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Sick Seal at Buttonwood Park Zoo [UPDATE]

Buttonwood Park Zoo

UPDATE 6PM: On Thursday, Sandy was transported to Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA where a group of veterinarians from the Hospital, the New England Aquarium, and the Zoo’s Dr. Michele Sims performed several diagnostics.  CT scan results indicated that Sandy has an abnormal liver. Several laparoscopic biopsies of Sandy’s liver were taken and pathology results are pending.  Sandy is receiving supportive care at the zoo and Dr. Sims has described Sandy’s condition as guarded.

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Original Story: One of the seals at the Buttonwood Park Zoo is under the weather.

Sandy, a 32-year-old male Atlantic harbor seal, has been experiencing gastrointestinal issues affecting his ability to hold down and digest all of his food.

Zoo veterinarians administered drugs to treat a possible infection, and Sandy’s appetite had been improving, but his condition worsened this week.

Sandy is undergoing diagnostic tests today, including an ultrasound, gastric endoscopy, and CT scans to determine the cause of the illness and whether he may need surgery.

Sandy is one of three harbor seals at the zoo. He was found as a stranded pup on a Barnstable beach in 1981, and has been living at the Buttonwood Park Zoo since 1993.

Harbor seals have a life expectancy of 25-30 years.

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