Audubon Zoo's 10 newborn African Painted Dogs had their first doctor's visit last week and passed with flying colors.
Examining 10 pups is a big job, but veterinary staff and zoo keepers conducted the exam in just one hour, moving quickly to return the pups to their parents.
The exam, conducted inside the pups’ habitat, revealed for the first time the gender breakdown of the litter: five females and five males.
The pups received vaccinations along with eye, ear, and heart exams. They were weighed and photographed from multiple angles to assist animal care staff with visual identification. The vets also inserted transponder microchips under the skin of the neck between the shoulders of each pup - identical to the procedure used for domestic pets.
The chips can be scanned whenever the animal is in hand to determine its identity. This will be especially important when a Dog moves on to another zoo to join or develop packs as they would in the wild.
Born on September 11, the pups’ birth is a first for the Audubon Zoo and a significant development for the highly endangered species.
ZooBorns first reported on the pups when they were released into their habitat after spending the first weeks of their lives in the den with their mother.
The pups will get two more sets of vaccinations over the next two months. Now that the sex of each Dog has been determined, zoo staff will name them in the near future.
The newborns are the offspring of first-time parents Sienna, 4, and Pax, 9. Only a handful of accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has bred Painted Dogs, one of the most endangered carnivores on the African continent.
See more photos of the pups below.