TMMSN-Rescue and Rehabilitation

Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals through rescue and rehabilitation, research and education.

Please note: All of the TMMSN conservation efforts are supported entirely by voluntary donations and grants. If you would like to support our marine mammal rescue and recovery work please visit our wish list, where you can donate needed items or make a tax-deductible cash contribution.

PO480 "Raine"

December 24, 2011 - Raine took a steep decline over the last 24 hours.  Volunteers began supporting her as she became too weak to swim on her own and was also experiencing great difficulty breathing.  She continued to steadily decline despite our efforts to make her as comfortable as possible.  Those of us that have worked with Raine on a day to day basis have seen her many ups and downs but over the last 3 days particularly have seen a distinct change in her behavior and ability to continue fighting. After assessment this morning, her primary veterinarian has decided that it is in Raine's best interest not to let her continue suffering any longer and has made the difficult decision to euthanize after much consideration of her entire rehab case.  Although, those of us working closely with Raine are experiencing a great deal of sadness, knowing that Raine will not have to suffer anymore is comforting.

December 20, 2011 - Raine has been busy swimming on her own for the last few days.  The volunteers are anxiously (and proudly) waiting poolside in the event she needs assistance, but she's finally progressed to getting by on her own. She has also become interested in her enrichment devices (toys!) and interacts with them throughout the day. Feeding is also never a problem with Raine as she actively retrieves her fish.
These things are all encouraging to see and provide a little boost to us all after the preceding weeks. Despite these progressions, however, she has a number of highly significant obstacles to overcome including active infection, the healing of her lesions and wounds, and additionally the spinal curvature that she has developed. Since we have experienced the scoliosis with animals previously, we have been working since she arrived through consultation, physical therapy and other means of treatment to address the curvature but have not yet been successful in this regard with Raine. Although we hope that she can make progress concerning these issues, we remain guarded concerning her prognosis.
We are proud to say that Raine is very fortunate for the number of caring individuals that have worked alongside her since her arrival, willing her to get better.

December 6, 2011 - Our new patient which stranded on November 26, 2011 has been named "Raine" (pronounced "Rain"). We thought it short and sweet, and especially fitting because she is definitely sweet and due to the downpour of heavy rain throughout the rescue effort (after a long Texas drought). Raine has grown stronger over the last week but is still being supported by staff and many volunteers in the water. Luckily, she is eating well and is motivated by fish, so we are able to use this to our advantage with several "exercise" feeding sessions throughout the day in addition to her regular feeds. She has also been receiving several physical therapy sessions daily to help her maintain strength in her muscles and tail.
Raine was very malnourished and ill upon stranding. She is also being treated for a fungal infection. Fungal infections are not uncommon in dolphins with immune suppression but must be treated with persistence and care. The prescribed medication is expensive and in our experience with other dolphins in rehabilitation, it can also require long-term treatment, so TMMSN will have to rely on the public and current supporters for help with the cost of Raine's care and medication.

December 3, 2011 - At her one week anniversary since stranding, PO480 continues to receive critical care from volunteers and staff at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. She continues to fight advanced illness and was very weak nutritionally upon stranding. We have been working around the clock in order for her to regain her strength and nutrition and she has met a small milestone in the rehab process as she is now able to consume whole fish with minimal to no assistance.
Thank you for all of the donated supplies, contributions towards her care, and well wishes so far.

November 30, 2011 -
Our recent rescue, dolphin "480" has an amazing team behind her right now at TMMSN. Volunteers continue to provide care around the clock, literally walking her in the water 24 hours a day (and all through the night)! She is also tube fed a gruel (fish/pedialyte/water) mixture every four hours around the clock and is handling the feeds well so far. She is making small progressions and also seems to be more alert about her surroundings but her condition still remains guarded. Initial lab work shows that she is suffering from illness, which is likely what brought her to the beach. We will continue to monitor her through frequent diagnostics. All of this work is supported by donations and our volunteers are working hard so there is little time left for fundraising, but if you are able to make any donation towards her care, it will certainly be helpful. Thanks for following our new patient and TMMSN!

November 26, 2011
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network responded to a live stranded bottlenose dolphin around noon today in Sargent, Texas. The dolphin is an adult female and is currently at our rehab facility in Galveston, TX.  She stranded on a remote part of Sargent Beach where she was found by beachgoers who called our
800-9MAMMAL pager line.
The beachgoers did an amazing job of keeping her comfortable until we arrived and although our Critical Care Team volunteers suffered through some very rough weather throughout the transport back to Galveston, the dolphin and team made it back safely.
Our new patient is currently being supported in the water around the clock by our dedicated volunteers. For now, the animal remains in critical condition and we will update you with any progress.

In the News:
The Daily News

KHOU 12/12
Houston Chronicle 12/12