Please visit Elephant Medicine Info (www.elephantmedicine.info) initiated by our colleague and ECI Research Associate Dr. Willem Schaftenaar.
The site was created as a platform for veterinarians working with elephants and for elephant caretakers. You are invited to submit clinical case reports that you consider relevant to sharing with colleagues. By collecting as many case reports as possible, we can build a large database with useful information. At this moment the website is still under development which will be an on-going process as new information becomes available. With your help, we can make this website a source of information that will benefit the health and wellbeing of elephants.
Baby elephant saved – with support of our Emergency Fund
In May 2019, Elephant Care International organized a Pathology Workshop for Elephant Veterinarians in Myanmar. We conducted the Workshop at the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) staff Training Centre, in Nan Chun, Taungoo, Myanmar. Instructors included Dr. Susan Mikota, Dr. Willem Schaftenaar, Dr. Khyne U Mar, and Dr. Dalen Agnew. Elephant Family, Veterinarians International, and Michigan State University provided funding. We are making this lecture series available for educational purposes. There are 20 presentations in this series. Lectures
New publications by Mikota and colleagues in 2019
Paudel S, Nakajima C, Mikota SK, Gairhe KP, Maharjan B, Subedi S, et al. Mixed Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lineage Infection in 2 Elephants, Nepal. Emerg Infect Dis. 2019;25(5):1031-1032. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2505.181898
Paudel, S., Mikota S.K., and Tsubota, T. 2019 Tuberculosis threat in Asian elephants. Science 363 (6425):356
Paudel, Tsubota, T, and S., Mikota, SK. Human TB threat to wild elephants. 2019. Nature 571: 174.
Greene,W., Dierenfeld, E.S., and Mikota, S. 2019. A review of Asian and African elephant gastrointestinal anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. J. Zoo and Aquarium Research 7(1):1-14.
ECI welcomes Dr. Willem Schaftenaar as a Research Associate
Elephant Care International welcomes Dr. Willem Schaftenaar as a Research Associate. Dr. Schaftenaar and ECI’s Director of Veterinary Programs and Research, Dr. Susan Mikota worked together in Vietnam and Myanmar. Read more about Dr. Schaftenaar.
Pathology Training for Elephant Veterinarians in Myanmar
In May 2019, with funding from Veterinarians International and Elephant Family, ECI conducted two consecutive workshops in Myanmar to provide pathology training for elephant veterinarians. Our team (Drs. Susan Mikota, Khyne U Mar, Dalen Agnew, and Willem Schaftenaar) developed comprehensive elephant pathology teaching materials that are applicable to all 13 Asian elephant range countries and could easily be adapted for other species.
Elephant Healthcare and Welfare Training Workshop
September 2018 – Our workshop in Myanmar incorporated healthcare and positive reinforcement training. It was a huge success! Read more .
New publications by Mikota and colleagues in 2018
Greene, W., Mikota, S., Pitcairn, J., and Ryer, M. 2018 Clinical management of a complete gastrointestinal obstruction and ileus in a geriatric female elephant (Elephas maximus). J.Zoo Biol. 02 (01):1-4. Read more here… link to Ruth article (or just add link?)
Paudel, S., Mikota, S.K., Thapa, J., Lyaschenko, K. P., Gairhe, K., Dhakal, I.P., Subedi, N., Maharjan, B., . Subedi, S., Kaufman, G.E., and T. Tsubota, T. 2018. “Serodiagnosis of elephant tuberculosis: a useful tool for early identification of infected elephants at the captive-wild interface. European Journal of Wildlife Research 64: 70.
July 2018 Dr. Mikota gave a presentation at the meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as part of a short course for veterinarians seeking to become diplomates of the American College of Animal Welfare. Dr. Mikota became board certified in animal welfare in 2017.
Interested in learning more about elephants?Gajah is the open-access online journal of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group http://www.asesg.org/. You can access the latest Gajah and earlier editions at https://www.asesg.org/gajah.php. If you would like to receive an email alert when new editions are available send a request to Jennifer Pastorini: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing grant proposals can be a daunting task. Dr. Susan Mikota shares some advice in this PDF.
Our on-line Elephant Formulary has been updated and we have also added an easy-to-use PDF chart with a Summary of Commonly Used Medications. If you have used the Elephant Care International Formulary, please consider a small donation. Our work is supported by donations and grants. Thanks!
Dr. Susan Mikota is a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare
In June 2017 Dr. Susan Mikota, ECI’s Director of Veterinary Programs and Research became a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW). ACAW is one of 22 specialty organizations recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area.
Read this thoughtful article published by the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/can-elephants-and-humans-live-together
Career profile of our colleague and former ECI funded veterinarian for the Nepal Elephant Healthcare and Tuberculosis Surveillance Program PDF
Dr. Mikota contributed to this book chapter which discusses the conservation challenges posed by TB and the urgent need for further research. Lead author Dr. Jeewan Thapa and co-author Dr. Sarad Paudel both served as TB Program Officers for the ECI supported Nepal Elephant Healthcare and Tuberculosis Surveillance Program. Link: http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/wildlife-tuberculosis-an-emerging-threat-for-conservation-in-south-asia.
The Voice for Asian Elephants Society
The Voice for Asian Elephants Society (http://www.vfaes.org/) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to end elephant slavery and protect the endangered Asian elephants that are being captured illegally from the wild. VFAES’s founder and president, Sangita Iyer is an award-winning journalist and documentary film maker. Her film, “Gods in Shackles” which reveals the dark side of cultural festivals in southern India where temple elephants are exploited for profit has won multiple awards.
Dr. Susan Mikota (ECI’s Director of Veterinary Programs and Research) has recently joined VFAES’s team as a member of their advisory board (https://www.vfaes.org/meet-sangita-iyer-team).
Until recently, TB had never been reported in a wild elephant. Then in 2013, TB was diagnosed in a wild African elephant that had been under human care at an orphanage. In 2015 TB was found in a wild elephant in Sri Lanka. Now in 2017 four cases of TB in wild elephants in India were reported in the on-line journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dr. Mikota discusses the threat of TB to wild elephants in this invite CDC podcast: https://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=8645613
You can also read the 2017 reports in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases:
Zachariah A, Pandiyan J, Madhavilatha G, Mundayoor S, Chandramohan B, Sajesh P, et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Wild Asian Elephants, Southern India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(3):504-506. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/3/16-1741_article
Chandranaik B, Shivashankar B, Umashankar K, Nandini P, Giridhar P, Byregowda S, et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection in Free-Roaming Wild Asian Elephant. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(3):555-557. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/3/16-1439_article
Elephants in captivity often suffer from debilitating arthritis. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help for awhile but elephants often become refractory to their effects and arthritis remains one of the main reasons elephants are euthanized in the U.S. Dr. Mikota has been studying acupuncture in the hopes that this may provide ab alternative or complimentary therapy for elephants that suffer from this painful condition. The following book chapter was published earlier this year:
Mikota SK. Acupuncture in Elephants. 2017 In: Practical Guide to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Volume 4. Exotic Animals. eds. Xie, H., and Ramirez, H. Reddick, Florida. Chi Institute Press.
An Elephant Acupuncture Chart developed by Dr. Mikota is also available from the Chi Institute
Elephant Care International has signed an International Memorandum of Understanding with the VELS Institute of Science, Technology, and Advanced Studies in India. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at VELS is developing an Elephant Research Centre. Elephant Care International will share information and serve in an advisory capacity to help identify research needs.