[MARMAM] Dolphin Skin Affliction

Barbara Ann Saberton sabertob at optusnet.com.au
Mon May 17 02:31:13 PDT 2010


Could you please post this response to the Marmam List, regarding the email posted 15/4/10 on the same subject.

Thank you.

Barb Saberton

Report on "Wave", an Adult female Tursiops sp and 1 year old calf suffering skin lesions. 

Port Adelaide Australia, April 11, 2010 and ongoing.

Many thanks to all who responded to our Marmam posting of April 15, 2010.

Wave and calf first reported with major skin lesions on April 11. Wave's were on her right flank and the calf's on the left flank.

Following posting on Marmam a number of responses were received concerning possible cause of the lesions. The most common cause suggested was burning (chemical, hot water or sunburn). Several respondents commented that this was the most severe case of skin lesion in a living dolphin they had seen.

Several people suggested swabbing the lesions to determine nature of the initial and/or secondary infection. After due consideration this option was rejected as too invasive, and unnecessary given continued improvement of both animals. It was also noted that even if the nature of a possible infection could be ascertained the application of treatment would be problematic.

Enquiries in the local area have failed to provide evidence of any cause of the lesions. No other dolphins in this estuarine resident community have shown evidence of lesions.

The survival (so far at least) of Wave with her dependant calf under the circumstances is remarkable. It may have ramifications for determining the necessity for euthanasia in other dolphins suffering similarly.

The dolphins have been monitored closely since the lesions were discovered. Photos from the observations can be supplied upon request, with the latest photos being from this morning, 17th May, 2010. Please specify from which period / date you would like photos and whether or not you would like high / low resolution. 

About half of the area original area afflicted is now covered by scar tissue.

The calf has now almost totally healed.

Thank you and Kind Regards, 

Barbara Saberton

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