Tusk infection is one of the most important problems to elephant health in Thailand, which can cause suffering and death to elephants. The cutting of the tusk for ivory without knowledge of the anatomy of the tusk may lead to severe infection such as tetanus and to the death of the elephant. Furthermore, the use of domestic elephants in the logging industry may break the tusk and introduce infection into the tusk pulp. The consequence of broken or cracked tusks is discomfort or pain for the elephant, which tries to eliminate the symptoms by filling the tusk canal with soil. Infection, such as tetanus, can then threaten the elephant. The collaborative project of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry, Chiang Mai University and National Elephant Institute, we classified the problems of infection of northern Thai elephant tusks, to determine the appropriate treatment for each group of problems, and to evaluate the medication results.
Currently, we co-operate with many organizations to conduct the research about elephant diseases, to hopefully that the deeply knowledge could help to prevent disease occurrence. The ongoing researches include elephant tuberculosis, elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus, elephant reproductive-related diseases etc. We also provide the laboratory test for detecting some important diseases such as tuberculosis, herpesvirus, brucellosis etc. Moreover, necrospy for identified the cause of the death is provided as well.