An Introduction to Non-Captive Marine Mammal Medicine in the UK

A brand new online CPD course with Dr. Natalie Waddington BVetMed MRCVS for just £47+VAT!

About the Course

In the UK, many veterinary professionals would never expect to be in a situation where they are called on to help a marine mammal. However, in 2020 alone British Divers Marine Life Rescue responded to over 2000 calls to animals in distress- the majority seals and cetaceans. Whenever possible, BDMLR utilises veterinary professionals to ensure animals receive the highest standards of care.

In this short lecture series, we will explore two different scenarios. Firstly, a seal pup being brought into your practice having been rescued by BDMLR volunteers- how will you assess and treat the patient? Secondly, receiving a call to attend a dolphin which has stranded on a local beach- how will you approach this complex situation? What are the options available to the dolphin and how do you decide the best course of action?

What lectures will you have access to?

1. Conducting a seal pup health assessment

2. An introduction to the veterinary treatment of seal pups

3. Cetacean strandings and the role of the veterinary team

4. An introduction to stranded cetacean health assessment and decision making


Course Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to perform a basic health assessment of a seal pup
  • List common problems which rescued seal pups present with
  • Outline measures which can be taken to help stabilise rescued seal pups
  • Understand why cetaceans strand and the role of veterinary professionals at strandings
  • Learn how to perform a basic health assessment of a stranded cetacean
  • Understand what options are available for stranded cetaceans and how to decide the best course of action for the animal

Dr. Natalie Waddington BVetMed MRCVS

Natalie qualified as a vet in 2016 when she graduated from the Royal Veterinary College. She worked in small animal practice for three years alongside volunteering with British Divers Marine Life Rescue- mainly assisting with the rescue and rehabilitation of grey seal pups at BDMLR’s seal pup hospital in Cornwall. In spring 2019 she became the hospitals manager and the charities national Veterinary Support Coordinator. In summer 2020 she was added to the charities list of Veterinary Consultants. Natalie has been involved with the care of hundreds of grey seal pups, attended numerous live cetacean strandings, as well as advising on incidents happening all over the country. She is also heavily involved with volunteer education, with the particular aim of training more veterinary professionals in the basics of marine mammal rescue medicine.