Whale of a Tale: Shark Gets Botox Injections

Monday, August 20, 2018 | Healthcare Trends , Personnel/Company News , Fillers & Injectables


It may sound fishy, but even sharks can benefit from Botox injections. 

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, and Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan, MN recently assisted the veterinary staff at Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley with a unique patient. Haps, a sand tiger shark, had developed scoliosis. Veterinarians in Australia reported that Botox has the potential to correct the spinal curvature in sharks. 

Earlier this month Dr. Crutchfield III (also a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School) worked with the Minnesota Zoo’s veterinary staff to administer Botox to Haps the shark. They are happy to report that there is an improvement in the spine curvature of Haps. The case of scoliosis for Haps remains challenging. The animal care team continues to support Haps and work to maintain the best quality of life for him.

“I was delighted and optimistic when the care staff at the Minnesota Zoo asked if I would help administer Botox to ‘Haps’ the shark to help improve his condition of scoliosis. Over the past 18 years, I’ve administered almost a million units of Botox to humans, but this was the very first shark. In fact, by all accounts, Haps was the very first shark ever treated with Botox in the United States. I was extraordinarily impressed with the dedication and care of the veterinary and support staff at the Minnesota Zoo. They treat every animal entrusted to their care just like family. It is quite remarkable. Dr. Rachel Thompson, the Minnesota Zoo's veterinarian, and I planned out the procedure, and I assisted her in the administration of Botox to the stiffened muscles along his spine. Dr. Thompson is a top-flite veterinarian and, as I discovered, a natural at injecting botox. I am happy to report that after just a couple of weeks, Haps is doing better, and that warms my heart,” says Dr. Crutchfield.

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