: Gouda :
Species: Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
  Narrative

5-8-11: Gouda was found on the beach by a birder, who reported the animal to the Alaska SeaLife Center's 24-hour stranded animal hotline. When rehabilitation staff arrived, she was found with an eagle standing over her. Gouda was admitted to the center - she is estimated to be only one day old.

5-10-11: For her first 24 hours at the SeaLife Center, Gouda was tube-fed fluids with electrolytes to treat her dehydration. Today she will be introduced to a milk formula that is specially designed for harbor seal pups.

5-12-11: Gouda seems to be doing well - she has gained some weight since her arrival, and her temperature is stable.

5-15-11: Supervised swim times give Gouda the chance to exercise, play, and practice being a seal! Check out a video of her first swim on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/AKSeaLifeCenter

5-19-11: Gouda continues to get stronger and gain weight. She's already gained 1 kg - that's 2.2 lbs!

5-24-11: Today Gouda's caretakers noticed a discharge coming out of one of her ears. She's now receiving an ear medication twice a day to clear up any infection.

5-30-11: Condo life suits Gouda well! She spent today outside in a seal condo - an area where she has her own pool and a large deck to haul out.

5-31-11: Gouda's ear seems to be getting worse. She was prescribed an oral antibiotic to help fight the infection.

6-7-11: Despite her continuing ear infection, Gouda is gaining weight and doing well. The results of her bloodwork will let rehabilitation staff know whether or not her antibiotics are effectively treating the infection.

6-10-11: Gouda is now on new antibiotics. Her ear is also being flushed out multiple times a day to help remove any discharge, prior to receiving her ear drops. Her caretakers hope that this new, more agressive approach will clear up this pesky infection.

6-13-11: Good news! Gouda's ear has drastically improved. It looks like she's on the road to recovery.

6-16-11: Today Gouda started fish school! She thinks it's a lot of fun to chase live fish around, but isn't quite sure what to do with them yet.

6-20-11: Gouda is now eating fish well, and will graduate from being tube-fed today. She'll also be moving into a bigger pool tomorrow, where she can have water access throughout the entire day.

6-25-11: Gouda spends most of her time in her pool, and is eating like a pro!

7-2-11: Despite aggressive treatments, Gouda's ear infection has been lingering. Treatment will continue until it clears up.

7-9-11: Gouda's ear is looking better every day. Besides the infection, Gouda continues to do well.

7-16-11: Gouda has been off of her ear medications for a couple of days. Her ear looks much better than it has in many weeks!

7-21-11: Today Gouda had a series of x-rays taken to see if an underyling reason for her ear infection could be found. Nothing significant was seen, and a CT scan was scheduled for next week.

7-26-11: Gouda's CT scan went well today. The images were sent to a specialist to be read.

8-10-11: The CT scan revealed a ruptured ear drum in Gouda's left ear. Despite her injury, she is diving well and spends the majority of her time in the water.

8-20-11: Gouda is a very playful and active seal.

8-26-11: Gouda's weight has remained steady, and she continues to do well.

9-2-11: Gouda had bloodwork done yesterday - all is well! Today she moved into the pre-release pool so she can socialize with the other seals and learn to compete for fish.

9-10-11: Gouda adjusted well to her move into the biggest pool in the rehab department. She learned quickly that she needs to work hard to get any fish.

9-23-11: Gouda will likely be released within the first week of October. She will be equipped with a specialized satellite tag that will allow researchers to see how deep she is diving.

10-5-11: Gouda was released today! She has a flipper tag along with the satellite tag, so she can be identified if found.

 



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