24 October 2013

First known penguin MRI a success

USA - When middle-aged penguin Fluffy arrived at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in late July, he was having trouble balancing, standing and waddling.

The male penguin’s radiograph and blood work from his visit to the University's Raptor Center didn't identified the cause of his illness, so veterinarian Micky Trent ordered the next step in diagnostic testing: a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Fluffy was anesthetised to keep him still during the scan. With a red inflatable pillow to help hold him in place, a conveyor belt pulled the small penguin into the machine.

The MRI helped Trent discover the source of Fluffy’s ails – an inflammation of the brain, or encephalitis, caused by an infection.

Trent prescribed antibiotics to help fight the infection, and within a few days Fluffy was looking better.

By late September, he was back to swimming around rocks and contentedly swallowing fish with his penguin friend BJ.

A great result for the first known MRI performed on a penguin! 
Penguin receives MRI at U of M Veterinary Medical Center [press release] by Miranda Taylor, 17 October 2013, University of Minnesota

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