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Radiographs are a noninvasive way for veterinarians to diagnose health issues of stranded sea otters. This section shows digital xrays of sea otters who have suffered from shark bites, boat strike trauma or nasal mites. There are also examples of pregnant females, pups and young otters to demonstrate progression of bone growth!

This story is an example of oiled otter rehabilitation at work! This is Olive, a sea otter that stranded with oiled pelage and was rescued, washed, rehabilitated and successfully released by OWCN member organizations.

Many pathogens will opportunistically infect sea otters including a number of different parasites.  Here you will see how these parasites look at necropsy as well as microscopically!

In addition to severe impacts on an animal’s ability to float and stay warm, petroleum compounds can impact oiled wildlife, including sea otters, in many other ways. These effects are best summarized by organ system.

Once a sea otter is brought into the mobile veterinary unit, there are a number of routine procedures that are performed on every otter as part of a routine health assessment survey. Researchers and veterinarians measure the animal’s length and girth and visually assess body condition.

Sea otters are wily animals! For the safety of the animal and the safety of the staff, special techniques have been developed for restraining sea otters for transport, quick medical procedures such as blood draws, or for routine veterinary assessments.

On site veterinary support is critical for field research of wild sea otters as well as during an oil spill.  Specially equipped mobile veterinary labs are used to examine, anesthetize, and insert a transmitter and/or flipper tag sea otters just yards from where they are captured.