[MARMAM] Rehabilitation advice on mysterious Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Seal Sanctuary irishsealsanctuary at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 09:34:33 PST 2009


We, at the Irish Seal Sanctuary (www.irishsealsanctuary.ie), a centre that
provides shelter, treatment and rehabilitation for marine wildlife found in
distress on Ireland's coastline, are seeking help within the MARMAM
community with a male, grey seal (*Halichoerus grypus*) come to be known as

Ebony came to the sanctuary on the 12th of October, 2008, at a mere 11.44
kg, with an intact white coat covered in, with what appeared to be, oil
stains. Subsequent analyses of said contaminants proved inconclusive. Upon
admission to the sanctuary, Ebony was put on a course of injectable Marbocyl
for one week.

For the next month, nothing out of the ordinary was apparent with Ebony's
rehabilitation. As time progressed, however, Ebony became less and less
active. Two weeks into his rehabilitation, Ebony was completely inactive, in
need of  constant heat  as he was unable to thermoregulate.

Attached are the results of Ebony's bloodwork, drawn in October 2008, at the
University College Dublin's (UCD) Veterinary Hospital. According to our
corresponding veterinarians at UCD, everything seems to be within normal
ranges, with slightly high  Amylase and Lipase readings. Fecal samples and
x-rays were also taken, both of which provided little insight to Ebony's
condition, according to the tests run Ebony is normal.

Following an external veterinarian's recommendations, Ebony was put on a
course of anti-inflammatory drugs (Norocarp) and antibiotics (Noroclav).
Ebony was also kept well hydrated, being tube fed fluids twice daily.  This,
however, elicited no change.  Ebony has also been administered treatments of
"Vecoxan", "Lepto1" and "Ivomec".

Ebony's access to water was also increased. We started Ebony on 1 x 1 hour
bath per day in a standard sized bath tub. Immediately thereafter, Ebony's
activity improved. He began to twirl and swim around his pool, however, more
geared towards using one side of his body than the other. He is equally as
uncoordinated in the water as he is out of it. Out of the water, Ebony is
better able to hold  his head up, and attempts to drag himself around his
kennel. What would normally take a normal seal 10 seconds to reach, takes
Ebony about 10 minutes.

We are unaware whether Ebony's condition is muscular or neurological. Ebony
has not endured any severe head trauma since he has been at the sanctuary.
There was little evidence of such an injury upon his admission either.

At present, Ebony is unable to get in, or out, of any bath unaided. It
appears Ebony may have hit a plateau physically. Despite increased access to
water (2 x 1 hour baths per day for the past month), he has progressed
little . He remains quite uncoordinated, rolling on his side when he is
unable to make his way for a feed. We are currently concerned Ebony may be
gaining weight faster than he is able to manage. We have reduced his food
intake to 1 kg of herring per day, divided into two feeds. He currently
weighs 27.58 kg.

All of us at the sanctuary fear there is little else we can provide for
Ebony's welfare. Within the past week, Ebony was able to roll himself into a
corner, locking his head into a 90 degree angle, cutting off his air supply,
subsequently bringing him close to death (or so he appeared). We are
desperately seeking out any further treatments which may enable Ebony to
finally be released, or, if all else fails, long term accommodation.

If anyone in the MARMAM community has any experience or recommendations, we
remain very eager to hear them.


Tyler Jordan
Irish Seal Sanctuary
An Clochan, Tobergregan
Dublin County, Ireland
+353 (0) 1 853 4370

*Haematology Results: *

PCV - 42%

HgB 155g/L

RBC 4.17x 10^12

MCHC 373 g/L

MCV 99.7 Fl

MCH 37.2 pg

Platelets 792 x 10^9

WBC 9.79 x 10^9

Neut M 6.07 x 10^9 (62%)

Neut B 0.59 x 10^9 (6%)

Lym 1.08 x 10^9 (11%)

Mono 1.76 x 10^9 (18%)

Eos 0.29 x 10^9 (3%)

*Biochemistry Results:*

Protein 69.7

Albumin 37.1 g/L

Urea 18.8mM/L

Creat 69 micromol/L

ALT 27 U/L

AP 195 U/L

AST 39 U/L

GGT 30 U/L

CPK 121 U/L

Lipase 105 U/L

Amylase 782 U/L

Glucose 3.3 mMol/L

Cholesterol 4.88 mM/L

Bilirubin 4.9 microMol/L

Calcium 2.99 mMol/L

Sodium 147.3 mMol/L

Potassium 3.63 mMol/L

Chloride 98.0 mMol/L

Magnesium 0.97 mMol/L
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