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Open Access Use of Low-dose Chlorpromazine in Conjunction with Environmental Enrichment to Eliminate Self-injurious Behavior in a Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

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A 7-year-old, captive-bred, female rhesus macaque was placed in a quarantine facility upon arrival at our institution. At release from quarantine, she was observed pawing at and chewing on her left cheek. Physical examination revealed ulcerative lesions on the buccal surface of the left cheek. Initial differential diagnoses included Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (B virus)-induced lesions and bacterial infection. Dental abnormalities and cheek pouch foreign body were ruled out during the physical exam. Treatment with 30 mg/kg cefazolin intramuscularly every 12 h was initiated. Twelve days later, the animal presented with a 2 × 2-cm, full-thickness erosion involving the opposite (right) cheek. Treatment with buprenorphine (0.1 mg/kg intramuscularly every 24 h) was initiated. Cultures for B virus were negative, and only nonpathogenic bacteria were isolated from swabs of the lesions. Hematology and serum chemistry profiles were normal. A wedge biopsy of the lesion revealed no definitive etiology. Further observation revealed that the lesions likely resulted from self-injurious behavior (SIB). Treatment with low-dose chlorpromazine (1 mg/kg intramuscularly once daily for 25 days, and then 0.5 mg/kg intramuscularly once daily for 25 days) was initiated. Bodyweight and condition were maintained during therapy, and serial hematology and serum chemistry profiles were normal. The animal was moved into a different room, and a toy “necklace” was created. The SIB was eliminated, and lesions healed within 35 days. Presently, 20 months after presentation, this animal remains in good health.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Health Systems, 018 Animal Research Facility, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor Michigan, 48109-0614 2: Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan, 3422 Medical Science Building I, Ann Arbor Michigan, 48109-0632

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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