Erysipelosis in Bottlenose Dolphin Case Report Delfiniti Ixtapa, Mexico
IAAAM Archive
Jorge E. Guzmán González, MVZ; Marcela Barbará Gastélum, MVZ
Delfiniti de México S.A. de C.V.
Ixtapa, Guerrero, México


Gram-positive bacillus, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causes erysipelas, a worldwide disease that affects many mammalian and avian species. Erysipelas is also a sporadic disease of swine and small cetaceans. Erysipelas is commonly found in fish; ingestion may be the route of infection in cetaceans.

Delfiniti Ixtapa is located on the southern Mexican coast of the Pacific Ocean in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. It houses 4 female and 2 male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus gilli) of various ages in a built-in ocean water pool. The dolphins at Delfiniti do not participate in public performances, but are a part of interaction programs.

On April 18th 2004, Lluvia, a clinically healthy 14-year-old female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus gilli) started to show slight changes in her attitude. She stopped participating in training sessions and her food intake decreased. On April 20th Lluvia had rhomboid skin lesions that suggested an infection by Erysipela. She was immediately isolated and oral antibiotics (cefalexine 2 grams) were administered for the five following days. Three days later, the dermal infarctions resulted in sloughing of the epidermis. On April 25th the antibiotic was switched to Amoxicillin (20 mg/kg).The skin lesions improved significantly around the 26th and her food consumption returned to normal. Still the treatment was continued for two weeks. Amoxicillin was also administered to the rest of the animals as a preventive measure. Lluvia recovered successfully from the infection although a few scars from the disease still remain visible.


1.  Boseret G, Juniaux T, Mainil J. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infection in stranded harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and harbour seal (Phoca vitulina).

2.  Berrón Hernández D, Solórzano JL, Reporte de un caso de erisipelosis en un delfín Nariz de botella

Speaker Information
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Marcela Barbará Gastélum

Jorge Guzmán González