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


2011-11-07 15:15:34

White Coat Rescue on Isle of Lewis

white coat seal pupI received a call at 2pm this afternoon, Sunday 6th November, from Sue Davie who was on the out-of-hours cover this weekend, about a small, very thin and weak pup on Cliff beach, Uig, Isle of Lewis. I immediately phoned medic Janet to arrange transport with the kit over to Cliff which is 33 miles from Stornoway and made arrangements with Sue for medics Dawn and Suzanne, who live 5 miles as the crow flies but 25 miles by road to also attend along with any other medics who live closer than Stornoway to the stranding site. I then received a call from Maggie, SSPCA, who had also been called as a medic and I asked her to go over as well as I knew there would be no mobile signal for assessment purposes and I wanted to have her opinion before lifting the pup, especially as Maggie would be arranging transport and a place in the SSPCA centre at Middlebank for the pup's rehab if we did lift it.

On arrival we found a thin pup with a distinct neck and clearly visible pelvis. It had a full white coat with only a two inch patch of moult on its head. It was shivering and while alert was not overly responsive and showed no sign of aggression. There were some bite wounds visible on its left fore-flipper and right hip and what looked like a possible gash to its belly and it was clearly dehydrated. The decision was made to pick it up.

After lifting it off the beach it was checked over and several abscesses were found from the bites but just a number of bites where I thought I saw a gash. The pup was given fluids and allowed to rest for 15 minutes before we started on the return journey back to town, driving slowly with open windows. Half way back after reaching the end of the single track road, we stopped to give the pup a break from the motion and to phone Sue to let her know the outcome and to phone the vet to let them know we were coming in with the pup.

On arrival at the vets the pup was checked over thoroughly. It was discovered that all the abscesses were open and draining. It weighed in at 11.7 kg and was given antibiotics, a vitamin shot and subcutaneous fluids and we were given more antibiotics to add to its fluids tomorrow afternoon and Tuesday morning before its journey to the mainland for treatment at the rehabilitation centre.

Many thanks to Sue and family on the beach who found the pup and looked after it until we got there and to Maggie (SSPCA) for her help, medics Janet, Dawn and Suzanne for theirs and Sue for her help on the phone.

Sandy MacDonald
Outer Hebrides Co-ordinator

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