By Mollie Mansfield
A gibbon suffering from diabetes has been fitted with state-of-the-art technology to to monitor her glucose levels.
Jasmine, a female white-handed gibbon living at The Santa Barbara Zoo, California, has been living with type two diabetes for the past three years.
The 42-year-old ape was being given oral medication and a strict diet to help manage her diabetes, however veterinarians at the zoo found this to be an unreliable way to keep on top of her condition.
Now, Jasmine has been fitted with a Continuous Glucose Monitor, which allows vets to track her glucose levels throughout the day.
Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care and Health, said: “Uncontrolled diabetes causes serious health issues, so it is very important that we can measure and manage her blood glucose levels.
“Continuous Glucose Monitoring allows for optimal management of diabetic patients, and has really helped in Jasmine’s case.
“Now, we’re in the process of training Jasmine to voluntarily allow us to put on the monitor to avoid having to sedate her each time.
“The oral medication is not controlling her diabetes as well as it did in the past, and we may have to start giving her insulin to control her blood glucose levels.
“Having Jasmine wear the CGM device regularly would be extremely helpful when we start her on insulin and find the optimal type of insulin and dose for better long-term management of her diabetes.”
Dr. Kristin Castorino, Senior Research Physician at Sansum Diabetes Research Institution, said: “The goal for diabetes technology is to reduce the burden of diabetes as well as provide a better understanding of how blood sugars change.
“At SDRI, we are committed to conducting research that makes living with a chronic disease as easy as possible so that humans can run and play, and gibbons can swing freely.”