That’s a jumbo gallstone! Thai vets remove 3.7 pounds of stone from the gallbladder of a 50-year-old elephant

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Veterinarians in Thailand removed a massive 1.7kg gallstone from a 50-year-old elephant.

Vets realized something was wrong with Sai Thong when she lost her appetite and struggled to go to the toilet.

They sprang into action when the 50-year-old elephant succumbed with severe stomach pain in an elephant camp in Pattaya, eastern Thailand.

Veterinarians from Kasetsart University in Bangkok visited the three-ton jumbo to check her health. At first they thought the condition was due to old age.

However, the medics were shocked when they performed an endoscopy on March 30 and found a 8-by-6-inch stone in her gallbladder.

Veterinarians in Thailand removed a massive 1.7kg gallstone from a 50-year-old elephant

Veterinarians in Thailand removed a massive 1.7kg gallstone from a 50-year-old elephant

Vets realized something was wrong with Sai Thong when she lost her appetite and struggled to go to the toilet

Vets realized something was wrong with Sai Thong when she lost her appetite and struggled to go to the toilet

Vets realized something was wrong with Sai Thong when she lost her appetite and struggled to go to the toilet

The vets operated on the jumbo the same day by strapping her to a harness attached to a crane used on construction sites to keep her upright and prevent her from falling over during the procedure, when general anesthesia was given.

After six hours, the team of more than 20 vets were able to remove the massive 1.7kg stone from her gallbladder.

Associate professor Dr. Nikorn Thongthip, part of the veterinary team that operated on Sai Thong, said it was only the second time in the world that a gallstone had been removed from an elephant.

Veterinarians acted after 50-year-old elephant succumbed to an elephant camp in Pattaya, eastern Thailand with severe stomach pain

Veterinarians acted after 50-year-old elephant succumbed to an elephant camp in Pattaya, eastern Thailand with severe stomach pain

Veterinarians acted after 50-year-old elephant succumbed to an elephant camp in Pattaya, eastern Thailand with severe stomach pain

Veterinarians from Kasetsart University in Bangkok initially visited the three-ton jumbo to check her health

Veterinarians from Kasetsart University in Bangkok initially visited the three-ton jumbo to check her health

Veterinarians from Kasetsart University in Bangkok initially visited the three-ton jumbo to check her health

At first they thought her symptoms were the result of old age, but later they discovered the huge gallstone in her gallbladder.

At first they thought her symptoms were the result of old age, but later they discovered the huge gallstone in her gallbladder.

At first they thought her symptoms were the result of old age, but later they discovered the huge gallstone in her gallbladder.

The vets made the shocking discovery when they performed an endoscopy on Sai Thong on March 30 and found the 20 by 15 cm gallstone.

The vets made the shocking discovery when they performed an endoscopy on Sai Thong on March 30 and found the 20 by 15 cm gallstone.

The vets made the shocking discovery when they performed an endoscopy on Sai Thong on March 30 and found the 20 by 15 cm gallstone.

After six hours of surgery, the team of more than 20 vets were able to remove the massive 1.7kg stone from her gallbladder

After six hours of surgery, the team of more than 20 vets were able to remove the massive 1.7kg stone from her gallbladder

After six hours of surgery, the team of more than 20 vets were able to remove the massive 1.7kg stone from her gallbladder

Vets have performed the delicate operation on an elephant before, with Kham Moon having over 162 small stones weighing 8kg in total (pictured next to Sai Thong's gallstone)

Vets have performed the delicate operation on an elephant before, with Kham Moon having over 162 small stones weighing 8kg in total (pictured next to Sai Thong's gallstone)

Vets have performed the delicate operation on an elephant before, with Kham Moon having over 162 small stones weighing 8kg in total (pictured next to Sai Thong’s gallstone)

Veterinarian Thongthip said the surgery was a breakthrough for the international veterinary community and said many institutes had asked faculty to share knowledge about the treatment of large animals

Veterinarian Thongthip said the surgery was a breakthrough for the international veterinary community and said many institutes had asked faculty to share knowledge about the treatment of large animals

Veterinarian Thongthip said the surgery was a breakthrough for the international veterinary community and said many institutes had asked faculty to share knowledge about the treatment of large animals

Veterinarian Thongthip said the surgery was a breakthrough for the international veterinary community and said many institutes had asked faculty to share knowledge about the treatment of large animals.

The vet added: ‘This is only the second instance in the world where a gallstone is removed from an elephant. The first time, we performed a similar operation on Kham Moon, a 45-year-old male elephant.

However, the case of Sai Thong is different, as we removed a large gallstone weighing 1.7 kg. In the case of Kham Moon, we removed more than 162 small gallstones weighing 8 kg in total. ‘

The poor elephant left an infected urethra as a result of having difficulty urinating for weeks due to the massive gallstone.

Sai Thong was examined after she collapsed because of the massive gallstone.  She left an infected urethra as a result of the gallstone

Sai Thong was examined after she collapsed because of the massive gallstone.  She left an infected urethra as a result of the gallstone

Sai Thong was examined after she collapsed because of the massive gallstone. She left an infected urethra as a result of the gallstone

The 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs) gallstone was discovered during an endoscopy - when a long, thin tube is inserted directly into the body to observe internal organs in detail

The 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs) gallstone was discovered during an endoscopy - when a long, thin tube is inserted directly into the body to observe internal organs in detail

The 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs) gallstone was discovered during an endoscopy – when a long, thin tube is inserted directly into the body to observe internal organs in detail

The vets served her by strapping her to a harness that was attached to a crane used on construction sites to keep her upright and prevent her from falling over during the procedure

The vets served her by strapping her to a harness that was attached to a crane used on construction sites to keep her upright and prevent her from falling over during the procedure

The vets served her by strapping her to a harness that was attached to a crane used on construction sites to keep her upright and prevent her from falling over during the procedure

Medics said Sai Thong was near acute renal failure due to the massive blockage of her bladder and required blood transfusions after surgery.

Veterinarian Thongthip said, “I am relieved that we were able to treat her before the infection became acute. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, the operation was successful. ‘

Elephants are Thailand’s national animal.

An estimated 2,000 elephants live in the wild and a similar number in captivity where they live in sanctuaries, zoos or work privately for rental at weddings and festivals.

Sai Thong was held on to a harness while under anesthesia so that the vets could perform the vital surgery

Sai Thong was held on to a harness while under anesthesia so that the vets could perform the vital surgery

Sai Thong was held by a harness while under anesthesia so that the vets could perform the vital surgery

The 50-year-old elephant was put under general anesthesia while the vets removed the gallstone from her gallbladder

The 50-year-old elephant was put under general anesthesia while the vets removed the gallstone from her gallbladder

The 50-year-old elephant was put under general anesthesia while the vets removed the gallstone from her gallbladder

Medics said Sai Thong was near acute renal failure due to massive blockage in her bladder and needed blood transfusions after surgery

Medics said Sai Thong was near acute renal failure due to massive blockage in her bladder and needed blood transfusions after surgery

Medics said Sai Thong was near acute renal failure due to massive blockage in her bladder and needed blood transfusions after surgery