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Bottlenose Dolphin VGT219 Necropsy Part of Training

Written by Keith_Rittmaster. Posted in Uncategorized

Stranded dolphin VGT219 was necropsied as part of a one day stranding training offered at CMAST in Beaufort, NC for volunteers by Vicky Thayer, Craig Harms and Keith Rittmaster. A vast amount of information was presented about individual and mass strandings with both live and dead animals.
Then in the afternoon, after delicious pizza, VGT219 was necropsied.
This older female Bottlenose dolphin had a stingray spine lodged in her right lung. It had been there for a while. Bone and soft tissue damage from the spine’s migration was evident.
She had a double horned horned uterus. She had given birth to calves, although I don’t know how many. Her health seemed to be compromised in several different ways, but more will be known after lab results. The picture below shows how we measured the length of the intestines – we laid them out in equal length lines and counted the number of lines multiplied by the line length. That is a lot of intestine.

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All organs were weighted and measured. I still haven’t been able to remove the olfactory reminder from my camera. Her bones were buried in anticipation of possibly becoming a skeletal display.

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