Treatment of a Live Stranded Young Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus)
IAAAM 1994
W. Glenn Young, BS; Leslie M. Dalton, DVM
Sea World of Texas, San Antonio, TX

On April 24, 1993, a live stranded Risso's dolphin was brought to Sea World of Texas in San Antonio, for medical care. The animal was a 2 to 3 week old female, 132 centimeters (cm) in length and weighed 25 kilograms (kg). The dolphin arrived in poor condition suffering from multiple lacerations on the left pectoral flipper and both fluke blades, a wound on the midline immediately anterior to the dorsal fin, and a lesion on the caudoventral abdomen. Clinically, the animal had signs of pneumonia and appeared malnourished. A complete physical which included hematology, chemistries, and cultures was performed immediately upon arrival. Antibiotic and antifungal therapy was initiated for the pneumonia and lacerations. A milk formula, table 1, was provided initially via stomach tube until the dolphin learned to nurse efficiently from a bottle. The calf was receiving 52.3 kilocalories (Kcals) per kg of body weight initially based on the formula in table 1. Purified beluga immunoglobulins were given by intravenous injection to further help protect against infectious agents. The IgG was given at 13.6 and 15 micrograms per milliliter (ml) of estimated blood volume. Blood volume was based on approximately 40 ml of blood per pound of body weight. IgG is considered protective at 6 to 10 micrograms per ml of blood.

Hematology, serum chemistries, and body weight are being monitored routinely to evaluate the animal's progress. As of January 14, 1994, the dolphin was 167.5 cm in length, weighed 81 kg, and appeared in good health.

Table 1. Milk formula used to hand rear the grampus calf

16 oz. Zoologic 30/55a

32 oz. Zoologic 33/40a

1500 ml of filleted herring with viscera

100 ml of Salmon oil

2-2# Sea World Marine vitamins

2 tabs of Acidophilus

2 tablespoons of Osteoformb

2200 ml of plain bottled water

1000 mg Taurine

120 ml of 50% Dextrose

200 ml of Heavy Whipping Cream


aZoologic, 201 Keyes Ave., Hampshire, IL 60140
bVet-A-Mix, Inc., Shenandoah, Iowa 51601

Speaker Information
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Leslie M. Dalton, BA, DVM
Sea World of Texas
San Antonio, TX, USA

W. Glenn Young, BS

MAIN : Session VI : Stranded Risso's Dolphin
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