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Vets perform first-known brain surgery on fur seal

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Dec 29, 2017, 10:37 am IST
Updated : Dec 29, 2017, 10:40 am IST

Ziggy Star is thought to be the first of her species to undergo brain surgery at a university in Connecticut.

Ziggy had been taken in by the aquarium four years ago, after she was deemed unfit for release back into the wild after being found stranded on a California beach. (Representational Image/ Pixabay)
 Ziggy had been taken in by the aquarium four years ago, after she was deemed unfit for release back into the wild after being found stranded on a California beach. (Representational Image/ Pixabay)

A fur seal named Ziggy Star became the first of her species to undergo brain surgery at a university in Connecticut when veterinarians treated her for a neurological condition.

Ziggy lives at the Mystic Aquariaum but was transferred to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in November for treatment for her long-term neurological condition.

Ziggy had been taken in by the aquarium four years ago, after she was deemed unfit for release back into the wild after being found stranded on a California beach.

Lately, Ziggy had been suffering seizures and had difficulty moving due to accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus.

Lately Ziggy’s condition has meant she suffered seizures and had difficulty moving due to the accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus.

The lead neurosurgeon to the operation, Ane Uriarte said that the MRI taken recently by the team showed that the brain was disappearing due to the excess fluid, and it was significantly worse than the last study four years ago.

The team were forced to base their surgery plan on operations on other animals, as they could not find documented cases of this type of surgery on seals, sea lions or walrus.

Despite that, it took just over one hour and Ziggy was back at the aquarium in a private habitat the next day, despite some seizures which prolonged her recovery.

Tags: fur seal, brain surgery, veterinarian, pets and environment