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Nurse shark pup: A rescue animal

Discussion in 'Sharks / Rays' started by Zoodiver, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Zoodiver

    Zoodiver
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    This won't be your typical 'MFK Rescue' thread - where some body takes a fish from a pet store or owner who can't care for it.


    This shark was resuced from the wild. Found by beach patrol on South Beach, the shark was lathargic and bleeding from several wounds (over 12 holes in him). It was very under weight, and probably wouldn't make it another 48 hours if left on it's own.

    When we got it on site, we gave it a round of antibotics and a dewormer (basics for any shark or ray that comes in). A quick physical showed MANY cuts - most looked like they were from fishing hooks. A popular thing to do in the area is hook animals that aren't biting buy casting at them and trying to get the hook set in any body part, just for the thrill of fighting with a shark. This little male had several holes around his mouth and both ventrally and dorsally. There were also several deep cuts in the oral cavity. (Pictures speak for themselves.) Right away, we removed a shark leech - Stibarobdella macrothela - from his mouth. (Pic of it sitting in a jar.)

    We started with basic treatment of the open cuts, and put him on a tube feeding schedule until he would eat on his own. I like to use a mix of high calorie foods, B12 (to stimulate appitie again) and calcium/iodine for benthic sharks.

    A few weeks into it, and most of the cuts have healed. Sharks are amazing in that regard - and it's one of the reasons I love studying them.

    The downside is that as of yesterday, we hadn't seen any fecal passed. To me, that points to an obstruction in the GI tract. My first thought based on his history was a fishing hook lodged inside. I've seen wild caught fish impacted with everything from paint chips to fishing gear to a cloth glove.

    Saturday we loaded up the pup and took him down the Key to Island Vet Clinic for an X ray. You can see what the issues is without me pointing it out. One thing I will draw attention to is that the end is clean cut, meaning some one cut it to gt there line back, then left that shark to die. We're not going to let that happen.

    Here are some of the pics from the first few days and a few from the trip to get X rays. (Some of the team in the pics are members here, so I'll let them chime in if they want.)


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    Shark leech we removed from his mouth:

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    Tubing feeding him:

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    Taking the x ray:

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    See for yourself:

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    [YT]bM_XWzxGXVU[/YT]


    Video of moving him from the transport van to the x ray, then back into the van. (I suck at trying to embed them, if someone wants to, go for it :popcorn:.)
     
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  2. Toxic Fish 9999

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    hook was left in him. but i thought they made hooks so the biodegrade away. but the is a cool storie you can tell your friends " yea i saved a shark" ! good work you should be proud!
     
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  3. Deano1956

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    Soooo neat Zoo, you've got a great job too and nice save. Will it be operated on to remove the hook? How old would you say it is?
     
  4. Deano1956

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    you guys need a good sized 12V bidlge pump for curculation for those long rides
     
  5. fishy12

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    What do you put on the cuts?
     
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  6. Zoodiver

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    Ride was only about 6 minutes long. Water was supersaturated prior to leaving since it was a short trip. Long trips we take compressed 02 along.

    Hook removal usually means surgery to extract. The ones that say they 'degrade' don't. They degrade with exposure to saltwater. There isn't much saltwater in the stomach. Even those hooks that get left in the lip/jaw will still wear in half, leaving half to be ingested by the animal. By the time it hits the stomach, the damage is done.

    To clean cuts, there are several ways. Nitrofurazone bath is one way to keep them clean. I prefer to use silver sulfadiazine (in a paste/cream) to pack them with. It does a great job.
     
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  7. BlackShark11k

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    awesome story... love nurse sharks..

    only biodegrade in sea water... not sharks stomach
     
  8. Deano1956

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    Oh 6 minutes? Did'nt realize you are the close to the keys. Do your children ever get to go to work with dad?
     
  9. Zoodiver

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    The vet clinic is on the same island we are. It's just down the road.
    I've had Jaden to work a few times. She usually falls asleep on the ride into town, so misses most of the fun stuff once she's there.
     
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  10. Deano1956

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    she will learn to like it I'm sure
     

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