Arthritic tigers take cat tablets
Elderly tigers with arthritis at the Isle of Wight Zoo are benefiting from taking a nutritional joint supplement meant for domestic cats.
Many of the tigers are rescued from circuses and live for up to 20 years – much older than in the wild.
Glucosamine tablets designed for pet cats have been helping relieve the animals’ stiff joints, but keepers have had to multiply the doses by 50 times.
The tablets are crushed and hidden in the tigers’ meat.
Paul Bailie, head of the cat department, said: “You can see how stiff they are, their bums can drop a little bit as well until they warm up.”
He said the tablets were having a noticeable effect and the tigers did not even notice the taste of the tablets in their food.
“They’ve responded really well from the mobility side of things, there was a definite improvement.”
Four fifths of the tigers taking part in the trial had shown an improvement, he added.