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Radiology practice performs MR on penguin in Iowa

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 10, 2021
Iowa Radiology performed an MR scan on a penguin with a limp (Photo courtesy: Blank Park Zoo)
A penguin with a persistent limp recently underwent an MR scan at Iowa Radiology.

Named Chiquita, the two-year-old, female Magellanic penguin lives at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines and was undergoing a number of exams and treatments to determine the cause of the problem. Seeking advanced imaging for the bird, the zoo reached out to Iowa Radiology for help, according to ABC News 9-affiliate, KCAU.

“It has been a lot of fun working with the zoo. Everyone loves animals. I mean, we’re passionate about patient care but we have a lot of people here who love animals too. And I think that the fun thing is you can see how technology really impacts care of patients and animals alike,” said radiologist Dr. Paul Jabour.
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The team performed the MR exam on a Saturday using a Siemens Healthineers’ scanner. Blank Park Zoo’s veterinary team fully anesthetized Chiquita prior to the scan. When the results were retrieved, the zoo’s lead veterinarian was able to rule out a bone or tendon issue. The images have been sent to a veterinary radiologist to determine the next course of action.

“We would like to thank Iowa Radiology for donating an MR for a very unique patient,” said Anne Shimerdla, president and CEO of Blank Park Zoo, in a statement on Facebook.

Jabour adds that “the image quality was fantastic, which was a testament to everyone's hard work” and that the staff and he were “glad to help”.

Blank Park Zoo plans to provide updates on Chiquita’s condition.

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