An exploration of the value of elective health checks in UK zoo-housed gibbons

Kershaw, T., Hall, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-9978-8736, Dobbs, P., Liptovszky, M. and Strong, V. ORCID: 0000-0003-1348-1256, 2020. An exploration of the value of elective health checks in UK zoo-housed gibbons. Animals, 10 (12): 2307. ISSN 2076-2615

1391592_a1325_Hall.pdf - Published version

Download (397kB) | Preview


Elective health checks form an important part of the preventative healthcare of many zoo-housed animals. These procedures are not without risk or financial expenditure, meaning careful cost-benefit analysis is required when determining the frequency and intensity with which they are implemented. This study evaluated the value of elective health checks (n=74) carried out on 33 gibbons at a single UK zoological collection from 2011-2018. Data were categorised by health check type, animal age, clinical findings and outcome. Univariable binary logistic regression and multivariable modelling were used to identify factors associated with the likelihood of actionable (clinically significant) outcomes. In total, 51.35% of all elective health checks resulted in an actionable outcome. Elderly heath checks had 13.64 greater odds of an actionable outcome and 34 times greater odds of a significant radiographic finding, when compared to routine (non-elderly) health checks. Our findings suggest that 75% wild longevity is a suitable threshold for identifying elderly captive gibbons and increasing health check frequency. Whilst further work is needed to ascertain whether these findings can be extrapolated to other collections and/or species, this study demonstrates how the analysis of clinical data can aid in the implementation of an effective and evidence-based preventative healthcare plan.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Animals
Creators: Kershaw, T., Hall, E., Dobbs, P., Liptovszky, M. and Strong, V.
Publisher: MDPI
Date: 5 December 2020
Volume: 10
Number: 12
ISSN: 2076-2615
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Nov 2020 09:34
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:08

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year