Subject: Significance of serum

bcooper@neaq.org
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 01:13:28 -0500 (EST)

> Bob, I was wondering what the significance of testing the chemistry of a
> seal's serum is?
> Thanks Again
> 
Part of my job is to help the veterinarians at the aquarium in the care of
stranded marine mammals, in particular seals. Seals like other animals
can't tell you whats wrong with them. So in order to figure out what their
problem might be we take a blood sample. One portion of that blood is
called serum. It contains things like glucose, proteins, and electroytes.
We can look at the concentration of those components and try to determine
if all of the animals organs are working properly. For instance, we
recieved a Hooded seal the other day. The animal looked fine but, was very
quiet. We took a blood sample and found that the animals electrolyes were
not correct: Sodium = 171 mmol/l. It should normally be 150 -155. We were
able to correct this by giving the animal extra fresh water. That same
animal is cruising around its pool and doing quite well.

Thanks for the question,

Bob Cooper.