Last update: Tuesday 5th November , 2002

Marine Mammal Medicine Workshop

8th Marine Mammal Medical Workshop

January 30th - February 2nd, 2003

Nausicaa - Boulogne-sur-mer - France


Dr. Géraldine Lacave
Marine Mammal Veterinary Services

"Medical training" has nearly become a common language, a common fact. It has been developped at the beginning to ease the contention of animals, to diminish the stress during handling as well as the risks of being hurt for people involved. It has become integrated in the training program of many institutions

The idea of this presentation is to review the medical behaviours used in pinnipeds (routinely used or the more exceptionnal ones) - how to train them and to explain, in common terms, what is the medical advantage gained from it.

Team work

Body check-up

Being able to approach and check the whole body of your animal is a very important base and the one that will be necessary for all the medical behaviors. If you cannot have a close look at a wound, a skin problem, an inflammed articulation etc., it might take some time before one realizes it is not evolving properly or towards healing whereas a direct access might help the control or local tending of the problem.

Eye check -up

Particulary important in pinnipeds as they tend to be quite sensitive to eye problems.

Mouth check-up

Nails trimming

The weight

Squeeze cage

Blood sampling

Probably one of the first trained behaviour in an institution practising good medical training. Not the easiest one to train, but one of major importance since a blood sample is kind of the mirror of the body.

Upper respiratory tract sample

Gastric sample

Fecal sample

Intra-muscular injection


Ultrasound check-up, which is now used for more than gestation control and foetus growth, is a very useful tool and has nowadays been incorporated by many institutions as a routine control.



Unusual/goal-specific desensitizations

For more information, contact the workshop manager.   Mail Géraldine

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