Archive for April, 2017

Preventative Health Care for Primates

April 26th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

 

vet visit

Primates in captivity can live well beyond their natural life expectancy. This is due in part to good preventative veterinary care. Meeting our primates’ health maintenance needs can help extend their lives and keep them healthy and active long into their senior years.

Primates routinely must be immobilized for veterinary examinations and procedures. Fear of having our primates anesthetized often discourages us from seeking preventative veterinary care for them. Healthy monkeys tolerate anesthesia very well and rarely have complications. When a primate has side effects or dies under anesthesia it typically is when the animal is sick and is being sedated to diagnose or treat an illness. Because primates instinctively hide symptoms of illness, by the time we seek treatment for them they may be very ill and at greater risk of complications from anesthesia. Elective well-monkey visits with your vet can identify potential health risks, prevent disease and keep your monkey healthy and safe.

William Kirk Suedmeyer, DVM, Dipl. ACZM is Director of Animal Health and Research at the Kansas City Zoo. Dr. Suedmeyer spoke on the topic of preventative health care for primates in captivity at the USDA Primate Symposium 2017. Primates at the Kansas City Zoo undergo a routine physical exam every two years. The following elements are included in their health maintenance examination. A routine physical exam for our companion primates may include some or all the same elements.

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Training your Monkey

April 24th, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

monkey training
Sissy Lou-La-La

Welcome friends to the Primate Care site.  This month we will be talking about the issue of training.  I certainly do not call myself a trainer but there are many others who do now in the world of monkeys. It is my opinion that you must first teach and (might I add the word demand) “Monkey Manners Training” before you can begin to train your monkey to do other things such as tricks.

Many years ago, I purchased my first dog. She had been sold back to the pet shop due to the owners having to move, and they could not take her. She was a wild little thing and had not been shown any manners at all. I was so excited to have my very own little Yorkie. She and my husband hit it off first thing and he started teaching her to jump from the floor to get a piece of cheese from his mouth and I of course, demanded that she learn how to go outside to do her business and to calm down and learn how to be held.

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Browse In The Primate Diet

April 5th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

bamboo browse primate diet

“Browse”, as it relates to primate diets, is plant material such as leaves, vines, berries, twigs and even branches. Wild-living primates consume many types of plant materials that are native to the regions in which they live. Browse is an important part of our captive-living primates’ diets as well. Though we do not have access to the native plants of our primates’ ancestral homes, many common plants in the U.S. are suitable to be fed as browse to our primates.

Browse supplies more fiber than even the high-fiber commercial biscuits, and more fiber than many of the vegetables that we feed to our primates. Fiber is an essential element in our primates’ diet as their “gut,” or intestinal tract utilizes fiber to properly digest and metabolize the food they eat. Primates need substantially more fiber in their diets than humans do. Not only does browse supply essential fiber, but is also a source of enrichment as our monkeys explore and manipulate the plant materials; picking the leaves and berries off the stems and stripping the bark from the branches.

» Read more: Browse In The Primate Diet