1887

Marine mammals

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Abstract

British marine mammals primarily include cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals). It is rare for a veterinary surgeon to be called upon to assist with a cetacean; seals in need of assistance, particularly juveniles, may be reported in coastal areas. A wide range of species and the special considerations required for them are covered in the following areas: ecology and biology; anatomy and physiology; capture, handling and transportation; clinical assessment; first aid and hospitalization; anaesthesia and analgesia; specific conditions; therapeutics; husbandry; rearing of seal pups; rehabilitation and release; and legal considerations.

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Figures

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23.2 Harbour porpoise. Note the rounded head, small rounded pectorals and triangular dorsal fin. (Courtesy of Florian Grana, International Fund for Animal Welfare)
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23.3 Common dolphin and calf. Note long beak, hour glass pattern on sides and centrally placed dorsal fin. (Courtesy of Stephen Marsh, British Divers Marine Life Rescue)
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23.6 Unweaned grey seal pup. Note long, white lanugo coat. (Courtesy of A Fowles)
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23.7 Weaned grey seal pup. Note adult pelage. (Courtesy of A Fowles)
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23.8 Common seal pup, in good body condition, being released into The Wash. (Courtesy of Anglian Newspapers Ltd)
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23.9 Common dolphin supported on an air mattress, covered in damp sheets and doused with seawater. (Courtesy of British Divers Marine Life Rescue)
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23.10 Juvenile minke whale supported and refloated in a pontoon. (Courtesy of British Divers Marine Life Rescue)
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23.11 Common seal pup being restrained and stomach tubed.
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23.12 Lumbar muscle profile as an indicator of body condition in cetaceans. (Courtesy of M Barnett; reproduced with kind permission of )
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23.14 Cetacean injection and blood sampling sites. (Adapted from a drawing by M Barnett; reproduced with kind permission of )
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23.16 Seal injection and blood sampling sites (dorsal view).
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23.17 Pilot whales being released to sea after a mass stranding in Scotland. (Courtesy of British Divers Marine Life Rescue)
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23.18 Intravenous fluid administration in a common seal pup via the extradural intravertebral vein. This pup is very thin, with loose skin evident. (Courtesy of K Price)
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23.20 larvae and an ascarid ovum in a seal faecal sample (direct microscopy, magnification X).
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23.21 Dorsopalmar radiograph of a fractured metacarpal and radius in a seal with associated osteomyelitis.
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23.22 Dorsoventral radiograph with barium contrast illustrating a hiatus hernia in a seal pup.
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23.24 Encircling neck wound caused by monofilament netting in a grey seal pup. (Courtesy of A Charles, RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital)
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23.25 Seal pox lesions on the palmar surface of a grey seal pup’s fore flipper.
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23.26 Palatal ulceration in a common seal pup.
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23.27 Haemoptysis and epistaxis in a common seal pup with lungworm.
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23.28 Corneal ulceration with descemetocele in a common seal pup. The left eye is ‘normal’. This animal is well hydrated with an obvious tear film around both eyes.
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23.32 If large numbers of reared seal pups are to be catered for, large outdoor pools, such as this one at Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, need to be provided.
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23.33 Premature common seal pup with pale lanugo coat.
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23.34 Satellite tag on a grey seal pup. (Courtesy of C Vincent, University of La Rochelle)

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