Oz the rhino undergoes a CT scan at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science in Onderstepoort. Picture: Supplied
Oz the rhino undergoes a CT scan at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science in Onderstepoort. Picture: Supplied

First successful CT scan on live adult rhino performed at Onderstepoort

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Pretoria - The University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science in Onderstepoort has once again demonstrated why it remains the best in the country and Africa with the first successful CT scan on a live adult rhino.

The procedure conducted through the collaboration between the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (OVAH) and The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary was reportedly a huge milestone in veterinary healthcare and diagnostic imaging, as well as rhino conservation.

The white rhino named Oz was orphaned by poachers in 2015. He was rescued and brought to Care for Wild Sanctuary for rehabilitation, release and ongoing protection.

However, earlier this year, when Rhino Monitors noticed an unusual swelling to his face the Sanctuary's CEO, Petronel Nieuwoudt consulted with veterinarian, Dr Albertus Coetzee of West Acres Animal Hospital.

Vets take Oz the rhino for his the CT scan. Picture: Supplied

Following discussions with wildlife veterinarian Dr Jacques O’Dell, Senior lecturer and wildlife clinician in the Department of Production Animal Studies; and Professor Gerhard Steenkamp, veterinary dentistry specialist and maxillofacial surgeon at the university, the decision was made to transport the one-tonne bull to the veterinary hospital for further investigation.

Once the CT scan was performed it revealed that the cause of Oz’s swollen face was as a result of a tooth root abscess.

The appropriate treatment was subsequently performed after which Oz was returned to the sanctuary with him able to eat and drink well.

Vets examine the CT scan performed on Oz the rhino. Picture: Supplied

“We cannot save a species alone but together we can achieve remarkable things. In acknowledgement of the team of specialists who came together, we thank them for their passion, dedication and immense commitment,” said Nieuwoudt.

"The collaboration catalysed a landmark moment in veterinary healthcare as well as rhino care and rehabilitation. The logistical experience, information and knowledge gained from this is “phenomenal progress” in the fight to save a keystone species from extinction," said the vets.

Pretoria News

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