[MARMAM] New Publication - Sink or swim: Risk stratification of preweaning mortality in harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina richardii) admitted for rehabilitation

justine.cole at alumni.ubc.ca justine.cole at alumni.ubc.ca
Tue Jan 12 04:09:03 PST 2021


Dear MARMAM Subscribers,

We are very pleased to share the recent publication of our research in Marine Mammal Science! In short, to further understand what determines if a pup will “sink” or “swim”, we examined the age, physical condition, growth, injuries, and blood results of newborn harbour seal pups admitted for rehabilitation. From these factors, we built a decision tree able to identify pups at greater risk of mortality. We hope that this, in turn, may help rehabilitators direct care toward pups with the poorest prognosis.


Full Abstract:

"To date, few consistent relationships between survival in rehabilitation programs and diagnostic measures recorded upon admission have been identified for harbor seal pups. Veterinary records for 718 unweaned Pacific harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina richardii) admitted to a rehabilitation center were examined to identify clinical factors associated with preweaning survival and develop a triage tool to stratify pups according to their risk of mortality. Physical, serum chemical, and hematological variables were examined and their relationship with survival to weaning was assessed by logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) analysis. Survival to weaning was 85.1% and many clinical variables reflecting the pups’ age, size, growth, injuries, and blood parameters were associated with the likelihood of survival. A decision tree model, consisting of serum concentrations of phosphorus, sodium, and calcium, successfully stratified harbor seal pups into clinical subgroups according to their preweaning mortality risk. For both the derivation and validation cohorts, pups classified as “high risk” had significantly lower odds of survival, while those classified as “low risk” had significantly greater odds of survival. This simple decision tree could serve as a practical triage tool to help identify and direct care towards pups at higher risk of preweaning mortality."


The article has not yet been assigned to an issue of the journal, but is available online (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mms.12777). Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions!

[https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/cms/asset/ab30ef19-47c9-450d-8f3e-5ae680e9b03b/mms.v37.1.cover.gif]<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mms.12777>

Sink or swim: Risk stratification of preweaning mortality in harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina richardii) admitted for rehabilitation - Cole - - Marine Mammal Science - Wiley Online Library<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mms.12777>
onlinelibrary.wiley.com
To date, few consistent relationships between survival in rehabilitation programs and diagnostic measures recorded upon admission have been identified for harbor seal pups. Veterinary records for 718...

Best regards,

Justine


Justine Cole
B.Sc. Applied Animal Biology (Honours)
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
Phone (0) 793 803 8538
justine.cole at alumni.ubc.ca<mailto:justine.cole at alumni.ubc.ca>
http://www.linkedin.com/in/justine-cole

[UBC E-mail Signature]


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