Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps)

(MML 9413)

Age Class Adult
Gender Male
Date Stranded August 15, 1994
Location of Stranding Anclote River Park, Port Richey, Pasco County, FL
Date of Arrival August 15, 1994
Number of Days of Care 36

Final Disposition

Died on 21 Sep 1994

Richey stranded for unknown reason; appeared in good body condition, able to float/swim unaided, but swimming behavior was not active, possible gastritis (vomiting). Initially slight dehydration, elevated LDH, bilirubin, ESR, and exhibited lymphocytopenia. Began eating on 21 Aug, but vomiting ensued. Treated with antibiotics, ulcer medication, anthelmenthics, appetite stimulants, antifungals, and oral fluids. Case was characterized by lethargy, continued weight loss, periodic vomiting, decreased appetite - anorexia. Whale never showed significant improvement in condition. Euthanasia was considered but whale died before it could be performed.

Cause of Death: Necropsy revealed ulcerative colitis (possibly due to Candida sp.), hepatic congestion and cholestasis, lung congestion. Incidental finding of amebic cysts in colon, possibly Acanthamoeba sp.

New antiemetic (antivomiting) drug shows promise (phenergan).

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