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More animals at Singapore Zoo being treated with TCM

By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia
17 May 2007 1906 hrs

SINGAPORE: More animals are being treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at the Singapore Zoo.

The practice has been going on for years but now research at the Zoo is getting a new injection of funding.

Veterinarians at the Singapore Zoo have been using TCM to treat animals such as snakes, orang utans and even a miniature horse.

TCM herbs are crushed and fed with food for these animals.

One horse, named Bollin, was given TCM treatment for about four weeks for respiratory problems.

The prescription included herbs such as Black Cohosh and Lilly Bulb.

The medication was given to the miniature horse because of an infection near his throat, affecting his breathing.

The medicine was given every morning and evening to maintain the amount in the blood and its effectiveness."

The Zoo's veterinarians say TCM treatment is customised for different animals depending on their condition.

The prescriptions combine several herbs to maximise effectiveness.

The treatment is targeted to build up the immune system so it can fight the infection, as opposed to conventional medicine which tackles the infection itself.

Veterinarians had to treat a couple of animals first, to figure out the exact amount needed.

"For humans one dosage we can divide into five portions. It can be used to treat animals and the results are the same as for humans," says Dr Oh Soon Hock, Senior Veterinarian, Singapore Zoo.

And to further help research into TCM for animals, S$30,000 has been donated by traditional medicine company, Eu Yan Sang, to the Zoo. - CNA/yy

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