Whale health questions

From: Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 10:16:25 EST


Dear Ms. Fertl,

We are currently studying whales, and some questions have surfaced that I am
unable to find the answers to.

Do whales get colds and fevers?
If they get a cold do they secrete mucous from their blowholes?
Do mother whales get mastitis?
Can whales have asthma?

Thank-you for being available to answer our whale questions.

Sincerely,
Chris
*******************************************
Chris,

Thanks for your questions relating to whale health. Since I'm not a marine
mammal vet, I'll do my best to answer the questions.

1. Whales do get sick. They can have elevated temperatures and respiratory
infections, etc.

2. This is getting gross, but yes, you would get some kind of mucous out of
the blowhole, but not like we think of it for people.

3. Whales can get mastitis. In fact, it has been recorded for a lactating
blue whale.

4. I imagine whales could have asthma, but the whale probably wouldn't live
long with it, as opposed to people who can take medicine and survive with
it.

Hope this helps!
Dagmar

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