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Since all SLEWTHS sea lions are thoroughly trained for routine medical procedures, we are able to conduct detailed investigations into marine mammal health. Our sea lions allow full body exams and measurements, as well as mouth, stomach, rectal and blood sampling.
Stomach Ulcer Investigation:

Using stomach and fecal samples from trained voluntary stomach tubing and rectal sampling, and comparison subjects from the Marine Mammal Center’s stranded animals, we did an investigation on the presence of Helicobacter, a bacteria shown to cause ulcers in humans. A novel strand of Helicobacter was discovered and is currently being defined for publication. An antibiotic treatment was developed to combat this bacteria, and was shown to be successful. Helicobacter was also isolated in fecal samples obtained from walruses at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and the bacteria has also recently been found in some small stranded cetaceans.

Updated November 2008