elephant welfare

Aom Tung recuperating at the STEF Veterinary Centre after her treatment for gastrointestinal problems

Patients have been arriving at a steady rate since the official opening of the STEF Veterinary Centre.  Ma Ruay, a tuskless 16 year old male, takes the prize for being the very first patient. He came to the STEF veterinary centre from the government run hospital at Krabi, where he had been treated for a lesion called “subcutaneous emphysema”, which had had to be drained from multiple sites. While recovering, his mahout, Denn, took up employment with STEF Thailand to become our on-site elephant carer, so Ma Ruay’s owner asked if his elephant could be sent to the STEF hospital with Denn to continue his recuperation. Dr Aon has been cleaning the lesion on Ma Ruay’s back every day since his arrival, and the size of the lesion is diminishing.

Interestingly, Ma Ruay was born with three “holes” or canals in his trunk.  This is very unusual; in fact Dr Aon hasn’t been able to find any other examples.  His third hole is used as another air canal.  We’ll update you on this phenomenon if we can find out more about it…

The second patient was Aom Tung, a 14-year-old female elephant from Phuket Province who was suffering from gastrointestinal problems. Dr Aon had received an urgent call from the owner for a visit: the elephant was depressed with no appetite and she was not drinking. STEF’s veterinary team provided medication and fluids until 11 pm that day, at which point Dr Aon advised the owner that Aom Tung should be moved to the hospital for long-term treatment. She was admitted for a week, after which time she had fully recovered.

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