Oiled Sea Otter Rehabilitation Course


The highest incidence of medical problems in sea otters will occur when oil is most toxic during the first three weeks or Early Phase of a catastrophic spill. The rehabilitation team should be prepared to treat animals with pulmonary distress, hypoglycemia, and thermal insta- bility during this phase. As the oil toxicity declines, fewer medical problems are encountered. During the Late Phase, the team should consider the benefits of stabilization periods for animals arriving at the facility. As the degree of external and internal oiling decreases, preparations for halting capture should be considered, as the stress of captivity will eventually exceed the benefits of rehabilitation.