- Doctors from a children’s hospital helped save a baby hippo born prematurely
- The baby hippo became dehydrated after refusing milk
- The zoo staff had trouble arranging a sustained IV, so the doctors had to step in and use equipment designed for human babies
Doctors from a children’s hospital in Cincinnati saved the life of a female hippopotamus born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo late last month.
The first Nile hippo born at the zoo in 75 years, the baby hippo named Fiona was born on January 24 at only 13 kilograms; way below the usual weight. The Normal weight range is 25 to 54 kilograms. According to Daily Mail, Fiona, at one month old, does not even weigh 25 kilograms.
Fiona became dehydrated after refusing milk, so an immediate intravenous (IV) drip was required. The zoo’s veterinary staff, however, had trouble arranging a sustained IV drip, so they sought the help of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is, luckily, right next door to the zoo.
“Preemies have very tiny and unstable veins, and even though our vet team was able to get multiple IVs placed, the veins could not sustain the IV and would blow. Lucky for us, we’re right next door to a world-class facility with a whole department dedicated to working with difficult veins,” Christina Gorsuch, the zoo’s curator of mammals, said.
Doctors from the children’s hospital used equipment meant for premature babies on Fiona.
“Five bags of fluid later, Fiona is showing signs of recovery. She is still sleeping a lot but has started to take bottles again and has periods of carefully-supervised activity. The catheter is still in place,” Ms. Gorsuch said.
Baby Fiona is being cared for close to her mother Bibi and father Henry, so the family can hear and smell each other.