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Nebulizer Helps Denver Zoo Orangutan Live A Better Life

DENVER (CBS4) - An orangutan with a complex respiratory disease at the Denver Zoo has had his health and spirits lifted after a nebulizer was introduced to help his condition.

A state-of-the-art, eFlow Technology nebulizer called PARI Pharma GmbH is now being used to help Mias.

"He has what veterinarians believe to be chronic airsacculitis, a complex respiratory disease that is a substantial problem in both wild and zoo orangutans," zoo officials said in statement. "Current information suggests that this condition in orangutans may also have some similarities to cystic fibrosis in people."

Mias has struggled with sinus and respiratory issues that resemble a head cold since his arrival in 1997.

"Denver Zoo staff have constantly searched for treatments that would improve his quality of life," officials said.

"He did a lot of lying around with his head on the ground covered in a blanket," zookeeper Michelle Valois told CBS4.

Staff began using an eFlow Technology-based nebulizer (TRIO) as part of his treatment and it's paid off. Now Mias is feeling much better.

Dr. Jennifer Taylor Cousar is a specialist in cystic fibrosis. She helped come up with a treatment to ease the Mias' symptoms.

"And the other thing that was really cute actually is apparently he hadn't painted in a long time, so after he got better he painted, so he painted me a picture which is now hanging up in my office," Cousar said.

Nebulizers aerosolize medications so patients can breathe medication directly into their lungs.

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