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Dolphin blood-test results reveal serious infection

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PHUKET: Blood tests have revealed that the stranded striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) rescued in Phuket waters Sunday morning has a serious infection and only a 10 to 30 per cent chance of survival.

The young female dolphin was recovered from the sea after being sighted by staff from Karon Beach Resort, and was transferred to Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), Marine Endangered Species Unit (MESU).

A broad spectrum of antibiotics have been prescribed for the dolphin as an interim measure, MESU veterinarian Patcharaporn Kaewmong told the Gazette today.

Once a blood culture has been grown and the pathogen identified, the correct antibiotic can be administered to the dolphin, Dr Patcharaporn explained.

The 34 kilogram dolphin is currently being kept in MESU’s swimming pool and is receiving 24 hour care by the staff.

“She needs to be held so she can swim. Sometimes she can swim on her own, but other times she needs help, because she swims on her side,” said Dr Patcharaporn.

The dolphin, unable to eat by herself, is being fed with a rubber tube.

“There is only a 10 to 30 per cent chance that a stranded dolphin will survive because most are already seriously ill before they come ashore,” explained Dr Patcharaporn.

“Even though she does not seem to be getting any better, we will do our best to save her,” she added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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