Snow Leopard Cub Born With Defects Receiving Treatment At Sacramento Zoo

Posted on August 7th 2018

snow leopard cub

An extremely cute snow leopard cub that was born recently with splayed legs is undertaking intense physical therapy so the little fella is able to learn to walk. The cub was born with a number of defects including ones which affected his eyes and chest as well as an obvious case of splayed rear legs. The disease which is known as swimmers syndrome and affects both cats and dogs means that the cub has problems with mobility. As a result the Sacramento Zoo where the cub was born, is providing therapy to correct the defect.

Providing therapy

The cub was born at the zoo in the beginning of May in a litter of five to mother Misha. His therapists are using a rubber harness which lifts the cub’s hips and provides support allowing him to position his rear legs behind him whilst he walks. The experts then place the cub on surfaces where he can gain good traction such as grass where he is able to get a good grip.  His handlers say they are very happy with his progress and continue to evaluate his needs so that he succeeds on his journey.

Collaborating with UC Davis

The treatment the cub is undergoing was devised by the zoo in collaboration with specialists from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The critter has quite an extensive regime which includes three therapy sessions each day. The treatment has been uniquely designed to make sure the cub continues to have a positive relationship with his mother. His handlers say it has been incredibly rewarding watching the cub gain confidence with every passing day.

Helping with snow leopard conservation

Aside from his mobility issues the cub was born as we said with a number of other defects. This includes problems with his eyelids which may require surgery as he grows older. These defects have been recorded by other snow leopards that are living under human care. According to examinations by veterinarians, it is expected that these defects are likely to be treatable. Sacramento Zoo is a participant in the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan and is helping by breeding these elusive big cats and raising awareness of the issues faced by this species. Snow leopards face challenges to their survival from hunting, loss of prey and habitat destruction.

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