A 15-year-old sexually intact female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was evaluated for a heart murmur and progressive radiographic cardiomegaly.
The lemur was clinically normal at the time of initial evaluation. Results of transthoracic echocardiography performed when the animal was anesthetized indicated mitral valve stenosis and severe left atrial dilation. Three months later, signs of left-sided congestive heart failure (CHF; coughing, exercise intolerance, and tachypnea) were observed and confirmed by the presence of radiographic pulmonary edema.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Medical treatment that consisted of aspirin, benazepril, furosemide, pimobendan, spironolactone, and ultimately torsemide in lieu of furosemide successfully controlled the lemur's clinical signs for 33 months after the development of CHF. Euthanasia was then elected on the basis of perceived poor quality of life because tachypnea became refractory to progressively higher dosages of diuretic. Necropsy confirmed mitral stenosis with severe left atrial dilation and chronic pulmonary congestion.
The present report described the long-term medical management of CHF secondary to mitral stenosis in a lemur. Mitral stenosis was suspected to be a congenital defect, similar to the cause of mitral stenosis reported for dogs and cats, rather than to be an acquired change in association with rheumatic heart disease as commonly occurs for people. The lemur's CHF was well managed for 33 months with treatment, including pimobendan, which was well tolerated.
To determine the diagnostic utility of a smartphone-based ECG device (Alivecor KardiaMobile) in awake bonobos (Pan paniscus).
7 adult bonobos in human care.
Bonobos were trained with positive reinforcement to hold 1 finger from each hand onto the KardiaMobile sensors for 30 seconds to obtain an ECG reading. Ten ECG tracings were recorded from each bonobo and evaluated by a veterinarian, a veterinary cardiologist, and a human cardiologist for tracing quality, tracing length, heart rate, identification of P-waves, and presence and quantification of premature ventricular or atrial contractions.
6 of the 7 bonobos were trained within 21 weeks to allow the collection of 10 diagnostic quality ECG tracings. The average heart rate recorded was 87 bpm (range = 60 to 118 bpm). Potential abnormalities identified by the KardiaMobile included premature ventricular contractions in 2 male bonobos and 1 premature atrial contraction in another male. There was strong agreement by reviewers in all ECG parameters except for the identification of P-waves.
The Alivecor KardiaMobile device has diagnostic utility as a screening tool for use in bonobos in human care. The training was accomplished to yield diagnostic ECG readings of acceptable duration in awake bonobos. Given the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in great apes, this technology may identify a subset of great apes who may benefit from early intervention and treatment in an effort to delay the progression of cardiac disease.