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Case report

Temporal gland



Species: Asian elephant

Accommodation: Zoo

Age, gender: adult, female

Following a musth period the right temporal gland of an adult Asian bull started to swell within a short period. An impaction of the gland duct was suspected. The elephant was well trained and could be examined and treated without sedation. The manipulations were painful, but well tolerated by the animal.


The animal was rubbing the area and continuously tried to sip out the content from the region and he frequently threw sand on it. Rostrally from the gland a fistula was formed spontaneously, discharging pus and necrotic tissue.

Visual swelling of the impacted temporal gland in an adult Asian elephant


After the tension subsided and the contents was released, the animal allowed flushing the region, which was done at least twice daily and was continued for several weeks, when the frequency was reduced to once daily. Diluted povidone-iodine and a product called Skinsept Mucosa (containing clorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide) were used as antiseptic fluids. The fluid was administered through a very long catheter to reach the deep part of the gland and

flushing was powerful. This produced a lot of necrotic tissue which sometimes blocked the

possibility of discharge.

For 2 weeks, intramammary infusion injectors (Ubrolexin with cephalosporin) were used to inject an antibiotic inside the fistle.

Treatment results

After 2 months the size of the temporal gland was back to normal and the fistle had closed completely.

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