News Release
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org
 
May 15, 2018
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Black Rhinoceros at Brookfield Zoo Undergoes Second CT Scan Following a Lifesaving Surgery

NOTE: Images may be downloaded below: 

1639.jpg: Dr. Sathya Chinnadurai (right), senior staff veterinarian for the Chicago Zoological Society and Dr. Karissa Tang, a veterinary resident, monitor Layla, a 7½-year-old eastern black rhinoceros at Brookfield Zoo, as she is being moved to the vestibule of the Pachyderm House to receive a CT scan of her head. The 2,300-pound rhino is being treated for an infection in her nasal passageway, and the scan will assist veterinarians in determining the best treatment plan for her.
 
1688.jpg: Vince Valderrama (left) and Jason Buttney, members of the Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Grounds Department, direct the driver of a front-end loader carrying Layla, a 2,300-pound eastern black rhinoceros. The 7½-year-old pachyderm is being brought to a portable CT scan machine inside Brookfield Zoo’s Pachyderm House. Veterinarians are performing the scan to determine how much infected tissue is in her nasal passageway. Following the CT scan, a team of CZS veterinarians and veterinary specialists removed the infected tissue.
 
2046.jpg: Chicago Zoological Society’s veterinary staff prepare Layla, a 7½-year-old eastern black rhinoceros, to receive a CT scan inside Brookfield Zoo’s Pachyderm House. The images from the scan provided diagnostic results that helped determine the best course of action in treating an infection in Layla’s nasal passageway. NeuroLogica, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, generously donated the use of its BodyTom®, the world’s first battery-powered, portable, 32-slice CT scanner, for the procedure. In addition, technicians from NeuroLogica and a physicist from Sound Technologies donated their services to set up and operate the machine.
 
2082.jpg: Michelle Soszynski, a senior veterinary technician for the Chicago Zoological Society, monitors Layla a 7½-year-old eastern black rhinoceros, as she receives a CT scan inside Brookfield Zoo’s Pachyderm House. The images from the scan provided diagnostic results that helped determine the best course of action in treating an infection in Layla’s nasal passageway. NeuroLogica, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, generously donated the use of its BodyTom®, the world’s first battery-powered, portable, 32-slice CT scanner, for the procedure. In addition, technicians from NeuroLogica and a physicist from Sound Technologies donated their services to set up and operate the machine. Following the CT scan, veterinarians performed surgery to remove infected tissue.
 
3092.jpg: Dr. Michael Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) and Dr. Marina Ivančić,a board-certified veterinary radiologist for CZS, compare a CT scan image taken on April 19 (left) and another on May 15 of Layla, an eastern black rhinoceros. The 2,300-pound 7½-year-old pachyderm is being treated for an infection in her nasal passageway.
 
Black Rhinoceros at Brookfield Zoo Undergoes Second CT Scan Following a Lifesaving Surgery
 
    Brookfield, Ill.—Today, May 15, Layla, a 7½-year-old eastern black rhinoceros at Brookfield Zoo underwent a second CT scan (computed tomography), a week after she received a lifesaving surgery performed by a dedicated team of Chicago Zoological Society veterinarians and veterinary specialists. The scan was done on a BodyTom®, the world’s first battery-powered portable CT. NeuroLogica, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, once again generously donated the use of the machine, which was operated by a physicist from Sound Technologies. Images taken today defined the extent of the remaining infection in her nasal passageway allowing veterinarians to proceed with another surgery, which took place immediately following the CT scan.
 
Layla initially began experiencing difficulty breathing in December 2017 and was diagnosed with obstructive sinusitis. Rhinos are obligate nasal breathers, meaning it is difficult for them to breathe comfortably through their mouth for long periods. Any sort of nasal obstruction can therefore become dangerous, and after failing to respond to standard medical treatments, Layla first underwent bilateral sinusotomy surgery at the zoo on January 29, 2018.
 
In the subsequent surgery on May 7, veterinarians were able to partially relieve an obstructive infection in Layla’s sinuses. The first groundbreaking CT was performed on April 19 and allowed the veterinary team to determine that an impacted, unerupted molar was the source of the problem. The CT scan also allowed veterinarians to establish the extent of the infection, which aided them in determining the best surgical approach for removing the infected tissue.
 
Pre-surgical planning was greatly enhanced through the use of a 3D model and printouts donated by Vizua, a 3D software company; TeraRecon, a medical imaging software provider; and WhiteClouds, a 3D printing manufacturer. This advanced medical imaging is utilized in the human global healthcare market, but this is the first time it has been used to assist in a case for a rhinoceros. The 3D reconstruction was created using the images from the CT scan, which were then sent to a 3D printer that produced the detailed model. The model features a unique “hinge-and-slice” technique, giving veterinarians easy, fan-like visualization of the region of interest—the impacted molar and surrounding infected tissues.
 
CZS veterinarians have been working with Dr. Chris Downs, a veterinary surgeon from the Chicago Equine Medical Center, to manage Layla’s intensive medical care. For the recent procedure, Dr. Mike Lowder, a veterinary dentist from the University of Georgia with extensive experience in rhino dental care, provided support in removing the impacted tooth, while Drs. Anthony Blikslager and Mat Gerard from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine provided additional surgical expertise. Drs. Blikslager and Gerard have gained their knowledge in the sinus anatomy of rhinos through their involvement in treating wild rhinos with substantial injuries to their heads resulting from poachers removing their horns.
 
“To our knowledge, this type of surgery has never been performed on a rhinoceros before,” said Dr. Mike Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for CZS. “We are very encouraged by how well Layla has tolerated the procedure. In the wild, this condition would have proved fatal, but we are very hopeful that with our advanced medical care we will be able to save Layla’s life. We are extremely grateful for our partnerships with everyone who has assisted with the surgery and CT scan to help create an optimal outcome for Layla.”
 
 
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

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