Rescue & Rehab Journal

An abandoned pup

July, 20th 2015

This pup was found on the beach on Douglas island, Juneau. It was reported to have been seen alone and with wounds on it's body. A NOAA staff member was able to assess the animal prior to transporting to ASLC for rehabilitation. 

In rough shape

July, 21st 2015

Vets met the pup in Anchorage for an initial examination. It was determined this pup is a girl. She has a lot of puncture wounds along her face and body.  These wounds were filled with pus so they were thoroughly cleaned out and the pup was put on antibiotics to treat the infection. This pup is very lethargic and likewise is dehydrated and underweight. Upon passing fecal a parasite/worm was found in feces so once she is more stable she will be given a dewormer. 


July, 22nd 2015

Her lower jaw and the wounds around it indicate there could be some type of damage to the area so x-rays were taken. Upon x-rays a small mandibular symphysis fracture was found. In pup's each side of the lower jaw bone are not completely fused together with hard bone. The bone is still developing there so it is more of a disconnect in a softer material. She is on pain meds to help alleviate any pain she may be experiencing, and this area will be continually monitored.  Staff continue to diligently clean and apply healing ointment to her countless wounds.

Slow going

July, 26th 2015

This pup is fighting hard to get better and she is becoming increasingly alert every day, but she still has a long way to go before she's out of the woods.

Eating fish

August, 3rd 2015

During one of her warmed swims the pup was introduced to live fish, which she ate immediately. From now on if she does well on it she will be eating herring. We also started her on a de-wormeing medicine.

More improvements

August, 10th 2015

This pup is making great strides - she has shown she can handle full salt water swims and has access to her pool to choose when she wants to swim.   


August, 16th 2015

A round of x-rays indicates this little pup has a case of pneumonia, which could possibly related to a type of parasite that is common in the region she came from. She will be put on medication to help treat her pneumonia.

CT scan

August, 27th 2015

Today the pup was sedated for a CT scan to monitor the progress of her jaw fracture and pneumonia. Her jaw is healing well, though as expected she still has pneumonia. The wounds on her face have entirely healed. 


September, 19th 2015

The pup, now named "Heli" (short for Helicoprion), has had a repeat CT scan this month to see how she's progressing. Great news! Her pneumonia has resolved and she has been taken off all antibiotics. She continues to gain weight and is a very healthy seal.

Defying the odds

October, 2nd 2015

Heli has fought through infection, fractures, pneumonia and parasites, and is now almost ready to be released!

Release day!

October, 19th 2015

Today's the day! Heli is on her way back to Juneau where she will be released. She was fitted with a satellite tag that will help us follow her travels for up to one year.


December, 30th 2015

Heli traveled through the waters near Juneau for a while, and is now spending the majority of her time offshore near Hoonah.


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