Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)

(MML 0514A)

Age Class Subadult
Gender Female
Date Stranded July 15, 2005
Location of Stranding Off Marco Island, FL
Date of Arrival July 15, 2005
Number of Days of Care 203 days

Final Disposition

Died February 3, 2006

This dolphin was part of a mass stranding of 5 Risso's dolphins.  This one and one other were transported to the Dolphin and Whale Hospital for rehabilitation.  The dolphins were both swimming within one hour of arrival.  Both have been given fluids and have been started on antibiotics.

7/17 Continuing to swim well.  Blood work does not look too bad. (cont'd below photo)

Bonnie (R) and Clyde upon arrival.

7/18 Although Clyde began eating today, Bonnie has not yet started eating.  Both are doing well, otherwise.

7/19 Exam this morning indicated that Bonnie's white count has gone up a little, but other tests look good.  She has finally begun to eat, although not as ravenously as Clyde.

7/20 Although dolphin has begun to eat, she is not eating well.  We have changed her antibiotics to improve her situation.

7/21 Dolphin ate 3# squid while other dolphin was held this morning, but not eating much otherwise.  Will do thorough exam tomorrow morning.

7/22 Exam and gastroscopy were performed this morning.  Gastroscopy showed everything to be normal in first stomach and esophagus.  Blood work showed white count to be coming down.  Immediately after procedure, she was offered food and ate better than at any other feeding since arrival.  Hopefully, she has turned the corner.

7/24 Still refusing to eat.  Had to tube her to give fluids and meds the last two mornings.  Otherwise, seems fine.

7/25 Bonnie is not doing well at all.  She appears unable to swallow her food and is having lower gastric problems.  We are starting her on an oral formula for some calories.

7/26 Although the dolphin had a very bad day yesterday, she is better today.  The medication and formula seem to be helping a lot and she has begun to eat again.

7/27 Dolphin continues to have gastric problems and we are having a difficult time stabilizing her gastric pH.

8/1 Dolphin had been doing better, but is now much worse.  Lots of gastric bleeding that is not responding to medication.  Prognosis is grave.

8/2 Dolphin seems somewhat better today.  She is more alert and in less discomfort.

8/3 Dolphin continues to slowly improve.  Still not eating much, but feeling better.

8/5 Dolphin's appetite has finally kicked in.  Ate well this morning for the first time.

8/6 Dolphin did not eat again yesterday, but did eat well this morning and took all meds in the squid.

8/7 Dolphin ate 4 out of 5 feeds yesterday and is eating again this morning.

8/8 Ate 5 of 5 feeds yesterday and is eating well today.  Behavior is much better, as well.

8/9 Exam this morning was good with most test results improving.  Not gaining weight, yet, but with increased feeds, should be happening soon.  All good news!

8/10 Dolphin is finally up to full ration and is doing well.  Should be gaining weight now.

8/13 Dolphin continues to eat well and is definitely gaining weight.

8/16 Dolphin continues to improve, although white count has gone up a little.  Have changed antibiotics.

8/19 Dolphin is gaining a lot of weight.  Still some gastric issues, but not causing much concern.

8/25 Dolphin missed part of one feed yesterday, but is eating everything today.  No other issues, but will do a full exam tomorrow.

8/28 Dolphin is eating well again.

9/4 Dolphin is continuing to do well.

9/7 Appetite is now excellent.

9/12 Dolphin is continuing to do very well, but white count is drifting up slightly, so we have put dolphin on a different antibiotic.

9/21 White count is back down, but is still on medication.  Doing well.

9/29 Continuing to do very well.

10/4 Considering discontinuing all medication in the next few days.  Doing very well.

10/12 Dolphin is now off all antibiotics and doing very well.

10/17 Dolphins were freeze-branded in preparation for release.  Both are temporarily back on antibiotics.

10/25 Both dolphins survived Hurricane Wilma well.  Still on antibiotics.

11/2 Dolphin is showing some improvement in blood work, but continues on antibiotics.

11/11 White count is not quite back to normal, but doing very well otherwise.

11/15 White count is finally down to normal.  We are applying for release in early December.

11/18 Both dolphins are now off all antibiotics and white count is staying down.

11/30 Dolphin suddenly quit eating several days ago and seems to have a viral infection.  White count has gone too low.  Because there are few drugs to treat viruses, we can only provide supportive therapy.  During an ultrasound exam this morning, it was also found that she is in early stages of pregnancy and the fetus appears quite viable at this time.  What effect the virus will have on the fetus remains to be seen.  Release will be delayed until the virus can be cleared from her system.  We would hope to release her prior to her giving birth, for the sake of the calf.

12/4 Dolphin is finally eating again fairly regularly.  There is some evidence that toxoplasmosis may also be causing a problem for her.  Seems to be improving daily at this point.

12/9 Dolphin is now doing very well again.  Toxoplasmosis was apparently NOT her problem.

12/16 Dolphin continues to do very well and is regaining the weight that was lost during the recent bout.  Hopefully, will be off drugs again in about one week.

12/20 Appetite is variable again, but is eating most meals.

12/28 Appetite is finally getting much better.  Very active and playful.

1/2/06 Exam this morning showed all tests to be normal.  Dolphin was taken off all meds on Friday and we are on a count-down for release in two weeks.

1/13 Dolphin has now been off all meds for two weeks and continues to do very well.  We are hoping to release them both early next week.

1/16 Dolphin's white count has gone back up, probably from a mild intestinal infection.  She has been put back on antibiotics, so release is delayed by about 3 more weeks.

1/18 White count has come down dramatically with the antibiotics, so hopefully everything is headed the right direction again.

1/20 Not yet eating well again, but seems better otherwise.

1/23 Dolphin is now eating well again and blood work appears good.

1/29 Dolphin is again off all medications and doing very well.  Dolphin is very playful.

2/1 Dolphin has quit eating yet again, and the white count has gone down very low.  She is receiving fluids and antibiotics but is still playful.

2/2 The other dolphin, Clyde, has been healthy for over three months while this dolphin continues to have severe health issues.  Although we all wanted to release the two dolphins together, the decision has been made to go ahead with release plans for Clyde.  This will give Clyde his best chance for survival and allow us to focus our attentions on Bonnie.

2/3 Bonnie made a very fast downward spiral over the last two days.  Unfortunately, she died this morning at 2 am.  The necropsy revealed a pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage in the lungs, and possibly a septicemia.  Many samples were collected to try to determine the cause of her ongoing illness, but may take several weeks before we know the results.

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