2017 Patient of the Year
When southern sea otter Yankee Doodle was spotted rubbing his belly on a northern California beach rather than frolicking amongst the kelp, The Marine Mammal Center's trained responders knew the adult otter was in distress.
Yankee Doodle was admitted to the Center's hospital on the evening of July 3, earning him a nickname in honor of the Fourth of July holiday. During an initial admit exam, he exhibited signs of brain disease in addition to being lethargic, underweight and malnourished for his age.
An MRI and some additional tests confirmed that Yankee Doodle was suffering from domoic acid poisoning after eating shellfish contaminated with a toxin produced by harmful algal blooms. His bloodwork also indicated that he was battling another potentially lethal condition: toxoplasmosis, which can cause fatal brain infections in sea otters and other animals.
After three months of treatment that included fluids, antibiotics and a rich diet of restaurant-quality seafood, Yankee Doodle was released back to his ocean home.
Yankee Doodle's story is so inspiring and memorable that he was nominated as a 2017 Patient of the Year. Show your support for patients like Yankee Doodle by adopting him today.
This is an exclusive digital-only Adopt-a-Seal®. When you adopt this patient, you’ll automatically be able to download your adoption certificate, which shares this patient's photo and story.
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Please note that this is a non-customizable, download-only certificate.