Skip to main content

U of M conducts MRI on penguin, 'a first' for veterinarians

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A middle-aged penguin at the Minnesota Zoo is waddling again thanks to a procedure not typical for penguins conducted at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center.

In late June, zoo keepers noticed "Fluffy," an 18-year-old male penguin, was having difficulty keeping his balance.

"He was having trouble when he was preening, tipping over and it seemed to be more to the right and his tail was a little tucked to the left," veterinarian Micky Trent, DVM, said in a video produced by the university's Academic Health Center.

The penguin was taken to the Raptor Center for tests, which didn't turn up a cause of Fluffy's condition. Trent said the next step was to conduct an MRI.

"We have never done an MRI on a penguin and as far as I could find, there were no MRIs of penguins in the literature," Trent said. "So, this was a first."

Before the MRI was performed, Fluffy was unable to walk or stand. The results of the test showed an inflammation of the brain, or encephalitis, likely caused by infection.

After prescribing antibiotics, Fluffy began improving within 24 hours.

"His balance is so much better now that he can get in and out of the pool and work around the rocks pretty well," Trent said. "So, I think his prognosis is quite good."

Next Up

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.

image

Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

SwearegeneMugDouglasCoJail

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, forced her to withdraw $1,500

The 56-year-old suspect is accused of forcing the woman to the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.

police lights

Police arrest suspect in Oakdale after 10-hour standoff

The standoff with police lasted over 10 hours Friday.

Related

Penguins from space: U of M satellite images help scientists get count of emperor penguins

New satellite images published by the University of Minnesota's Polar Geospacial Center reveal there are more than twice as many emperor penguins than originally thought. That's the good news. The bad news is the photos are a baseline to follow the possible decline of the famous flightless birds as climate change continues