Fauna Foundation Chimpanzee Spock

A Health Update on Spock

Recently a team of vets led by North American chimpanzee expert Dr. Jocylen Bezner, visited all of the chimpanzees at Fauna. They spent time with each chimp to assess their current health and they performed a short procedure on Maya and removed decaying teeth that they suspected were causing her sinus problems. She should have a quick and full recovery.


Vets working on Maya at Fauna.


Unfortuantely, we learned Spockis suffering late stages of congestive heart disease, which is likely the reason he has been lethargic and coughing in the past few weeks. Spock is 40 years old, which means for a chimpanzee, he is old. We have been treating him for heart disease for many years. Now he is on new medication to make him more comfortable. The doctor has ordered lots of encouragement to play games of chase.

We know many of you love Spock so we wanted to let you know about his condition.


Questions About Spock

Here are some answers to questions you may have.
What is congestive heart disease?
Congestive heart disease is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood efficiently enough to take care of the body’s needs. In response, the body has difficulty expelling fluid and becomes “congested,” particularly in the extremities.
What are the symptoms of congestive heart disease?
In chimpanzees, swelling(edema), shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, and coughing due to fluid in the lungs. Spock is experiencing almost all of these symptoms.
Is this a new condition for Spock?
Spock was diagnosed with heart disease about 10 years ago and has been receiving medical treatment since then. So it is not new but has reached a stage with more symptoms.
How old is Spock?
Spock is 40 years old. Research tells us that the survivorship of 40-year-old  chimpanzees is 10%. That means that only 10% of chimpanzees live beyond 40 years of age. It drops for 5% for 45 year olds.


Additional Resources on Chimpanzee Health

On aging: Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging: Roles of infection, inflammation, and nutrition
On heart disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933140/
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and congestive heart failure: http://www.chimpsanctuarynw.org/blog/2012/06/an-important-message-about-burrito/

Your financial support is essential to supporting the pharmacy and medical costs for caring for the health of Spock and his family at Fauna. If you would like to make a donation in Spock’s honour, you may donate here.