Abstract: Dolphin rehabilitation

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 2 Oct 1995 08:43:56

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Date: Mon, 02 Oct 1995 08:48:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Abstract: Dolphin rehabilitation
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Subj:	abstract - swimming support
Date:         Thu, 28 Sep 1995 11:41:36 EST
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Subject:      abstract - swimming support
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     Earlier this week, you received the following post.  I have been asked
     by the editor of Aquatic Mammals to work up an abstract/summary for
     the article, since one was not published with it.
     As a courtesy, the following is a summary of an article recently
     published in Aquatic Mammals 21(2).  Apologies for cross-mailing to
     those folks that subscribe to both discussion groups.  I have supplied
     the author's address to which reprint requests should be directed.
     Aquatic Mammals is published three times a year by the European
     Association for Aquatic Mammals.  Subscription requests should be
     directed to the editor:  Paul Nachtigall, Hawaii Institute of Marine
     biology, P.O. Box 1106, Kailua, HI 96734, USA.  FAX (808) 247-5831,
     email:  nachtig@nosc.mil
     *Kastelein, R.A., T. Dokter, and J. Hilgenkamp.  1995.  A swimming
     support for dolphins underoing veterinary care.  Aquatic Mammals
     21(2): 155-159.
     (*Harderwijk Marine Mammal Park, Strandboulevard-oost 1, 3841 AB
     Harderwijk, Holland)
     Most stranded dolphins which arrive at rehabilitation centres cannot
     swim independently.  To improve the care of animals in rehabilitation,
     the Harderwijk Marine Mammal Park developed a dolphin swimming support
     in cooperation with the stainless steel company Sercon.  Design of the
     support is presented.  The support has been used for rehabilitation of
     four harbour porpoises and three white-beaked dolphins.  The support
     has many advantages: (1) the blowhole is always above the water's
     surface; (2) the body is submerged as much as possible, thus
     preventing dehydration and over-heating; (3) the dolphin cannot
     collide with or swim along the pool wall, therefore preventing damage
     to the animal; (4) the dolphin can move its tail, thus preventing
     stiffness; (5) the animal's back is cooled and moisturized by the
     water from the showers; (6) as the dolphin moves, fresh waters enters
     between the skin and hammock; (7) when the dolphin is too weak to move
     its tail, the current in the pool will make the support go around
     slowly, creating a dynamic, more natural, situation; (8) the dolphin
     moves its tail to move around, which may be psychologically
     advantageous as the animal has some control over its surroundings; (9)
     stress to the dolphin is reduced because handling can be minimized;
     and (10) fewer people are needed to treat the dolphin, which is
     especially useful at night.