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

9/24/13: We are proud to announce that the little girl has a name, Kullat! Many thanks to ConocoPhillips for picking a great name, and for your support of the Rehabilitation department at the ASLC. Kullat is the Babylonian name for the brightest star in the Pisces constellation.

9/22/13: Our harbor seal patient is doing very well out in ODL 5. Staff have been able to monitor her remotely via a camera, and often see her doing many underwater laps.

9/16/13: Earlier this week Staff flipper tagged the female seal pup. Her tag number is ASLC 129, and this will be our way of identifying her should she be spotted up close in the wild.

9/6/13: Life in ODL 5 has been wonderful for the seal. She is gaining weight, and has learned to eat from the fish cannons we have set up to completely hide any sign of people feeding her. One of her favorite activities is hanging out on the "Iceburg" staff put in her pool, which is actually a large plastic lid.

9/2/13: The little girl has been doing so well, staff have decided to move her into ODL 5, our largest pool. Staff call this the "Graduation Pool" because it is the last step before seals can graduate to a release! She had a blood sample taken yesterday as part of a pre-release checkup, and she seems to be adjusting very well to the larger space.

8/26/13: We have opened the gates between ODL 3 and 4, so now this seal pup has twice the space! Staff have also been feeding her more variable amounts at random times to present fish in a more random way, just like she would eat at random intervals in the wild.

8/19/13: Staff have increased the amount of fish being offered to the seal as she lost a little bit of weight this week. Otherwise she is doing great!

8/12/13: As she continues to gain weight and create blubber, the seal has started spending less time on her heating pads. While she is still bloated from time to time, she is diving well in her deeper pool and love to chase and eat live salmon.

8/7/13: Today Andromeda was moved to ODL 1. This enclosure has a much larger and deeper pool which will be great for encouraging her to dive. This enclosure also make it more difficult for her to see the people feeding her, which will help sharpen her hunting instincts, and remove any association of people with food.

8/3/13: The seal has been making some big changes over the past few days. She spent her first night out in the condo last night, and she has started eating whole fish! While she still has episodes of extreme bloat, she is maintaining her temperature well and diving to the bottom of her pool regularly.

7/29/13: Part of megaesophagus involves difficulty swallowing and keeping down food. Today our seal vomited some partially digested fish chunks after a feed. This is very typical of a megaesophagus case, but vet staff will try adjusting her medication so see if we can keep things moving through her GI system enough that vomiting is not a problem.

7/27/13: The little pup spent her first day in a condo! Staff brought her in for the night as she was starting to look a little chilled, but the goal is to get her acclimated so she can swim and spend nights outside! While she is still looking very bloated from time to time, she seems to enjoy swimming and diving in the deeper condo pool.

7/25/13: Staff have been swimming the seal in progressively colder water to prepare her to move to a condo outside! We have also dropped her 4 am feed.

7/22/13: Because this seal pup is still very bloaty despite being on medications and daily swims, vet staff has decided to try a new medication. Hopefully this will help Andromeda with her gas issues!

7/19/13: Staff observed Andromeda swallowing air today, which can cause increased GI distress, especially with her megaesophagus. We will watch her closely for signs of discomfort.

7/18/13: The seal pup has been eating fish so well, that staff have decided to increase the amount of time between feeds, and to administer her bloat medications through pills in the fish instead of injections or through tubing. She still appears bloated from time to time, which is a common symptom of megaesophagus. We have also been hydrating her fish as she still appears occasionally dehydrated.

7/15/13: Over the weekend the little girl was very busy! She was dusted for lice, had x-rays taken that revealed she has minor megaesophagus, and started eating fish! We are feeding her smaller pieces of fish so that they are easier to swallow, this should help with the megaesophagus.

7/12/13: Our seal had her first swim today! We hope that the warm water and wxtra movement will help ease any discomfort from her occasional gas problems.


7/10/13:The seal seemed uncomfortables and appeared very bloated yesterday. When this bloated appearence didn't improve overnight, vet staff decided to put her on medication for gas. The seal is now recieving IM injections to help with the gas and discomfort.

7/8/13: Our staff has ben monitoring the seal's glucose level colsely. She did such a good job maintaining solid levels overnight that her IV port was removed today!

7/7/13: The seal pup has had a consistenty low blood glucose reading. In order to raise her glucose, her IV fluids will jnow include glucose, and we are adding extra glucose to her tube feeds. We hope to increase her energy level and her body's ability to fight infection by giving her this extra energy.

7/6/13: A urine sample was collected from the seal yesterday, and today she has started on a few new medicaitons. Staff have been keeping a close eye on her because she is really starting to move around her tote, and occasionally she has moved so much that we have to rearrange her IV line!

7/4/13: Our newest patient has been looking a bit more lively tofay, moving her head and physically hopping around her tote. While she is still in very critical condition, these are signs that she is starting to feel a bit better.

7/3/13: The little girl has been doing well with her IV fluids, but she has been maintaining a low body termp. Staff have been observing her temp carefully, and giving her access to a heating pad to help raise her temperature to the 97-101 degree fahrenheit range.

7/2/13: A small Harbor seal pup had been observed on a beach in Egegik, Ak for over 24 hours. With permission from ASLC staff, the pup was rescued from the beach, and cared for until a flight to Anchorage could be found. Upon arrival in Anchorage the pup was triaged, and found to be female, non-responsive, severely dehydrated, and in very poor body condition. She was so dehydrated, Veterinary staff decided to place a catheter intravenously so as to administer fluids continuously. A full physical exam also revealed several puncture wounds on her back flippers.