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Stranding patterns, clinical and pathological findings of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) submitted to rehabilitation centre Ecomare between 2009 and 2013.

By S.M. van Ark

Abstract

Stranding patterns, clinical and pathological records were analysed for harbour seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) submitted to the rehabilitation centre Ecomare between 2009 and 2013. Of 38 seals that died or were euthanized stranding patterns, clinical records an pathological findings were analysed. Of 38 seals that were released the stranding patterns and clinical records were evaluated. A comparison between these two groups were also conducted. Most strandings of seals that died or were euthanized occurred during the winter months January and December (60.5%). The stranding locations were limited to Texel (47.4%) and North-Holland (52.6%) because this is the region covered by Ecomare. The seals that died or were euthanized (n=38) were all juveniles, 57.9% was male and 42.1% was female. The seals that were released show a significantly (P=0.045) higher bodyweight upon submission than the seals that died or were euthanized. The seals of both groups first lost weight before regaining weight after approximately 2 weeks in the rehabilitation centre. The most common clinical findings of the seals that died or were euthanized, were elevated intensity of breathing sounds (47.4%), dyspnoea (42.1%) and coughing (34.2%). The most common clinical findings of the seals that were released, were elevated intensity of breathing sounds (76.3%), diarrhoea (34.2%) and wounds of the skin (28.9%). The treatment administered was mostly the same for both groups. The most common pathological findings of the seals that died or were euthanized were bronchopneumonia (86.8%), nematodiriasis in the bronchial tree (76.3%) and intestinal parasites (42.1%). The most common causes of death or underlying disease in case of euthanasia were parasitic bronchopneumonia (57.9%) and cachexia/emaciation of undetermined cause (28.9%). Respiratory signs were the main clinical signs of the seals submitted to the rehabilitation centre. Respiratory problems were the main reason for the seals to die or be euthanized as well. Intestinal problems did occur, however these were not a reason for the seals to die or be euthanized

Topics: harbour seal, rehabilitation centre, Ecomare, stranding pattern, clinical record, pathological findings
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/312323
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