WATCH: Brevard Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Jeffrey Christiansen Perform Surgical First on Bear Cub ‘Brody’
By Space Coast Daily // July 18, 2020
To help cover expenses contact Sherri Law at 321-254-9453, ext. 234
ABOVE VIDEO: Brody, a five-month-old Florida black bear cub living at Brevard Zoo, is recovering from a corrective surgery he received on July 9. The Zoo’s veterinarians believe Brody is the first-ever bear to undergo this procedure.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brody, a five-month-old Florida black bear cub living at the Brevard Zoo is recovering from a corrective surgery he received by Dr. Jeffrey Christiansen on July 9.
The Zoo’s veterinarians believe Brody is the first-ever bear to undergo this procedure.
In May, the underside of Brody’s abdomen suddenly became sensitive to the touch, and he was repeatedly observed licking this area of his body.
The Zoo’s veterinary team anesthetized Brody for a diagnostic exam and discovered evidence of a condition similar to hip dysplasia in dogs.
It is not clear if the condition is congenital or the result of trauma sustained at a very young age. If left untreated, it could have caused severe pain and arthritis as Brody matured.
The procedure, called juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS), was led by local veterinarian Dr. Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions.
It involved the fusion of a pubic growth plate to encourage a widening of the hip sockets, leading to better coverage of the femoral heads.
Dr. Christiansen also collected some of Brody’s fat, which will be sent to a laboratory that will extract stem cells from the sample for use in injections that promote healing.
Brody has been recovering under close supervision at the L3Harris Animal Care Center. For the first five days after the surgery, animal care staff stayed overnight with Brody to keep him safe and comfortable.
“Young animals heal relatively quickly, so he should be running and climbing again fairly soon,” explained Dr. Trevor Zachariah, the Zoo’s director of veterinary programs.
“The majority of the puppies that undergo JPS get a significant reduction in arthritis and other long-term consequences of hip dysplasia. Obviously, bears and dogs are different animals, but their hips are similar from a skeletal perspective.”
Brody was brought to the Zoo by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in February at an estimated three weeks of age. He was found abandoned in Ocala National Forest with severe respiratory issues and nursed back to health by Zoo staff.
The procedure costs about $7,500 between labor, drugs, and other supplies. Those interested in covering these expenses can contact individual giving manager Sherri Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or 321-254-9453, ext. 234.
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