IF YOU SEE A WHALE, DOLPHIN, PORPOISE OR SEAL ON THE BEACH CAN WE PLEASE ASK YOU NOT TRY AND PUT IT BACK IN THE SEA.

There is usually a reason why these animals have come out of the sea in the first place.

At St Clair Veterinary Care, we don’t only look after dogs, cats and small furries, we also like to ensure all animals are provided with the best care possible. We do not see a lot of exotic species and so do not have the experience to provide the best care for birds and reptiles at present and so recommend visiting a vet with more experience for an exotic pet, however we do try our best for local wildlife, this way we can gain experience for looking after more exotic pets in the future.

Marine animals have very sensitive skin, they are not used to being handled and it is very easy to damage their skin allowing infections to get in. Whales, dolphins and porpoises also breathe differently to other mammals and are very prone to stress. Inappropriate handling is a common cause of death. They also carry different bacteria compared to other mammals so any injuries you obtain are likely to confuse your doctor. Seals in particular, although cute looking, can be extremely aggressive and carry a very nasty bite, their bite has the power to crush bones.

If you come across one of these marine animals take a step back to allow them some space, keep other people and dogs away from the animal and please contact British Divers and Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) on their 24 hour helpline 01825 765 546 during office hours and 07787433412 out of office hours and they can arrange for a trained marine mammal medic to assess the situation and arrange for treatment to be provided where necessary prior to rehabilitation.

If you are interested in learning how to become a marine mammal medic please visit http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/index.php?page=training-course . The Whitley Bay course in December is fully booked, however if there is enough interest another course can be organised in this area next year. There are also regular courses elsewhere in the country if you are not from the north east.

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http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/index.php?page=stranded-animals