Posts by: dvm

Guadalupe Fur Seal Rescue Washington/Oregon

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World Vets has been providing emergency treatment for a Guadalupe fur seal at our marine mammal urgent care facility in Gig Harbor, Washington. Guadalupe fur seals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  This malnourished male pup has been in our care since Wednesday and was brought in from Cannon Beach, Oregon where he originally stranded. He’s been steadily improving over the last couple days.  It’s a team effort by the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network to care for these patients and the response, treatment and rehabilitation are done under a permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Portland State University and Seaside Aquarium received the call and picked up the pup in Oregon, which was then transported to World Vets by SR3 who also helped with the initial care and is arranging transport logistics.  The pup was transferred today on a private flight thanks to the Turtles Fly Too organization on his way to The Marine Mammal Center in California for long term rehabilitation with the goal of being released back into the wild as soon as he is fully recovered.  To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal along the West Coast, please call the NOAA stranding hotline at 1-866-767-6114. Big thanks to our supporters who help make this important work possible.
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Australia Wildfire Update


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For weeks, World Vets Disaster Response team, working in partnership with Sydney Animal Hospitals Northern Beaches, has been responding to the Australia wildfires.  Our efforts have included intensive field response, in- clinic treatment of injured and burned animals, providing veterinary supplies to teams in the field as well as clinics and rescue organizations receiving and caring for patients, providing funding for rehab facilities, deploying veterinarians on search and rescue missions and partnering with numerous veterinarians, rescue groups and government agencies to provide care and resources benefiting countless animals including native wildlife, livestock, horses and companion animals.   This work was made possible by our generous donors who have supported this effort.  We thank you!

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As the fires start to die down, our efforts shift toward longer term recovery and support.  The impacts of the the fire will be long-lasting and many animals will require ongoing care before they can be returned to the wild. Over 12 million acres of land has been destroyed and the urgent and immediate issues will soon evolve into long-term effects that could dramatically change the animals’ future habitat and health, especially for wildlife.  When rains start to wash the charred landscape debris into the streams, rivers and oceans, marine animals may also become unlikely victims to be impacted by the fires as coastal ecosystems are damaged and biodiversity is threatened.

To support ongoing recovery efforts, Vetericyn is matching all donations to World Vets up to $20,000 until February 15th.  To donate, click here:  

 

 

Australia Wildfire Update

World Vets Disaster Response Team – Helping Animals Impacted by the Australia Bush Fires

 

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World Vets Disaster Response Team, in partnership with Sydney Animal Hospital Northern Beaches, continues to respond to the wildfires in Australia.  Our team has been able to to help many animals throughout fire ravaged areas in New South Wales while also supporting multiple veterinary clinics and  rescue organizations in the region.  Wildlife and livestock with smoke inhalation and burns are some to the most common things being treated.  The wide variety of patients they are seeing is a reflection of the diverse animals species that have been impacted by the tragic bush fires.  Below are some photos from the response.
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Australia Bush Fires- Updates from the Field

 

Updates from the Field-World Vets Responders in Action

Over the years, World Vets has built a worldwide network of veterinary professionals with nearly every skillset within the profession.  Our highly qualified and dedicated force of over 3000 veterinary volunteers is called  to lend their skills and leadership to help animals in some of the direst situations. Whether it be a natural disaster or an impoverished country where there is a lack of veterinary services.  We leverage these established relationships when disaster strikes, which enables our teams to efficiently assess urgent needs and get boots on the ground quickly.

As a WV Disaster Relief Veterinarian, Dr. Ben Brown, who has worked with our organization for many years, has been up close and personal with distressing and overwhelming situations before.  In 2015, he provided service as part of the Disaster Response team for  the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. But having recently been called upon to respond to the devastating bush fires within his own country, this deployment has a personal resonance that is unavoidable. Although Australia is no stranger to bush fires, drought conditions and rising global temperatures have created tinderbox conditions resulting in bushfires reaching historically epic proportions with catastrophic results. An estimated half billion animals have died, some of which are endangered species now facing extinction. Some 11.3 million acres have been decimated. The Australian ecosystem is home to hundreds of unique species of animals many of which were already under significant threat before this disaster. It is estimated a third of the koala population has been destroyed. Dr. Brown runs veterinary hospitals in Sydney. He volunteers time with World Vets on a regular basis and knows first hand the positive impact veterinarians can have through disaster response. ‘As veterinarians, our skills are so important in addressing the needs of animals impacted by natural disasters. Through careful liaison with private and Government Vets it is possible to have a meaningful positive impact for animals in these crises. Personally, I’m overwhelmed at the loss of life, both animal and human, I feel we all have a personal duty to do what we can to help.’

Within the first 48 hours, the World Vets team including Dr Ben, Dr.Simon Ibbotson and Veterinary Nurse, Sami Petzer established contact with local and government vets, acquired an arsenal of the most needed medical supplies, and began assisting in the field. Driving through smoke and miles of evidence of the burn, they reached the region of Bega and Cobargo. Assistance from the team was welcomed with enthusiasm from local veterinarians, many who are solo rural practitioners who have been overwhelmed responding to injured animals. Dr. Ben explained that there are several different categories of need, and the team is responding accordingly.

The large scale of the disaster has made communication and coordination a challenge. The team began their assessments at an evacuation center set up for families that were forced to leave their homes, many of which have been lost to the blazes. Included in that family are cats and dogs that also fled the rapidly moving fires. This evacuation was stressful for a lot of pets who are now in a foreign environment. Health and welfare assessments were carried out by the team. Evacuation centers have also been a primary hub for injured wildlife. The team has assisted in assessment, treatment and referral to dedicated wildlife centers within the region.

The most effective assistance has been through collaboration with local government veterinarians, the RSPCA, and wildlife centers. This has included direct veterinary assessment,  treatment, and donations of food and medical supplies to where it is most needed. “We are seeing a lot of onset of symptoms of smoke inhalation and evidence of burns in cats, dogs, horses, cattle and the native wildlife, including a Wallaby which was treated for severe burns on the feet.”

Each day provides new information and leads on areas where animals require immediate assistance. The team will continue to respond to these needs and to collaborate with wildlife centers, temporary shelters for domestic animals, and assistance with the RSPCA.  World Vets, working direct in collaboration with Sydney Animal Hospitals Northern Beaches, will continue to provide veterinary services, medical supplies and expertise as this disaster continues to unfold.

Unfortunately, an end is not in sight as normal seasonal increases in temperature, and developing storms related to the fires, could perpetuate the situation. We wish Dr. Brown and the team success and safety above all. The World Vets family will be thinking of you and applaud your bravery as you enter the affected region. As we keep in communication with the team throughout the deployment, we will provide updates as information comes in.  We are grateful to all of our supporters who have donated to this effort and who are making this work possible.  Your support is critical and we couldn’t do it without you. 

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PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD

 

Sea Lion Rescue in Seattle, WA

World Vets, working as part of the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network,  recently responded to a California lion that was impaled on a bolt in the waters off Seattle, Washington.  The 600 lb sea lion was unable to free himself and was having difficulty keeping his head above water after his genital opening became impaled on a bolt attached to a floating security barrier.  With some sedation and great technical team work, the sea lion was freed.  He appeared to make a quick recovery.   This was a multi-agency response with World Vets, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Marine Mammal Laboratory, SR3 and Seal Sitters.  Watch the dramatic rescue unfold in the video below.

In the Pacific Northwest, World Vets provides veterinary support, field response, urgent care and technical expertise for stranded and injured marine mammals.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal on the West Coast, call the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.

 

Humpback whale successfully disentangled off the Washington coast

August 2019

A trained team freed an entangled humpback whale near Tatoosh Island at the tip of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula Thursday night, removing ropes that had hog-tied the whale between its mouth and tail.

The entangled whale was first reported just before noon Thursday, Aug. 8, by Todd’s Extreme Fishing, who stayed with the whale to monitor its location until the Makah Tribe and U.S. Coast Guard arrived to take over the watch. The assistance was essential in keeping track of the whale’s condition and location while a response team mobilized and arrived on the scene.

“They did exactly the right thing by keeping their distance and watching the whale so the team could quickly find it,” said Kristin Wilkinson, regional coordinator of NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Northwest Large Whale Entanglement Response Network.

The team that included members from SR3: Sealife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research; Cascadia Research Collective; the Makah Tribe; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; and World Vets. Response teams must complete extensive training and work under a NOAA Fisheries permit because disentangling large whales can be difficult and dangerous.

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Untangling the whale was complicated because ropes running between its mouth and tail had left it hogtied at the surface, said Doug Sandilands of SR3, who helped lead the response. It was unclear whether the ropes had been attached to a crab trap or other fishing gear.

The team cut the lines at key points to remove almost all the line except for a small section that remained in the whale’s mouth but will likely fall out on its own.

The whale appeared to be in good condition and was swimming normally after the team removed the ropes.

NOAA Fisheries thanks the Makah Tribe, U.S. Coast Guard, SR3, Cascadia Research Collective, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Mammal Investigations, World Vets, and Todd’s Extreme Fishing for assisting the effort, which was conducted under NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program permit 18786-03.

Anyone spotting an entangled whale should report it to NOAA Fisheries’ 24/7 hotline by calling 877-SOS-WHALE (877-767-9425) or hailing the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16. Please stay with the whale as long as it is safe to do so, but never attempt disentanglement or remove any gear without training and authorization. Please try to get video or photos showing the entangling gear but remember to stay 100 yards from the whale and watch for lines in the water.

Original Press Release from NOAA Fisheries:  click here

Marine Mammal Response

 

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Seal pup season is in full swing in Puget Sound and World Vets continues to work with network partners to provide response and veterinary support for marine mammal strandings. Earlier this week, we rescued this thin and debilitated harbor seal pup in the Gig Harbor area, working in collaboration with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  His location required a boat response and we were able to perform an initial health assessment and administer fluid therapy aboard our vessel.  He was later taken back to our marine mammal urgent care clinic where he was treated and hospitalized overnight.  By morning, his hydration was improved and he was much more alert.  He was transferred to PAWS for rehabilitation with the goal that he will be released back into the wild when he is recovered and old enough to feed on his own.

Moms and pups can be easily disturbed so please remember to give them space and stay back 100 yards.  Keep pets away and on a leash.  If you see a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call and report it to the NOAA West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.  Thank you for observing marine mammals in a safe and responsible way.

World Vets marine mammal work is authorized under a permit with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

 

Seal Pup Season has Arrived in Washington

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Seal pup being examined and monitored at the World Vets clinic in Gig Harbor, WA

 

While we have been busy with many marine mammal stranding cases in Washington over the last few months, this little pup is our first harbor seal of the 2019 pupping season. Estimated to be 1-2 weeks old, the seal pup was found stranded on a public beach in Westport Washington.  Network partners Washington State Parks and Westport Aquarium secured the area to make sure he was not disturbed, posted signs and provided monitoring for 48 hours while he was on the beach.  His mom never returned and he was considered abandoned.  Working in collaboration with our network partners Cascadia Research Collective and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, he was brought in late Thursday night to the World Vets clinic in Gig Harbor for triage and stabilization. On arrival he was hypothermic, dehydrated and thin.  Working together with WDFW, we stabilized him and started fluid therapy and he was admitted for overnight hospitalization.  He was later transferred to PAWS for rehabilitation with the ultimate goal that he will be released back into the wild once he is healthy and ready to forage on his own.

As pupping season starts in Washington, it is important to remember to SHARE THE SHORE!  

-All marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  It is against the law to feed or harass them, which includes disrupting important behaviors such as rest, feeding, nursing or breeding.

-Give them space and stay back 100 yards from all marine mammals on shore.

-Keep pets on leash.  Pets can disturb wildlife or may separate mothers from their pups.  These are wild animals that can injure or spread disease to pets and humans.

-If you see a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal call:  866-767-6114

 

World Vets Receives Recognition from Mayor in Ecuador

 

Earlier this week, World Vets along with our longtime partner BAI, was recognized by the Mayor of district Antonio Ante in Ecuador for over a decade of service to the region.  World Vets has been working in this region high in the Andes Mountain for going on eleven years, bringing veterinary services to thousands of animals that would otherwise have no access to care.  Throughout this time, we have partnered with local group Bienstar Animal Imbabura and together have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the local animals, people and the communities in which they live.  Throughout the world, World Vets has many partnerships like this one working in collaboration with government municipalities and local animal welfare organizations to provide veterinary support to animals in need in underserved areas.

Below are some photos of our ongoing work in Ecuador:

 

Investigating Gray Whale Deaths in Washington

Nineteen Gray whales have washed ashore in Washington over the last several weeks and more than 55 have stranded on the West Coast this year.  World Vets has been involved in the disease investigation and necropsies working with lead scientists from Cascadia Research Collective, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as other members of the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  The strandings already seen this year are the most of any year since the year 2000 and its still early in the whale migration season.  Most of the whales have shown signs of nutritional stress and poor body condition, although its still too early to fully understand the exact cause of the high death numbers.  Additional testing and evaluation of collected samples are pending and should provide more insight into these deaths.

Related Media Coverage:

Why are gray whales washing up dead on Pacific Northwest beaches– KUOW News

Cascadia and other Washington stranding network organizations continue to respond to growing number of dead whales along our coast and inside waters-Cascadia Research Collective

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