Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Volunteer Anesthesia for Endangered Animals


Drs. Fred Mihm and Michael Champeau care for Tinkerbelle, an asian elephant

Since 1983, members of our department (initially Dr. Paul Ponganis, then Dr. Fred Mihm and others) have been involved providing anesthesia care to exotic/endangered animal species at the San Francsico and San Diego Zoos, and other locations. Endangered animals on occasion require anesthesia for health checkups, illness or for specific treatments. These anesthetics are undertaken with appropriate caution, understanding the risks of complications that may result the loss of the precious animal. Veterinarians have a long history of collaborating with human anesthesiologists, and together combine their respective expertise to enhance the safety of the anesthetic experience.

Dentists work on Koko while Parag Mathur (CA3 resident) overseas anesthetic management. 8/8/04

A significant part of what we can provide is expertise and access to human monitoring equipment that can be adapted for use in most exotic animals. Using state-of-the-art monitoring (blood pressure, ECG, HR, SaO2, PetO2,) is one way to ensure a successful recovery.

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