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.

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.