Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

(MML 0624, HBOI 0610, Cassie)

Age Class Adult
Gender Female
Date Stranded November 11, 2006
Location of Stranding Castaway Cove, Vero Beach, Florida
Date of Arrival November 11, 2006
Number of Days of Care 79 days

Final Disposition

Was released 1/30/07 but restranded immediately, sent to MMC in Key Largo

Dolphin on arrival being supported in water.

11/12 Dolphin was found on the beach in Castaway Cove, Vero Beach, Florida early this morning and was transported by staff of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.  Dolphin has breathing difficulties and gastric problems.  Dolphin is being supported in the water until it is able to swim.  It has been started on fluids, antibiotics, and other therapy.

11/13 Dolphin has begun to eat and is able to swim for up to 30 minutes at a time.  Breathing is much better today.  Blood, physical exam, and cytology indicate liver, gastric, lung, and possible heart problems.  Treatment has been modified accordingly.

11/14 Dolphin was free-swimming for over 2.5 hours this morning before it was too tired to continue.  Appetite is good and dolphin seems stronger each day.  Cardiac symptoms seem decreased today.

11/15 Dolphin has now been swimming for over 5 hours, and thus seems to be doing much better.  Appetite continues to be excellent and white count is somewhat improved today.

11/16 Dolphin swam for over 10 hours yesterday before needing assistance.  During the night, the dolphin and volunteers had to be removed from the tank due to severe weather.  Dolphin was placed in a transport container indoors for the night.  During that time, we performed an ultrasound exam and discovered that the dolphin is pregnant (live fetus present).

11/17 Dolphin swam on its own all night for the first time last night.  Exam this morning indicated the fetus is alive, very active, and about 40 cm long.  Lungs are much improved as are the liver enzymes.  Ultrasound exam revealed liver flukes in the liver which will be treated next week.  Electrocardiogram appeared normal.  At this point, we are very happy with the direction everything is moving with the dolphin.

11/18 Dolphin is still swimming and eating well.  Continued improvement.

11/20 Exam this morning indicated improvement in everything except white cell count, so antibiotics have been changed.  Continuing to do very well.

11/26 Dolphin has had more intestinal issues for the last few days, but appetite is excellent.  White count has started down again.

11/28 Dolphin continues to improve. Hemoglobin analysis shows this to definitely be an offshore animal.

12/1 Exam this morning went very well.  Bloodwork is almost all back to normal.  A yeast was cultured from the GI tract and the dolphin has been started on an antifungal agent.  Overall, doing very well.

12/4 Dolphin is finally gaining weight (eating over 40 pounds of fish per day!) and continues to do very well.

12/6 Amount of intestinal gas has dramatically decreased in the last two days.  Everything seems to be on the right track.

12/8 Continuing to do very well.

12/14 Continued improvement and weight gain.  GI gas has been greatly reduced, but not yet completely gone.

12/18 More of the same.

12/25 Continuing to do very well.

1/3/07 Dolphin has finally been tested free of morbillivirus and is doing very well.  Almost no remaining intestinal gas, but still on antifungals.  Gaining weight.

1/8 Dolphin doing very well.  Was freeze-branded (303) today in preparation for eventual release.

1/18 Dolphin continues to do very well.  We have applied for permission from NMFS to release the dolphin.

1/23 Dolphin has been approved for a beach release on the east coast next week.

1/31 Dolphin was released yesterday at Ft. Pierce, but restranded four times.  Because of the late pregnancy, she was transferred to the Marine Mammal Conservancy where she could be placed in a large bay pen.  Dolphins need very large areas to deliver their young because they tend to swim very fast during delivery.  We are hoping that they may be able to release her again soon, however.

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