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


2011-02-17 13:05:00

Injured Seal at Highland Seal Hospital

Seal with fishing line injuryOn Friday 11th February I received a call from Marion Jack (Ali's mum)saying there was a small pup laying quite still near the slipway at Gills harbour.

I thought I better go and check as Marion has experience with being around the seals and if she is concerned then there is definitely a need to assess. On the way to Gills, Marion phoned to say Michael Salter, one of the hospitals original helpers had lifted the pup and was on his way to the hospital.

On assessment at the hospital we found we had a approximately 8 to 10 week old male grey seal weighing in at a worrying 17.5 kilos. More worrying was the fishing line injury to his neck. This was a deep, fine cut running around his neck, approximately an inch and a half deep at the top and while not cut underneath it was well welted and swollen, and the line was clearly visible. The wound was certainly of great concern on such a small pup, though due to it being recent it didn't explain the pups lack of weight. Initial thoughts were to suspect lungworm debilitation.

Ringo as he is called was cleaned, had his wounds treated, was medicated and rehydrated. He was lively and active though his energy levels were low.

He is now, as of Tuesday making steady progress. The wound is cleaned and debrided nightly and treated to help with granulation of the tissue. He is eating some feeds in shallow water and others that are medicated are being hand/force fed. He is being treated for the now confirmed lungworm burden and is making steady progress.

It's early days yet as the wound is very nasty and down to the ligament at the back of the head, though he has full movement of head and flippers so it should be a case of keeping it clean and letting it heal. Pictures were taken on Monday after he was cleaned and stable.

Jamie Dyer
Highland Seal Hospital Manager