Preventive Health

Annual exams

Many animals receive an annual examination similar to examinations humans receive.  These examinations include an assessment of all major organ systems, blood work, a dental exam, nail or hoof trims and treatment for any health problems.  Medical records are maintained and tests similar to those given to humans are made to monitor animal health.

Vaccination Program

Exotic animals can get the same diseases as domestic animals.  To help prevent this occurrence, many of the animals at Omaha's Zoo get annual vaccinations just like dogs, cats, horses, cattle, etc.  Several examples include rabies and tetanus vaccines for outdoor carnivores, primates and hoof stock and West Nile vaccines for birds and susceptible mammals such as elephants, rhinos, zebras and tapirs.  Most canine and feline species receive the same or similar vaccines to those used in cats and dogs for diseases like distemper, parvovirus and feline leukemia.

Dental Health

Carnivores and primates often accumulate tartar on their teeth just like humans do.  This requires that the animal's teeth be cleaned on a regular basis (the tartar removed and the teeth cleaned and polished).  Occasionally, more serious problems require more complex procedures such as root canals.

Neonate exam

Many newborn animals at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium are examined to check their health, to give them vitamins, their first vaccinations and some kind of individual identification such as an ear tag or microchip.