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Medical Health Care

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The AZA standards for Elephant Care and Management states:

1.  A veterinarian with experience in large mammal medicine must be on call at all times to deal with routine elephant health evaluation and treatment and medical emergencies.
2.  Each elephant must be given a thorough annual physical examination.
3.  A veterinarian or trained veterinary technician must perform fecal examinations to look for parasites and other problems at least twice a year.  Results should be recorded.
4.  Institutions must adhere to USDA APHIS requirements for testing and treatment of tuberculosis.

Elephant medicine is challenging.  Diagnosis and treatment options are limited not only by the size of the elephant, but also by the limitations of our knowledge.  Elephants may succumb to disorders unique to their species or to conditions that are readily resolved in other species.  The link below, Table 1, shows the normal physiological values for elephants.

Every elephant facility must have employed (or under contract) a veterinarian with experience in large mammal medicine and some knowledge of elephant medical management to direct the routine health care, monitoring, and treatment of the elephants.  This individual or designate must be available at all times.  In the case of all medical emergencies, this individual must be able to manage the elephant’s treatment or identify and contract the appropriate veterinarians for assistance.

For medical documents associated with elephant health care visit Elephant Care International.

2012 Guidelines for a Comprehensive Elephant Health Monitoring Program

Potential Treatments for Reproductive Problems in Elephants

2012 Protocol for Elephant Transport:

Elephant Endothelial Herpes Virus (EEHV):

Elephant Research
and Necropsy Protocol


Professional Members
Elephant Information
Updated: January 3, 2012