There’s no such thing as a “typical day” for the Aquarium’s veterinary staff. With dolphins that can weigh up to 500 pounds to frogs that weigh as much as a paper clip, our vets face different challenges every day. Some procedures require special skills, which is when the Aquarium turns to outside experts.
Last week, the Aquarium medical team faced a special challenge: “Houdini” is a four year old bearded dragon that is part of our animal programs team. If you’ve been at the Aquarium for one of our daily Animal Encounters in the Overlook, you may have met her!
In April, Houdini became very ill with fluid building up in her body and under her skin. Through weeks of intensive medical management, vets were able to get her back to normal behavior and appetite, but still weren’t able to determine the underlying cause. The diagnostic options were an exploratory surgery or endoscopy – both invasive- or advanced imaging of the soft tissues using a non-invasive MRI. An MRI would let vets look at Houdini’s ovaries, liver, kidneys and other organs without requiring surgery – the best option.