Kansas City Zoo elephant first to be diagnosed with disease common to humans

Posted at 8:31 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 08:13:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Zoo has many animals, but there is one that was just diagnosed with a disease usually humans get.

Forty-year-old Megan has high blood pressure. Veterinarians said she is the only elephant they know of that has it in the world. So, they had to come up with their own way of helping the elephant.

They test her every week, with a blood pressure cuff on her tail to see how she is doing, along with some groundbreaking treatment.

"She's probably got a tumor in her gland, that's calling all of this. We were able to diagnose that through urinary catacolomy tests. So, that's kind of groundbreaking when comparing it to our other elephants," said Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, Director of Animal Health and Research at the Kansas City Zoo.

Her medication is actually human medication but is at an elephant dose. She gets treated every 12 hours and is doing great.

It does cost a pretty penny to keep up with the medications and testing, around $6,500 to $7,500 a month.

"But, that's what we need to do for her. We are going to do everything we can and is on exhibit," said Dr. Suedmeyer when talking about the costs associated with Megan.

To help Megan and other animals at the zoo, you can donate on their Facebook page.