CSU veterinarians rehabilitate ailing African lion


Specialists treat Guero's broken neck and damaged teeth with steroids and dental surgery.

Colorado State University (CSU) veterinary experts recently treated an African lion from Mexico to alleviate pain from his extensive neck injuries and significant dental problems.

It's believed the 15-year-old lion, Guero, broke his neck almost three years ago because his cage gate was similar to a guillotine, according to a CSU press release. Guero's owner surrendered him to an animal rescue group in Pachuca, Mexico, and the lion was airlifted to Colorado in April. He was cared for by veterinarians specialized in neurology, exotic animal medicine, small animal surgery, anesthesiology and dentistry.

Peter Emily, DDS, Hon. AVDC, treats Guero's significant teeth problems.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spotted Guero's healed neck fracture and chronic disc disease, which limited his movement and inflicted chronic pain, CSU experts say. Guero's prospects for surviving surgery and recovery were slim, so steroids were recommended. 

The lion also suffered from broken teeth, gum disease and exposed roots-problems that were attributed to chewing on cage bars. Drills and cleaning equipment relieved some of his pain experienced during eating, and Guero will undergo root-canal surgery. 

Guero is taken for an MRI by the team of specialists.The lion will spend the rest of his life at Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keeneseburg, Colorado, according to CSU. “We think he'll most likely live another three to five years, but even if it's a year he lives, we're going to make sure that he's comfortable and happy-good food, soft ground, some grass to play on and some fresh air to breathe,” says Rebecca Miceli, director of animal care at the sanctuary. “That's our hope.”

Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Congress is debating legislation that would protect the pets of domestic violence victims.

The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act of 2015 was introduced by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Massachussetts) and Ileana Ros-Lehitnen (R-Florida). Research suggests that at least one-quarter of domestic violence victims don't leave abusive relationships because of a pet's safety, according to a release from Clark. The bill proposes to create a grant program to offer shelter for victims' pets. Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters can house pets, Clark says.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Humane Society of the United States support the proposed legislation.


A state representative in Maine has introduced legislation to create a veterinary school in the state. 

Rep. John Martin, D-Maine, believes students are leaving the state to pursue DVM degrees, according to the St. John Valley Times. Tufts University is the sole veterinary program in New England, Martin says.

The state uses the Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Program to give students scholarships if they return to the state and want to care for livestock in an underserved area.   

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