British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2006-11-12 14:39:11

Pup rescued from Freswick, Scotland

During the initial talking to Andy about the pup "Snappy", what had been done by the vet the previous day and what had happened during the journey my phone went and it was medic Jim Thomson. He was on Freswick Beach and had found the other pup that we were initially more concerned about as it looked borderline skinny the other day (Thursday last week) and had not been able to find it on Saturday. He said it was in a very bad way so was looking like it would be our second lift in two days. I passed the phone to Andy who listened to Jim and advised ringing Elaine or Jamie to make arrangements and also sending pictures to Cameron the vet for confirmation of its condition. I spoke to Jim and he said he would call Mandy when he had confirmation of this being a lift and I said I would get another one or two people down to the beach to give him a hand. We said our goodbyes on the phone and went back to the job in hand.

We removed Snappy from her black box onto the tarpaulin on the grass so Andy could have a proper look at the wounds and infected eye. She/he was not happy and went straight back in lol. After a little persuasion she was out again and Andy was on top of her trying to hold her head still so Davey could clean her eye up. This was an interesting battle and after a few minutes snappy won and we learnt Davey has very quick reactions, he likes to keep hold of his fingers tips. The rest of the wounds on its flippers were treated with oxytetracycline (blue antibiotic spray) and she was allowed to take refuge in her box again. All in all this was about an hour in Fochabers, we loaded snappy and her box into Andrews car, said our goodbyes and thanks and set off back to meet up with Jim and the other pup "Sniffy" at some point after we had caught up on the phone with what was happening.

Just as we were approaching Inverness we spoke to Jim and told him that we had contacted Ju to give him a hand on Freswick and that she had his number to liase directly with him for timings on being there, he confirmed that he had contacted mandy and that they were on their way to the beach then as Cameron had seen the pictures from Jim and stated it was a definite lift. A few seconds later my phone rang again (14.50) with a member of the public reporting a seal on the rocks at the burn between Scrabster and Thurso beaches that she was concerned about. We took details and then rang Karen Munro and David Sutherland as they live right above this spot on the cliff tops, asked them to team up and have a look at the seal and let us know what the situation was. We passed on the callers details as she was happy to take them to the pup that she had seen on the rocks. I contacted Tony Woodley at this point to let him know we had had another call and let him know what was happening with the other two pups from Freswick.

After this stop at Tesco's for fuel and phone calls and pop we carried our journey back north to pick up pup number two of the day.

The phone signal is not great along the A9 in places and after getting hold of Jim, who had just got the pup into the other black box, arrangements were made to meet at Latheron for swap over. Jim informed us that Ju (who is a vet) had suspected pneumonia or tracheobronchitis and very concentrated urine with maybe traces of blood in it as it was very dehydrated and in a bad way. We didn’t mess around, it was cold and windy and thrashing down with rain and we needed to get the pup into the dry so we quickly swapped over the box into our truck and set off back to meet with Nick Duthie at Inverness in Tesco's car park for him to tube this little one and check it over. Davey again kept an eye on the pup during the journey, its breathing was calmer than snappy and this one was nicknamed Sniffy due to all the mucous dripping out of its nose. After a wet and blustery journey we arrived at Tescos with sniffy at about 19.50 and quickly spotted Nick who had arrived about 15 minutes beforehand.

We got sniffy out and Nick fed her fluids 200ml (I think) Lectade and he then cleaned her eyes which again seemed like they were infected and were certainly all gunky. We did not hang around long, it was very windy and the pup needed to get to its destination of New Deer quickly so again we said our thanks and goodbyes and left our separate ways.

At 22.30 I received a text from Nick saying sniffy had arrived safely and we let him know we were about another ten minutes or so from home (well, make that half an hour after picking the daughter up from out at Forss).

What a weekend, an exhausting and thoroughly enjoyable time was had by myself and Davey, I can’t say thank you enough to everyone involved. Again I can honestly say I am proud to be a part of such a great team.

Paula Gent
BDMLR Caithness Coordinator

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