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PHOENIX ZOO RECEIVES ASSISTANCE FROM ST. JOSEPH’S HEART SURGEON TO REMOVE MANDRILL’S KIDNEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR & Marketing Manager, Phoenix Zoo
Director of Public Relations, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center
PHOENIX ZOO RECEIVES ASSISTANCE FROM ST. JOSEPH’S
HEART SURGEON TO REMOVE MANDRILL’S KIDNEY
Cardiologist offers expertise as part of a team effort to save
the oldest mandrill in the United States
PHOENIX (August 10, 2011) – The veterinarians at the Phoenix Zoo welcomed the help of the Associate Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Joseph’s Heart & Lung Institute, Dr. Brian deGuzman, to perform a delicate surgery on the oldest mandrill in the United States.
Wucaria, a 34-year-old female mandrill, a species of monkey, was showing signs of pain and lethargy. An ultrasound examination revealed a large abscess in her kidney. As with any medical team, the Phoenix Zoo veterinarians Dr. Gary West and Dr. Julie Swenson, discussed all of the possibilities and options available to Wucaria. They also enlisted the aid of the Animal Health Advisory Committee, a team of specialists, consisting of mostly veterinarians, but also includes “human” specialists, who volunteer their time and services to the Zoo, offering specialized medical care in areas like dentistry, cardiology, and surgery.
Wucaria’s case was discussed and it was determined that
With more than a half dozen people on the team including the Phoenix Zoo’s three veterinarians, a veterinary anesthesiologist, a veterinary surgeon, Dr. deGuzman and St. Joseph’s nurse, Jenifer Traylor, the kidney was removed and the procedure was successful.
Phoenix Zoo veterinarians monitored Wucaria after the procedure and provided daily follow-up care, and after two weeks of closely observed recovery, Wucaria is now comfortable and is back on exhibit with her troupe. “A procedure like this requires an incredible amount of teamwork, ” says Dr. deGuzman. “The Phoenix Zoo veterinarians are an extraordinary team and have been really accepting of the advice that I can provide on the animal cases. Each person on the team brings something different and unique to the table to help out these animals.”
Dr. deGuzman began volunteering at the Zoo three years ago. He learned of the opportunity while he was at his dentists’ office and saw pictures of a group of dentists working on large cats. Dr. deGuzman went to the next meeting of the Animal Health Advisory Committee to learn more about how he could help. “Volunteering at the Zoo is so gratifying as a physician, says Dr. deGuzman. “The animals are innocent, they rely on us to help with their illnesses and provide them with the best care possible. We treat them in a compassionate and calming manner, and our goal is to always help them continue to live life to the fullest.”
“Dr. deGuzman brings the highest level of medicine from the human side which we can try to strive for, ” says Dr. Julie Swenson, Phoenix Zoo veterinarian. “The specialists we are able to work with on the Advisory Committee bring very specific skills and training to some of our difficult cases.”
The Animal Health Advisory Committee meets quarterly where Dr. deGuzman and several other specialists, including the Zoo’s veterinarians, discuss challenging cases involving animals at the Zoo. There are fifteen people on this committee. “These members are specialists in specific areas and often they are excited to help with species that are different, and out of the normal routine for them, ” explains Dr. West. “They are incredibly enthusiastic to offer their assistance and expertise to the Zoo and we are lucky to have them as part of our team.”
About the Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is a non-profit zoological park that serves 1.5 million guests annually. Home to more than 1, 300 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo is dedicated to providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. For more information about the Zoo and upcoming events visit phoenixzoo.org.
About St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical CenterLocated in the heart of Phoenix, St. Joseph’s is a 607-bed, not-for-profit hospital that provides a wide range of health, social and support services, with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. St. Joseph’s is a nationally recognized center for quality tertiary care, medical education and research. It includes the internationally renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, the Heart & Lung Institute and a Level I Trauma Center and the Muhammad Ali Parkinsons Center. The hospital is also a respected center for maternity care, orthopedics, oncology and many