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To treat or not to treat?


Ackermann, Mathias; Hatt, Jean-Michel (2019). To treat or not to treat? Veterinary Record Case Reports, 7(3):e000847.

Abstract

In a world of ever-increasing liability, the decision not to treat a patient comes less and less easily, even though both evidence-based medical and financial reasons may speak against treatment. Elephant haemorrhagic disease (EHD), associated with viraemia with elephant endotheliotropic viruses (EEHV), may kill within hours after onset of clinical signs. Here, the authors present a case, where a three-year-old female Asian elephant (<jats:italic>Elephas maximus</jats:italic>) developed viraemia with EEHV1 but was deliberately left without antiviral treatment and survived without developing clinical signs. Considering the mostly fatal outcome of EHD, this decision may at first glance appear hazardous. However, the reasoning included knowledge about herpesviruses in general, past and present EEHV status of the individual, EEHV epidemiology within the herd as well as stress and costs involved in treatment. It is important to consider those parameters for each impeding case separately in order to assure the best welfare of the animal.

Abstract

In a world of ever-increasing liability, the decision not to treat a patient comes less and less easily, even though both evidence-based medical and financial reasons may speak against treatment. Elephant haemorrhagic disease (EHD), associated with viraemia with elephant endotheliotropic viruses (EEHV), may kill within hours after onset of clinical signs. Here, the authors present a case, where a three-year-old female Asian elephant (<jats:italic>Elephas maximus</jats:italic>) developed viraemia with EEHV1 but was deliberately left without antiviral treatment and survived without developing clinical signs. Considering the mostly fatal outcome of EHD, this decision may at first glance appear hazardous. However, the reasoning included knowledge about herpesviruses in general, past and present EEHV status of the individual, EEHV epidemiology within the herd as well as stress and costs involved in treatment. It is important to consider those parameters for each impeding case separately in order to assure the best welfare of the animal.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Virology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary
Language:English
Date:1 August 2019
Deposited On:25 Oct 2019 11:21
Last Modified:25 Oct 2019 11:21
Publisher:British Veterinary Association
ISSN:2052-6121
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/vetreccr-2019-000847

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