Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network



FOR STRANDING EMERGENCIES CALL 1-800-9-MAMMAL
Dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals through rescue and rehabilitation, research and education.

PO464 - Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin aka "Gordy"

July 27, 2010

Dear TMMSN volunteers and supporters,

Most of you are aware by now that Gordy's condition took a sudden turn for the worse nearly two weeks ago. Gordy's condition continued to decline rapidly and he was not responsive to treatment or showing any signs of improvement. It became apparent over the last several days that Gordy was beginning to experience a great deal of suffering and so the difficult decision was made to put Gordy to sleep yesterday. Although a very difficult decision, we know that Gordy is no longer suffering and those that worked with him are able to find comfort in that fact. Gordy was diagnosed with a severe and advanced case of bacterial pneumonia with a high resistance to antibiotic treatment.

In addition to providing support in the water for Gordy over the last 10 days, we were also busy consulting with veterinarians on the case and gathering information from diagnostics and cultures while providing the best and most comprehensive treatment plan possible. We are deeply saddened by the fact that the treatment was not successful but also feel confident that we did everything in our power to give Gordy the best chance for survival. Over the last two weeks we have had some very special and amazing volunteers working with Gordy, supporting him in the water around the clock as he was not able to swim on his own. This takes a great deal of emotional and physical strength and this group is certainly to be commended for this. We also want to thank all of you that offered your help with other items during this time as well as the kind words you gave to keep us all going during a difficult time. We are certain that our efforts are not lost on patients like little Gordy as each case sheds light on helping the next. In addition, Gordy will certainly hold a special place in our memories for many years to come.

A formal pathology report will be prepared by Dr. Cowan and will be made available on the research section of our website soon.

Again, thank you for all of your dedication and self sacrificing spirits in order to help these extraordinary animals.


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An evening procedure is performed on Gordy in the rehab pool.

July 20, 2010 - TMMSN Volunteers and Supporters,

We wanted to make you aware that Gordy has had a significant set back. Several days ago, he suffered a sudden decline in behavior and condition. We are doing everything we can for him through modification of treatment and care in coordination with a panel of experienced marine mammal veterinarians working on his case. We are expecting further lab results and will have additional consultation with the veterinary panel at that time.

Gordy has been supported in the water 24 hours a day now for several days now by the Critical Care Team and experienced volunteers. This has been an especially hard time due to the sudden nature of the decline but everyone is certainly pulling through for Gordy and we appreciate your generous giving of time and efforts.

We will keep you updated as soon as further details are made available. We realize that many of you may have questions regarding Gordy but please wait for our web updates for now. The volunteers on shift are doing a great job on focusing on Gordy and his needs.


May 09, 2010 -
The TMMSN Critical Care Team was able to rescue a live stranded dolphin this afternoon from Sargent Beach in Matagorda County, TX. The dolphin is a male Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin estimated at approximately 2 years of age. The dolphin handled the transport from Sargent to Galveston by truck quite well and has been swimming on his own since we arrived this afternoon. The young dolphin is still considered in critical care and is currently in rehabilitation at the Aquacell, NOAA Galveston.

If you are a trained volunteer and you are able to work a shift with our new patient, please contact our volunteer coordinator this evening. However, beginning Monday, May 10th, please call the pool phone to sign up for shifts. You will also still need to call the pool phone when you arrive after normal business hours so that we can open the gate for you. If you do not already have your volunteer ID badge, it should be waiting for you on deck. We really appreciate your help!

Supplies that we currently need for this rehabilitation are:
-3 in. chlorine pool tablets
-bottled water
-disinfectant wipes
-or you may donate towards the dolphins care online here on our wish list.

Thanks again and please be sure to check back on the website for updates on our new patient.

May 17, 2010 - Dolphin named "Gordy" recovering in Galveston

The young bottlenose dolphin that stranded on May 9, 2010 on Sargent Beach in Matagorda County has been named “Gordy”. He is currently stable and remains in rehabilitation at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Galveston. Gordy has been responsive to the treatment offered by TMMSN to this point but still requires further attention. Gordy was found on the beach with several fresh shark bites on his body and these are already healing significantly. Gordy was also underweight at the time of stranding and has exhibited respiratory symptoms which require additional medical and nutritional support.

Gordy is eating tossed fish very well on how own and is becoming curious about enrichment devices offered. Trained volunteers continue to monitor the animal around the clock.

Rehabilitations of this nature can sometimes last for many months and TMMSN will need the help of the public in order to support Gordy’s rehabilitation. We appreciate all of the time volunteers have put in so far and the donations received by the public. Thank you!

June 15, 2010 - Gordy Requires Treatment

Diagnostic results have revealed that Gordy, the young dolphin rescued by TMMSN in May is fighting a fungal infection and treatment has been started for this condition. TMMSN is sending a plea out to the public for help with the cost of this medication. Fungal infections are not uncommon in dolphins with immune suppression but must be treated with persistence and care. Typically infections of this sort can be treated in dolphins over time, however the prescribed medication is very expensive and in our experience with other dolphins in rehabilitation, it also can require long-term treatment. It is likely that this fungal infection played a role in bringing Gordy to strand on the beach.

TMMSN would like to pursue this treatment method for Gordy but will need to rely on assistance from individual donations in order to cover the cost. Gordy’s shark bites continue to heal. Further treatment and progression will need to be made medically before a recommendation can be made for release back into the wild.

Please Check out our Giving For Gordy Campaign at the top of this web page.

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May 20, 2010 - Procedure Photos

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