Wallpaper-stripper sauna helps sickly seal pups
PUBLISHED: 13:53 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 14 October 2020
Poorly seals at a Norfolk RSPCA centre which are “fighting each day to survive” are being nursed back to health with the help of a makeshift sauna.
Staff at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre have created a modified wallpaper stripper to offer relief to seal pups with breathing problems.
The centre is currently caring for 49 common pups, many of them with respiratory problems, which need specialist care to help them get strong enough to return back to the wild.
Staff at the centre steam their cubicles with the “makeshift saunas” twice a day to help their breathing.
Alison Charles, centre manager, said: “We had previously used veterinary equipment in the past, but it just wasn’t strong enough to steam the whole room. So we put our thinking caps on and got creative and made our own mobile sauna unit out of a wallpaper steamer.
“It even has a timer and it’s on a trolley so it can be wheeled from one cubicle to another. It’s been modified a bit by us - we place a hose through a hole in the wall into their isolation cubicle, switch it on and the steam fills their room.
“We have found it makes a real difference to the seals breathing after they have had a few sessions with the steamer.”
The pups, who have been admitted to the centre since the start of June, are all also receiving a range of specialist intensive care.
The centre manager added: “The steaming is actually just a tiny part of the care we provide to help these poor seals. We are caring for some really sick seal pups at the moment and most will require weeks, if not months, of specialist care.
“It’s heartbreaking to see how poorly they are and their illness has been from a whole range of things including dehydration, emaciation, peritonitis, septicaemia, wounds, lungworm and esophageal impaction, all which requires very intense nursing including antibiotics, and medicines especially for those with respiratory problems.
“As well as this, the 16 seal pups in our isolation unit also require three hourly feeds. They are just so weak and dejected and literally fighting each day to survive. It really is so upsetting to see these beautiful creatures all hunched up and their usually bright eyes are now just so dull.”
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