Last month, the keeper team noticed that Laila our female snow leopard at The Big Cat Sanctuary was breathing very rapidly and that she was not taking deep breaths. This indicated that Laila had a potential problem so the keepers monitored Laila to see if this worsened.
A select few members of the team would look after Laila and take extra precautions to ensure that if Laila was unwell, this would not spread to other cats in the Sanctuary. The IZVG team, International Zoo Veterinary Group and our local domestic vets, Green Lane Veterinary Clinic, decided to put Laila on steroids to see if this would help her improve.
After a little bit of time, the keepers noticed no improvement with Laila’s breathing and called in the IZVG team to get advice. The IZVG team recommended that Laila needed to see professionals with the equipment to perform an X-ray and CT scan on Laila’s lungs to investigate further to find her diagnosis.
Laila was sent to Barrow Hill Vets with a few members of the Keeper Team to have her CT scan and an X-ray. The CT scan and X-ray showed that there was opaqueness on the lower part of her lungs. Opaqueness is a white substance that suggests there is fluid in her lungs. Laila had lots of different tests done and they found two types of bacteria. When professional radiographers looked at the results, they diagnosed Laila with Pneumonia.
The keeping team do not know what caused Laila to get pneumonia. She was on medication for a total of 4 weeks and had been monitored daily by keepers. Laila has now finally recovered and is taking deep, healthy breaths again.
Laila is now off all medication and back to her loving, usual self. She has now been reunited with Yarko once again and enjoying each others company after being kept distant for a while. We hope that in the future Laila and Yarko can produce cubs to help protect the snow leopard species and to have another little snow leopard family again.