Cardiology Check Up on a Coati

Cardiology Check Up on a Coati

Thanks to the hard work and quick action of the Brevard Zoo’s animal care team, 10-month-old white-nosed coatimundi Agave received a diagnosis and treatment plan following collapsing episodes. After a visit to a Dr. Borde last week, it was determined that Agave has a congenital heart defect, something that they will manage for the rest of her life.

Agave is one of three young coati kits who arrived last year as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ White-Nosed Coati Species Survival Plan. In September 2021, during a routine exam, they noticed that Agave had a heart murmur. At this point, it was not appearing to affect her, so they continued to monitor her closely and routinely rechecked this condition.

She did not show any signs of distress until March 7, when keepers found her collapsed in her Rainforest Revealed habitat. Agave was immediately taken to the zoo’s on-site hospital, where she was stabilized. The next day, she had another collapsing episode. After she recovered, they collected radiographs, bloodwork and urine and sent them to be evaluated. They suspected these episodes were related to cardiac issues and gave Agave medication to minimize her symptoms. Over the past week, Agave has stayed in her holding space for monitoring. To decrease her stress while in this environment, her roommates, Romi and Tito, stayed behind the scenes with her during this time.

X-rays of Agave’s chest were sent to a radiologist, who did not see any significant findings. The next step was to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist to diagnose her condition so the Zoo could better manage it.

Last month, a group of veterinary and animal care staff transported Agave to Animal Specialty & Emergency Center to meet with Dr. Davin Borde, a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Dr. Borde performed an exam and ultrasound on Agave, who was anesthetized. Dr. Borde ultimately diagnosed our young coati with subaortic stenosis, a congenital heart defect. This means that her aorta (the large vessel that supplies blood to the body) is narrowed at the entrance, which prevents the normal outflow of blood and can cause heart failure. Because of this condition, it takes more effort for Agave’s heart to pump blood to her body, which is why a heart murmur could be heard.

While genetic heart defect cannot be reversed or cured, it can be managed under human care. Unfortunately, it also means Agave is not expected to have a normal coati lifespan. Despite this diagnosis, the Brevard Zoo’s animal care team is committed to providing her with the best quality of life possible during her time with them. She will be on daily medications to help control her heart rate and rhythm and reduce fluid development in her lungs.

Because they now have a treatment plan and know what to watch for, Agave has been medically cleared to return back to her habitat in Rainforest Revealed.

Receiving these types of diagnoses is never easy, but the Brevard Zoo can rest assured knowing that they are providing the best possible care for Agave and the rest of the animals under their care.

 

We’re Proud to be a Part of Our Community

We’re Proud to be a Part of Our Community

We proudly support—and partner with—national and local organizations that focus on health, inspiration, leadership, and other community-based initiatives. We show our commitment to helping others through charitable giving, participation in community events, and donation of services.

Giving back is an essential part of the way we operate every day and are committed to supporting these organizations:

Each year, we highlight a local organization by donating the sales of our locally printed t-shirts. Every time you buy an IVS t-shirt, 100% of that money is donated to support Family Promise of Gainesville, a local organization that is dedicated to helping Alachua County’s homeless children and their families.

We are also dedicated to providing cardiac treatment to animals by donating services and electrocardiogram equipment to organizations such as Friends of Jacksonville Animals and the Brevard Zoo.

Recent events we have also participated in include a Bowl-A-Thon supporting GiGi’s Playhouse (2019), a 5K supporting Service Dogs for Patriots (2019 and 2020), and the Alachua County Heart Walk supporting the American Heart Association (2016 and 2017).

COVID-19

COVID-19

In light of the recent information about the COVID-19 virus outbreak, we want to assure you that your health and safety, and the health and safety of your animals, is of utmost concern to us. We are doing all we can to keep you, your pet, and our staff as healthy as possible.

During this uncertain time, we remain OPEN for NORMAL business hours while actively monitoring updates from the CDC and AVMA as well as local state and county guidelines. This includes both our referral hospital and our telemedicine services. IVS is committed to patient and client safety, along with the safety and well-being of our entire staff. The ways that we are trying to limit illness spread, but still provide quality care to your family are:

1. We provide Low Contact Appointments – You never have to leave your car. You can wait in the car or drop off your pet and pick them up later. Our lobby is closed during this time. Your pet will be seen by our doctors and we can communicate by phone or email about your pet.

Upon arrival, call us and one of our staff will be happy to assist you. 352-331-4233

2. We will offer curbside service for medication and food pick up. Stay in your car, we will bring your product out to you.

3. We are practicing strict hygiene and cleaning protocols in order to slow the spread of germs.

4. If you are ill and your pet needs assistance, please call us. We are triaging new patients and scheduling them accordingly. We will see what can be done to accommodate your pet’s needs.

5. Consultation through our telemedicine services. We can offer alternative ways to get answers in areas including: cardiology, internal medicine, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, and soft-tissue surgery. The is limited to consultations between veterinarians. To learn how this can benefit your patients, please contact us.

 

We are actively monitoring the CDC and American Veterinary Medical Association in regards to the COVID-19.

Helpful resources about COVD-19 and how it affects veterinarians can be found here: https://www.avma.org/coronavirus

We encourage you to take good care of yourselves and limit social contact when possible. If you are sick, stay home. Cover your cough. Wash your hands frequently. We will be doing this too. Please feel free to call us with any questions.