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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Gretchen Kaufman, DVM
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OCW Zoological Medicine 2008
Zoo Animal Medicine (2009)
G. Kaufman, DVM
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

1. Zoo Management

1.1. The Mission

  • Education

  • Research

  • Conservation

  • Entertainment

1.2. Zoo Administration

  • Funding base - Public vs. Private

  • Community role

  • Veterinarians position

  • Support organizations - AZA, SSP, ISIS, etc

2. Captive Animal Circumstances

  • Animal acquisition and disposition (surplus, trading, selling?)

  • Cage/enclosure design - a continual renewal process

  • USDA and AZA input

  • Keeper interactions, target training to facilitate movement and treatment

3. Role of the Veterinarian - many hats

  • Animal health - preventative medicine emphasis

  • Human health and safety - zoonotic diseases, public health & physical safety issues

  • Administrative role?

  • Curatorial role?

  • External role - AAZV, communication with colleagues

  • Public image - role in high profile cases and in zoo marketing

  • Conflicts - inadequate funding for resources, inadequate consultation/respect for input from administration, relationship with curatorial/keeper staff

  • Positives - working with unusual species, stable patient population, scientific contribution, opportunity for field study


4. Target Issues in Zoo Medicine

  • Funding for animal health services

  • Resistance to standard quarantine procedures

  • Reluctance to fund preventative medical issues

  • Medical decisions influenced by external concerns

  • Conflicts over enclosure design

5. Support Resources and Continuing Education

5.1. Professional organizations

Association of Avian Veterinarians

Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians

5.2. Continuing education resources

Annual conferences of professional organizations above

North American Veterinary Conference, Western States Veterinary Conference, etc.

5.3. Formalized Training/Board Certification

5.3.1. Internships and Residencies (selected)

There are both academic centered and zoo centered residencies available in zoological medicine. A complete list is maintained on the AAZV website;=337. . Some of these are listed below.

5.3.2. Board Certification

American College of Zoo Veterinarians

6. References and Resources

6.1. Books and Journals

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Infectious Disease Reviews . 1991-current.

Fowler, Murray E. Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine . W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA, c1986. Part 1 General Information.

Fowler, Murray E. Zoo and wild animal medicine: current therapy 3. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA. c1999. Part I General Topics.

Fowler, Murray E. Zoo and wild animal medicine: current therapy 4 . W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA. c1993. Part I General Topics.

Wild Mammals in Captivity: principles and techniques. Devra G. Kleiman, et al. (ed.). University of Chicago Press, 1996.

6.2. Websites

International Species Information System

American Zoo and Aquarium Association

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians

Guidelines for Zoo and Aquarium Veterinary Medical Programs and Veterinary Hospitals , prepared by the Veterinary Standards Committee, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 1998.

Foreign Animal Diseases Gray Book.