Modern Medicine: Medical Care for Marine Mammals - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Medical Care for Marine Mammals

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Panama City Beach, Fla. -

The similarities between humans and marine mammals have long been noted.  Medical professionals are now using techniques traditionally designed for humans to help rehabilitate these animals.

Chiropractor Dr. Jon Sherman from Panama City Chiropractic volunteers his time to assist Gulf World's veterinarian.  He's been working closely with a rough-toothed dolphin named Astro.  

Astro has been living at Gulf World since he was stranded in Texas and sent there for rehabilitation. Doctors deemed him non-releasable into the wild, and they try to make him as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Astro has scoliosis.  Dr. Sherman works with Astro using stretching, trigger point therapies, and low level laser therapy. 

"The technique is using a low level cold laser that was originally used in burn units to help wound healing...it helps decrease inflammation, pain, sensitivity and helps soft tissue heal a little faster," explains Dr. Sherman.

Secret Holmes-Douglas is the Director of Marine Mammals at Gulf World and says the treatment is helping.

"After treatment with Astro, his mobility is better, as well as his energy," says Holmes-Douglas. 

This gives doctor's valuable insight into techniques that can help humans as well.

Sherman explains, "Any time you see the advantages of what we're doing, it will help with future developments of new types of techniques to use on humans and animals alike."