Black Bear cub #17-1180 update

On Friday, July 14, the veterinary team decided to perform a physical examination on Black Bear cub #17-1180 [Double Pink Tags]. The rehabilitation staff had noted some intermittent ataxia [incoordination] recently, which is not a new symptom for this cub. Days after admission in May, the bear exhibited the same intermittent unsteadiness before he was moved in with the other bear cubs. The veterinary team never found a cause for the neurologic issues, but it appears as though the symptoms periodically have resurfaced during the past month.

During Friday’s physical exam, blood was taken for several in-house diagnostics, including a complete blood count, glucose test, and chemistry panel; blood will also be sent out on July 17 for a specialized fructosamine test, which offers a better idea of glucose levels. In-house diagnostics were within normal limits. Radiographs showed a mildly increased soft tissue opacity in the chest, but no associated lung issues were noted on physical exam.

The staff decided to keep the bear in a zinger crate in the Center’s holding room for additional observation, at least until the outside laboratory tests come back with additional information. It’s unclear at this point why the symptoms keep occurring, but could be due to an underlying hepatic issue associated with a congenital condition.