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The veterinary clinic.
Photo: Biodôme de Montréal (Jean-Guy Trussart)

There are few signs of animal stress or illness at the Biodôme  everyone coexists peacefully. In addition, new animals are constantly being born. Our success is due to the vigilance of our animal and aquarium attendants, a full-time veterinarian and veterinary technician, and careful monitoring of the physical and biological conditions in each ecosystem. Our animal collections are under close surveillance 365 days a year!

An ounce of prevention …

Because our animals live in semi-freedom, a preventive approach to health is by far the simplest and most effective. It's not always easy to find or catch a sick little bird if we wait until it actually shows signs of illness!

Veterinary clinic

The Biodôme's veterinary clinic is located in the sub-basement, far from prying eyes, and is equipped with a variety of equipment to help us care for all our residents.

  • A large treatment room, for minor care.
  • A well-equipped operating room with aseptic conditions and gas anaesthetic equipment.
  • An adjacent x-ray room, which lets us quickly diagnose any problems without having to remove animals from the institution.
  • A “nursery,” for artificially incubating bird and reptile eggs.
  • An autopsy room, since part of preventive medicine is determining the causes of deaths.
  • Observation rooms, for convalescent and surplus animals.
  • Haematological (blood), biochemical, parasitological and bacteriological examinations are done in the Biodôme's laboratories, occasionally with the assistance of other institutions (e.g. the veterinary faculty of the Université de Montréal).

Did you know …

  • Although both are felines and susceptible to the same diseases, a lynx and a house cat are not treated in the same way. Just to take a blood sample from a lynx calls for general anaesthesia!
  • Wild animals are experts at hiding signs of illness – a skill that helps them survive in nature. When working with animals in captivity, one quickly becomes experienced at observing animal behaviour (ethology), a valuable indicator of health and sickness.
  • Generally speaking, wildlife medicine is still a little-known field of veterinary science, and is covered only superficially, if at all, by veterinary schools. In recent years, it should be noted, some schools have begun offering basic courses in the subject. Veterinarians in this field mainly have to share their colleagues' expertise, through scientific associations, to help keep them up to date. There are a number of such organizations, including the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians.

Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums Nutrition Advisory and Research Group (CAZA-NARG) Website

This site looks at the feeding of animals in captivity. It contains information on the services offered by the NARG, and is of particular interest to animal nutrition experts. Member institutions can consult its nutrition database on species kept in captivity.

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