bruises on Kamba’s left side, including her left front leg.
A portable x-ray machine was wheeled out to the holding pen where Kamba was temporarily housed and with Terranova’s assistance, pictures of Kamba’s left front leg were taken.
Ketz-Riley determined that while no serious injuries had been sustained, Kamba did have a carpal joint injury, which is treated with stall rest and pain medication. The elephant was released to Terranova, who reports she is healing and doing well.
While veterinary students and clinicians not specifically involved in the case were slightly disappointed because they had to keep a safe distance away from the elephant’s powerful, long reaching trunk, Kamba’s visit made for an unforgettable experience in treating all creatures great and small.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.