Seizures, similar to human epileptic seizures, are sometimes seen in macaques, baboons, and chimpanzees. Medications used for epileptic humans sometimes are effective in alleviating the problem in macaques and baboons. Although many seizures can be traced to traumatic origins, some are thought to be genetically influenced, and this should be considered in breeding programs. Animals subject to seizures should be maintained in cages that decrease the risk of injury during seizures (e.g., by avoiding the possibility of long falls to a hard floor). Readers should refer to Bennett and others (1995) and Occupational Health and Safety in Research Animal Facilities (NRC 1997b) for a comprehensive discussion of the diseases of nonhuman primates.
All primates imported into the United States must undergo a minimal 31-day quarantine period at a CDC-licensed and CDC-inspected facility (CDC 1991, 1993). This rule includes wild-caught animals and those from captive breeding colonies. As a result of a suspected filovirus threat associated with newly imported animals in 1989 (CDC 1990), the CDC quarantine requirements became much more rigorous. Special permits and transportation restrictions were developed for three species (rhesus monkeys, crabeaters, and African greens or vervets). The special transportation and quarantine requirements have now been extended to cover all primates. The protective clothing, limited access of personnel, restriction of human interaction, disinfection requirements for equipment or objects being taken out of the quarantine areas, and relatively short holding times make many environmental enrichment and well-being programs used in normal colony situations difficult to accomplish during CDC quarantine. Nonetheless, many of the enrichment options discussed in Chapter 3 can be provided: some animals can be socially housed, caging can be arranged so that animals can see and hear each other, food treats and supplements that do not require special delivery devices can be offered, perches can be provided, and uniform procedures can be established early so that animals can anticipate regular husbandry events as soon as possible. During quarantine, well-trained and motivated caregivers can provide an enormous difference in reducing the stress of the animals. Despite the limitations imposed by quarantine, a variety of enrichment techniques are possible and will prove especially beneficial under the restrictive conditions of quarantine.