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

5-27-12: Aerial was found on a beach in Bear Cove, near Homer, AK. It appeared that her mother had abandoned her. After an assessment by the Alaska SeaLife Center's stranding and rehabilitation department, it was determined she was abandoned. Thanks to Gina Holman for taking observations and providing overnight care for Aerial under the guidance of the ASLC.

5-28-12: Aerial arrived at the ASLC underweight and dehydrated. She will be treated with oral fluids and electrolytes for the next 24 hours before being transitioned to a more milk-like Harbor Seal Formula. Aerial also has a wound near her tail, which will be treated with frequent sterile flushing and antibiotics.

5-30-12: Congratulations to Kathy Campbell for her purchase of "A Release to Remember" at the 2012 Alaska SeaLife Center's Marine Gala! As part of her donation, Kathy was able to choose Aerial's name. The funds donated will go toward the rehabilitation of Aerial, and Kathy will join the ASLC for her release at the end of the summer.

6-2-12: Aerial is starting to become more active during her supervised swim times, although she still has trouble maintaining her body temperature at times.

6-7-12: Today Aerial began spending the warmer part of the day outside in her own condo. She also has been transitioned to a fish formula that will help get her digestive system used to fish.

6-13-12: Aerial's wound is finally starting to heal. Bloodwork tomorrow will determine if she is ready to be off antibiotics.

6-17-12: Aerial's antibiotics have been discontinued, and she spent her first night outside last night.

6-23-12: Aerial has been doing great in her outdoor condo. She now has water access throughout the day, and spends every night outside.

6-28-12: Yesterday Aerial was bloated, and was treated with medication to relieve gaseous discomfort. Today she hasn't improved much, so ASLC veterinarians have come up with a new treatment plan.

7-4-12: Aerial continues to struggle with being bloated and gassy. Her condition has improved, and she's begun eating whole herring on her own. She has an x-ray scheduled for this weekend to see what may be causing these symptoms.

7-11-12: Aerial's x-rays revealed a condition called mega-esophagus. This means her esophagus developed with pockets that catch food as she swallows it, rather than as an even tube that pushes food into the stomach. This is the cause of her bloated state, and complications of mega-esophagus could be life threatening. She is being treated with a GI motility medication, as well as antibiotics to avoid a potential infection.

7-18-12: Aerial's bloat and gas has reduced since the start of her treatment. She is receiving smaller, more frequent feeds, and seems to be responding well.

8-5-12: A lot has happened over the past two weeks! Aerial is off all medications, and is eating just four times a day. Overall she is doing well. Today she was introduced to Spitz, and they are competing for fish in the same pool.

8-27-12: Aerial has been spending the last few weeks in the largest pre-release pool. She's been socializing with the rest of the seals from the Homer area, and is competing well for fish.

9-2-12: Aerial is ready to be released! As long as her final blood draw shows that she is healthy, she will be released on September 9th.

9-9-12: Today Aerial and Ali returned home to the ocean - another successful release!

 



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