February 2, 2019-
The Austin Zoo uses a team of local veterinarians, both small and large animal in addition to regular consultation with an outside zoo consultant and boarded veterinary specialists at Texas A&M University in exotic, internal medicine, neurology, pathology, and surgery. The Zoo has a well-established preventative health care protocol to include vaccinations, deworming, dentistry, and diet review in addition to regular discussions regarding animal welfare, safety and quality of life.
We work as a collaborative group of veterinarians so that no decision is made alone or without input from those that work with the animals daily. We have a good working relationship with the animal care team and administration of the Zoo and have found them to be responsive and respectful of our professional recommendations when it comes to the decisions regarding the animals’ care. To say otherwise would be a misrepresentation or lack of understanding of entire conversations and veterinary protocols.
The zoo has a compassionate end-of-life care policy consistent with USDA Program of Veterinary Care. In addition, with the hiring of the new Deputy Director of Animal Care, the Zoo has enacted an animal welfare and quality of life assessment plan for enhancing and implementing an even higher standard of care for the animals as well as promoting objective input from staff at all levels.
Per Zoo protocols, necropsies are performed by a board-certified veterinary pathologist on all deceased animals. This is not required but is something the Austin Zoo does to aid our veterinary team on disease management and prevention in the entire collection as well as helps the entire zoo community learn more about these rare animals and improves our ability to care for them. We understand that as a profession, we can’t advance if we don’t continue to learn!
The Austin Zoo Veterinary Team