We are sad to announce that our elephant Tandy has died as a result of a chronic illness. She was 23 years old. Tandy came to Kharkiv Zoo from Odessa at the age of two. Over time, as the baby elephant began to gain weight, the keepers noticed problems with the hind legs. Tandy limped and placed her foot incorrectly, which led to curvature of her legs and systemic changes that did not allow her to move normally.
As soon as the first symptoms of the disease appeared, together with the curator from the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), it was decided to convene a consultation with Western colleagues-veterinarians. The conclusion of the doctors: dysplasia of the knee joints. The only cause of this disease in animals is a genetic factor. And it was precisely this disease that Tandy's father, the elephant Tarun, suffered from.
The main symptoms of the development of this disease are constrained movements, forced position of the animal's body, bending of the pelvic limbs, pathological flexion of the lumbar spine, the presence of swelling or even abscesses in the area of the hip joints.
Given the complexity of the disease, during the entire time we conducted regular consultations with specialists from the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the treatment was carried out under the supervision of EAZA, the most effective method of supportive therapy was selected, which, with the participation of Western colleagues-veterinarians, was adjusted depending on the general condition of Tandy.
At a certain stage, the Association proposed to use euthanasia, but the state of the elephant gave hope. And given the humane attitude to animals in Kharkiv Zoo, it was decided to continue the treatment of Tandy, the favorite of visitors and staff of the zoo. The treatment had an effect, but temporary - the symptoms disappeared, and not the disease itself. Since it is impossible to cure dysplasia, the disease leads to irreversible processes in the osteoarticular system.
Recently, Tandy's condition began to deteriorate rapidly. The disease took over - Tandy died.