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How Do You Do A CT Scan For A Bear?

June 4, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging, Musculoskeletal Radiology
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The answer is, of course: very carefully.

Sorry. Old joke. Here’s a better answer: we’ll find out on Tuesday, when Yona, a year-old black bear at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina, is scheduled to undergo a CT scan to evaluate her angular limb deformity. She limps, and digital X-rays earlier this year didn’t pinpoint the problem.

The museum called in Denis Marcellin-Little, DEDV, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at nearby North Carolina State University. Dr. Marcellin-Little, a professor of orthopedics, is a prominent veterinary orthopedic surgeon and a researcher known for development of prosthetic implants for animals. He concurred that a CT scan is the next step.

“We’re really fortunate to have Dr. Marcellin-Little and the veterinary teaching hospital overseeing Yona’s medical care,” said Sherry Samuels, director of the museum’s animal department. Yona’s appointment is at the veterinary college’s diagnostic imaging clinic, which includes a CT scanner (a Siemens Sensation 16; for more about the facility, its equipment, and its training programs, click here)

Yona, being unemployed and, well, a bear, does not have health insurance. So the museum, an interactive science center that includes outdoor exhibits featuring rescued black bears, lemurs, and red wolves, is soliciting donations to defray her medical expenses.

Yona (Cherokee for “bear”) came to the museum in January from Appalachian Bear Rescue in Tennessee. She was found abandoned by a roadside in Townsend, Tennessee, as a four-pound cub (for an “awwww” picture, click here). Appalachian Bear Rescue normally rehabilitates animals for return to the wild, but Yona preferred the company of humans to that of bears and demonstrated such feeble survival skills that she was deemed unreleasable.

She’s now about the size of a large golden retriever. Despite her infirmity, she climbs a mulberry tree, swims in a pool, and wrestles with 4-year-old Gus, one of four other black bears in the museum’s Explore the Wild exhibit.

“We’re hoping she’ll be just fine,” said Samuels. “She’s getting the best care possible.”

Related seminar: Computed Body Tomography: The Cutting Edge


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One Response to “How Do You Do A CT Scan For A Bear?”

  1. Tweets that mention Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » How Do You Do A CT Scan For A Bear? -- Topsy.com on June 4th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melissa Kerns, NCState Vet Medicine. NCState Vet Medicine said: More on black bear Yona, NC State CVM's unusual patient> http://bit.ly/9qeqyu […]