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


2008-12-05 15:43:56

Pup at Port Gaverne, Cornwall

Seal pupI received a call from Dave Jarvis about 12ish about a pup at Port Gaverne on the beach. On arrival at the harbour I was met by Janet Cook the Coastguards wife, she has helped out on previous strandings over the years and she had been keeping public and there dogs away from the pup.

She showed me the where the pup was and I headed over. I was greeted by the most gorgous looking seal pup, but it was shaking and was looking under weight due to the rolls of fat/baggy skin and it was bleeding in various areas over its body.

I spoke to Dave over the phone about the condition and he advised me to collect it and be prepared for a journey up to Somerset. Sue then rang at H.Q and also advised me to go to Bodmin vets for a health check before the long journey.

I arrived at the vets about 2.30pm and staff took the temp of the seal, it was 109.2/ 40c and her breathing was quite weazy. The staff tubed the seal with rehydration fluids and then noticed the pup had bad mouth ulcers so they gave her antibiotics and pain relief, and then settled her for half an hour to see if her temp would go down. Half hour later, it was 39.2. Her temperature was not low enough to travel yet so i had a brew whilst waiting. I went to check her 10mins later and noticed her breathing was laboured and at one point completly stopped.

I got the staff to double check her and thankfully she was still alive just very stressed. The vet staff thought we should bathe her to get the temp down a bit more, so i gave her a good hose down and she then sprung awake.

Left her for another half hour and then noticed the breathing was getting worse.

I rang Carol at West Hatch to let her know what was happening and she advised me to head on up. We re-checked the temperature and it was the same again 39.2. at 4.45pm. Off i went to Somerset with windows down and the cold blower going in the car and then it decided to rain.

We arrived at Somerset about 7.30pm with icicles hanging off my nose and dripping wet hair and was met by Carol.

She weighed the pup and checked her over. We tubed again and checked her temperature which was now 37.2 Thankfully!!

Carol then gave her a nice juicey fish to eat and there i left her in safe hands, I was ready for a warm journey home to thaw out!

Thanks to all the staff at Draper and Abbots vets, and well done Marianne for your 1st seal pup! Julian for helping transport the seal and Carol at RSPCA West Hatch.

Michelle Robinson
Assistant Coordinator for North Cornwall

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