Vet Ensures Panda Express Lane Open

Rectum? It nearly killed em!I’m a regular dog. Regular as in I poop at the same time, in the same spot, every day.

Occasionally my routine is disrupted with a poorly chosen treat from the hands of my parents, or from the garbage pail. Then I either can’t poop or have a chocolate geyser worthy of a best in class chocolate fondue fountain at a wedding.

I bring this up because today’s story is about a panda getting a colonoscopy.

Sure I could have brought up my love for Katie Couric and all she’s done for public poop shoot awareness, but that would be too ordinary of a lead in, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to hear about my bowel movements?

OK maybe my parents don’t, but they have no choice, especially after a broccoli and cheese dinner.

On to the story.

One of the many advantages of being a panda is that you can have a colonoscopy without drinking gallons of colon-clearing GoLYTELY first.

Tai Shan, the celebrity panda born at the National Zoo, only had to fast for a day before his colonoscopy yesterday.

He underwent the procedure to check whether his digestive tract had healed from eosinophilic colitis, a rare chronic inflammatory bowel condition diagnosed last summer. It seemed to be normal, although the zoo is waiting for biopsy results, according to Carlos Sanchez, the veterinarian who performed the exam.

The procedure started at 7:30 a.m. and required at least 10 staff workers, including doctors and panda trainers, said Suzan Murray, the zoo’s chief veterinarian medical officer.

Murray said he was given medication for his intestinal problems and had the colonoscopy as a follow-up. Doctors also took X-rays and blood for testing as part of a regular checkup.

The trainers coaxed Tai Shan to an area of the Panda House where doctors could get close enough to anesthetize him, Murray said.

I’m thinking this colonoscopy exam is a one and done thing because a coaxing strategy isn’t going to work twice.

Picture courtesy of Jessie Cohen — Smithsonian Institution


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