Great news over here at National Marine Life Center, our two resident harbor seals are vastly improving!
In the first corner we have our lady of the house, Kennedy, who is a 5 month old juvenile harbor seal that was rescued on October 14th by the Sea Coast Science Center in New Hampshire. Kennedy came into the hospital with severe respiratory distress, lesions around the mouth, and a broken jaw. With a special thanks to Dr. Jason and Kerry Reynolds and Candi Porter Slocum who graciously donated nebulizers and some albuterol, a medication to help dilate the bronchi in her lungs (commonly used to treat asthma in children), now Kennedy’s respiratory system is slowly improving; along with the help of our tremendous staff and volunteers who conduct her treatments daily. Kennedy is now maintaining her weight, although we would love to see her pack on a few lbs, she’s not currently losing weight, which is a huge plus. She isn’t yet eating on her own most likely due to the painfulness of eating with a broken jaw, but we are trying to transition her from tube feedings to eating whole fish. Although Kennedy is cute and elegant, she has that feisty side to her as well which can make her treatments difficult. We would like to stabilize her jaw as soon as possible, but at this time the risk of sedation due to her pneumonia and potential lung worm infection far outweighs the benefit. For now we are treating her with antibiotics, pain medication, and twice a day fluids, and we are hopeful she will keep up the solid improvement.
In the other corner, we have our macho male Scout. Scout is also a 5 month old weanling harbor seal and was rescued on the October 10th from Sandy Neck Beach in the town of Barnstable by International Foundation of Animal Welfare. Scout came in with a laceration on his flipper, which has now completely healed and he is now able to use it for eating/swimming/and waving at his fans. Scout has been taking to his rehabilitation well by gaining sufficient weight and coming into his own. With the increase in the scale he has an increase in confidence, he has been showing signs of aggression towards his caregivers, which we like to see in an animal that will return to the wild. Our vets recently discontinued his antibiotic and pain relief treatments as we believe he has turned the corner in his rehabilitation and is hopefully in the home stretch! Scout has been eating on his own and fighting his own way, the terms of a masculine individual.
The Staff and Volunteers are hopeful for the full recovery of both seals and look forward to see the progression of both Kennedy and Scout in the coming weeks!